1st ACB helps stock care packages for deployed troops
February 17, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas - Soldiers from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, made care packages for deployed troops, Feb. 10, at the Soldiers' Angels headquarters in San Antonio.
Soldiers' Angels is a volunteer-led, non-profit organization that provides assistance for service members and their families before, during and after deployment, said Mary LoPinto, a liaison for the organization. The organization also has programs that assist children of service members who were killed in action.
For one senior enlisted Soldier, personal experience drove his motivation to assist the Soldiers' Angels organization.
"When my daughter was deployed in Iraq at a forward operating base, she would always call or write home requesting the little things, like toiletries and so forth," said Command Sgt. Maj. Jose Soliz, Task Force Lobos, 1st ACB, originally from Alice, Texas.
Not every deployed Soldier has that person; that mom or dad, who can send them a package with the necessities, and that's where Soldiers' Angels steps in, said Soliz.
Soliz noted that since he joined the Army back in 1986, his leadership would always emphasize the importance of taking care of fellow Soldiers. He said that making these care packages gave the Soldiers in his task force the opportunity to do just that: take care of their fellow comrades.
Soldiers from the brigade go down to San Antonio on a weekly basis to help build care packages, and they are slated to do so until the brigade deploys later this spring.
LoPinto estimates the brigade as a whole has already produced more than 15,000 care packages for their fellow brothers in arms.
It's so heartwarming to see these Soldiers help out their fellow comrades this way, said LoPinto.
For one junior Soldier in the task force, the idea of helping his brothers in arms came natural.
"As a Soldier, you don't think twice when it comes to helping out other Soldiers," said Spc. Justin Miles, from Orlando, Fla., a motor transport operator with Headquarters Company, TF Lobos, 1st ACB. "We're all part of a team, and this is what we do."
The Soldiers also toured the facilities to get an idea of how much goes in to the work that the organization does to help troopers and their families.
"I think it gives the Soldiers a new perspective, to see what goes in to making these care packages," said LoPinto.
Miles noted that his experience at the Soldiers' Angels headquarters was worthwhile.
"It was a great experience to come down here," said Miles. "They welcomed us with open arms and everyone was very hospitable."
Finally, Soliz summed up his thoughts about the brigade's partnership with Soldiers' Angels.
"I don't consider this a tasking," said Soliz. "It's an honor more than anything to come down here and do this for our fellow Soldiers."