we are resuming Operations Kids.
are appealing to everyone, but especially teachers and students, to reach out to Iraqi children, the truly innocent victims
of the war.
explaining how all of you can help, let me provide you some background on how Operation Kids came into being.
Plea from Iraq
program began as a family affair. In January, 2006, our son, John, a battalion commander in the First Armored Division, was
deployed to Iraq, his second posting in the country. Soon after arriving there, he sent an e-mail which, in part, talked about
items his soldiers liked to receive from home.
John's concerns turned to the kids of Iraq.
me, personally I have one request: please send gifts for the Iraqi kids. As parents, think of 3 to 13 year-olds who have seen
war most or all of their lives and who have known little joy as a result.
too, of small, individually-wrapped candy, sugar-based hard candy, pocket-sized stuffed animals, brightly-colored school supplies,
fun T-shirts (they really liked ones with U.S. city names imprinted on them), and small toys like Hot Wheel cars, yo-yos and
declare wars, soldiers fight them, and parents, especially moms, worry over them. After John's e-mail arrived, my wife, Debbie,
joined forces with two computer-savvy friends, Margie McConnell and Jeri Livingstone, and organized a Web site for Operation
Kids. (for additional details, please check out the links at http://www.operationkids.info/ )
idea was to send kid items to John's troops and let them distribute them to the children of Iraq. This allowed Iraqi youngsters
to see U.S. soldiers in a positive light.
CWO Dave Kean, a Long Beach firefighter and a reservist on helicopter duty in Mosul, was added to our list of recipients.
O.K. was launched in the column on Mother's Day
of 2006. The response has been beyond anything we anticipated. We have no way of knowing exactly how many boxes were received,
but John estimates it to have been close to 1,000.
is home now, as is Dave Kean. Operation Kids has a new recipient whose name is on computer file with Postal Annex. For nine
months, Lt. Col. Guy Edmondson, stationed in Mosul, distributed our school supplies and toys to Iraqi children. Now LTC Edmondson
has returned safely home, and our son has given us a new contact, an Army officer based in Tal Afar who has worked with our
son, and agreed to continue our project. Your donations will be distributed through him, and you may take your goods to
Postal Annex who will package and ship them to Tal Afar.
summer, LTC Edmondson wrote:
are putting together an operation in one of the poorer neighborhoods of Mosul. The Brigade Commander suggested that we execute
the mission during Ramadan, as that is the traditional time of the year to provide for those less fortunate.
have about a half a truckload of clothes and a truckload of school supplies. Col. Taha (the brigade commander) suggested that
we visit several area schools about the first of October. Once we execute the mission, I'll be sending you some pictures for
your organization, so that you can see the looks of amazement on the faces of the children."
Your items can be dropped off with Chuck and
Temple Roath, of Postal Annex in East Long Beach.
Once again, they have volunteered to help, even to the extent of
packaging your materials, if you bring them into their location. Postage costs are paid for with funds donated by Press-Telegram
can also help by sending a contribution for our Operation Kids postage fund. The address: Tom and Deb Hennessy, Operation
Kids, 6444 E. Spring Street, #245, Long Beach, CA 90815-1553. Checks should be made out to “Postal Annex”.
Meanwhile, if you have any questions regarding items to send,
please call me at the number listed below, or check out the link, "How YOU Can Help."
helping Iraqi children, you are helping our American soldiers as well. Thank you for that.
viewpoint now appears every Sunday. For comments or questions about Operation Kids, please contact
Debbie Hennessy at email@example.com or by phone at 562 - 499-1270.