During my time as a Task Force Commander in Baghdad, one of the organizations that I remember fondly is Operation Gratitude. They sent care packages to every one of my nearly one thousand soldiers arrayed across some of the most dangerous parts of Baghdad. The impact on our morale was immediate and it was nice to be reminded that we have a grateful country standing behind our efforts.
Years after receiving those packages, I am excited to share that Operation Gratitude assembled its one millionth package over the weekend. Thousands of volunteers and supporters gathered at the Army National Guard Armory in Van Nuys, California to celebrate this landmark achievement in supporting our nation’s heroes.
Through Operation Gratitude, more than 100,000 military service members deployed in hostile regions, veterans, caregivers and first-responders receive a care package annually. Each package is addressed to a specific individual and is filled with snacks, hygiene products, entertainment items and handwritten letters of appreciation.
Receiving one of these care packages means so much to our deployed service members – and especially to those men and women who don’t receive packages from home. My soldiers were always so grateful for these care packages from Operation Gratitude.
On behalf of the First Lady and Dr. Biden, I want to congratulate Operation Gratitude on their landmark achievement. Their efforts have touched the lives of a million individuals – that’s incredible.
Col. Rich Morales is the Executive Director of Joining Forces