By Nancy GouldDecember 7, 2012
Hunter Army Airfield -
Operation Hand-Warmer, an organization founded by current Augusta, Ga. resident Burt Sappenfield, in conjunction with Century 21 Larry Miller Realty in Augusta, donated 2,000 hand-warmers to the Third Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, and 2,700 hand-warmers to the First Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, on Hunter Army Airfield Nov. 20."We appreciate the hand warmers and the community support," said Spc. Jesse Paterson, a Soldier with the 75th Ranger Regiment who received the hand warmers outside of the Rangers Battalion Headquarters building at Hunter Army Airfield, Nov. 20. "They work really well. We put them inside our gloves, pockets and shoes."
Operation Hand-Warmer "is a drive to collect hand-warmers for our front-line troops in Afghanistan, a rugged country which traditionally experiences bitterly cold winters. A drive is designed to supplement standard military issued clothing and supplies, specifically for those who have to do hand-related tasks requiring dexterity in combat zones," says the Operation Hand-Warmer website.
In 1990, Sappenfield, who then resided in Richmond Hill, collected snacks and sundry items sent Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield -- based Soldiers serving in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield.
Since founding Operation Hand-Warmer in January, Sappenfield and his team have provided thousands of hand-warmers to Soldiers serving in Afghanistan. In addition to the hand-warmers, Operation Hand-Warmer also included 500 Christmas cards to Soldiers, along with food items.
"We also like to send comfort items, such as trail mix, magazines and beef jerky and other items," said Sappenfield.
"We send the hand warmers for Soldiers to stay warm but we also send them to boost morale."
Operation Hand Warmers is accepting donations in Savannah at Prudential Southeast Coastal Properties on the Diamond Causeway. For more information about Operation Hand Warmer, go to www.operationhandwarmer.com or call 706-860-0000.
Cutline: Operation Handwarmer Coordinator Burt Sappenfield, and Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Shanahan, First Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, unloads boxes at the Ranger Headquarters Building that contain almost 5,000 handwarmers and 500 Christmas cards for Soldiers in the Ranger Battalion and the Third Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, Nov. 20.