Successful Operation to Give Thanks to Troops

By: Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - A thank you can come in many forms. On Saturday at the Midland Old Navy, West Texans showed their appreciation to the troops through their time and donations. Turns out, it's a gesture both military men and women and their families appreciate.

It doesn't require weapons or tanks, but Old Navy's Operation Care and Comfort did require boots on the ground.

"Well supporting our troops is one of our biggest focuses this year," Old Navy General Manager, Ashley Fairbanks said. "We just want to give back to the people who fight for our freedoms on a daily basis and show how appreciative we are of their services."

Since 2003, the program's shipped over 200 tons of military care packages.

Iraqi veteran and Army National Guard Specialist Robert Smith says the troops love them.

"Oh they made me feel wonderful, you get that warm and fuzzy in your stomach," Smith said. "You're feeling the support of the people back home. You're thousands of miles away from home but when you get those care packages from the United States you feel that you have the support of an entire nation back home."

Marine mom Susan Allison agrees. One of her sons served in Iraq while the other's now in Afghanistan.

"They'll call me or send a message on the computer and say 'Mom I got a package from so and so,'" she said. "They're really excited and like to know that people back home really care about them."

It's the first year for the Midland store, but West Texans came out in full force to make donations, write letters, color pictures and buy gifts for the troops.

"We've had at least 600 people in our store," Fairbanks said. "The community has been very involved. We've had several organizations help us and it's very nice to see that the community has such a big heart and loves to support our troops."

In the end, Old Navy hopes to collect enough supplies to brighten the day of every active duty member.

Old Navy will be accepting donations for Operation Care and Comfort up until Monday.