By: John Raughter, American Legion Communications Director
It’s that time of year again. Time when The American Legion usually outdoes itself in the normal 100 percent support it shows the troops. Last year at about this time, Operation Comfort Warriors was born. By the end of December, $100,000 was raised to purchase comfort items ranging from hooded sweatshirts to socks to small electronics for our troops in military hospitals and warrior transition units around the world. These donations helped brighten the holidays for many of our wounded warriors.
Back in August, National Commander Hill set a goal to raise another $100,000 by the end of the year. We were at $189,000 at the time. Today, we have raised $227,938 since OCW’s inception. That means we need just more than $61,000 to reach this goal. I know that with your help, we can reach that goal.
Many worthy requests come from the various hospitals and units. One that sticks out is the request from the Fort Carson, Colorado, Wounded Warrior Battalion, to purchase 50 “Tens Units” at $31.48 each. Tens units are pain management devices. They are effectively used in the management of extreme debilitating headaches, often associated with head trauma, severe TBI and repeated blast concussions. Many of our wounded have these issues, and even with the abundant medications they are given, still suffer the head pain. The company, which manufactures the devices, will provide them at a 50 percent discount if we purchase them.
Other needs from Fort Carson include “barracks kits” filled with personal toiletries, bed linens, bathroom linens, pillow, pajamas, socks, books, phone card and other items for the room.
As most of you are aware, The American Legion spends no money on marketing or overhead for OCW. 100 percent of the donations go to the troops. Your National Security Division has been very efficient at responding to the needs of the bases worldwide and there is rarely more than $20,000 in the account at any given time. Other items purchased and future needs include DVDs, CDs, books, duffle bags, backpacks, gift cards, puzzles and even laptops for common areas. We have already helped Walter Reed, Landstuhl, Bethesda, Camp Pendleton, Fort Hood, Camp Lejeune, Fort Lewis, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg and more places than I can mention here. Operation Comfort Warriors will be contributing to just about every U.S. military hospital or warrior transition unit in the world.
Donations can be made online at www.legion.org/ocw or by mailing checks to Operation Comfort Warriors, PO Box 1055, Indianapolis, IN 46206. Thank you for your continued support on this.