OCW brings gifts to Bluegrass State

OCW brings gifts to Bluegrass State
Lt. Col. Dwight Lewis, commanding officer of the Fort Knox Warrior Transition Battalion, thanks American Legion staff member James Ellison for gifts donated through the Legion’s Operation Comfort Warriors program. (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)

Operation Comfort Warriors

This program provides comfort items for wounded, injured or ill military personnel. All donations to this fund go directly towards the purchase of these comfort items. Learn more »

A delegation of Legionnaires from the Department of Kentucky helped deliver more than $22,000 worth of gifts from Operation Comfort Warriors to soldiers at Fort Campbell and Fort Knox last week.

"This is the best way to reconnect and stay connected with our soldiers," Department of Kentucky Commander Joe Flynn said. "We’ve already been receiving phone calls from the soldiers at the Warrior Transition Battalions expressing their appreciation for the donations."

Included in the donations for wounded, injured and ill soldiers at Fort Campbell were televisions, Wii consoles, video games and fitness equipment. The Fort Knox Warrior Transition Battalion is comprised of wounded warriors from Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota. Officials there indicated a need for Segways – a wish that was promptly granted by OCW. The two-wheeled self-balancing vehicles rely on the latest stabilization technology to transport users quickly across indoor or outdoor terrains.

"The Segways will be used to take soldiers back and forth to medical appointments at the hospital," said Lt. Col. Dwight Lewis, commanding officer of the Fort Knox Warrior Transition Battalion. "We have a big courtyard, and the Segways will make life easier for the soldiers – plus, they will have fun getting to where they need to go."

"It means a lot to know there are so many people out there that want to help," added Staff Sgt. George Cripps, who is recovering at Fort Campbell from a stroke that he suffered while serving in Afghanistan.

"Anytime you reach out to the soldiers, you are giving other veterans a reason to join The American Legion," said Peter Trzop, commander of Old Kentucky Home Post 121 in Bardstown. "When you do stuff for soldiers and their spouses, you build trust. They know you’re legit. They know you’re there for them."

Since its evolution as a fundraiser for troops at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, The American Legion’s Operation Comfort Warriors has provided more than $1 million of assistance to wounded, injured and ill warriors and their families around the globe. All administrative and operating costs for OCW are paid by The American Legion’s National Headquarters, meaning 100 percent of donated funds go directly to purchasing items for the troops. OCW is almost half way to its $500,000 fundraising goal set by National Commander James E. Koutz for his 2012-2013 term.

In order to purchase items that the troops truly need, monetary donations are encouraged. Checks can mailed to: Operation Comfort Warriors Donations, The American Legion, 5745 Lee Road, Indianapolis, IN 46216.

For more information or to make an online donation, click here.

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