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"Operation We Love Our Troops" Ships

"Operation We Love Our Troops" Ships

Posted - Apr. 2, 2003 at 4:37 p.m.



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Sandra Yi reportingAmerican troops overseas may soon receive a special delivery from people here in Utah. The deliveries will be the result of a project called Operation We Love Our Troops started by a woman in Sandy.

When Eyewitness News first interviewed Carla Hitz, she had a room full of donated items for U.S. troops. Two weeks later, her garage is full.

Now that stuff is one step closer to being in the hands of the men and women that need it most.

Members of the Utah Army National Guard are on a special mission today. They're loading up goods for fellow soldiers overseas. Each box contains several grab bags of goodies.

Carla Hitz/Operation: We Love Our Soliders: "FRUIT SNACKS, BEEF JERKY, CHIPS, CRACKERS, APPLE SAUCE, ANY KIND OF NON PERISHABLE FOOD PRODUCT. THEN WE'VE GOT A VARIETY OF HYGIENE PRODUCTS. THIS PACK HAPPENS TO CONTAIN SOME SOAP, HAND SANITIZER, CHAPSTICK, KLEENEX, SOME GUM."

This is the kind of stuff people donated to Carla Hitz and her project 'Operation: We Love Our Soldiers'. They're small, but basic necessities packed with care. And each one includes a heartfelt note from a stranger - grateful for a soldier's duty.

Carla Hitz/Operation: We Love Our Soldiers: "I HOPE THAT THEY JUST TAKE THIS AND KNOW THAT IT'S A HUG FROM HOME, SUPPORT THAT WE APPRECIATE WHAT THEY'RE DOING FOR US. AND THIS IS A SMALL GESTURE IN COMPARISON TO WHAT THEY'RE DOING FOR EACH ONE OF US."

Hitz started the project a few weeks ago. Whether it would happen though - was uncertain as the Department of Defense recently asked citizens not to send soldiers any unsolicited mail.

Lt. Col. Brad Blackner/Utah Army National Guard: "I HAVE A HARD TIME SAYING NO, AND I KNOW CARLA HAS A HARD TIME SAYING NO, SO WE'RE GOING TO SAY YES AND COLLECT THOSE ITEMS AND AS THINGS START TO EVEN OUT OVER THERE AND AS AIRFLOW GETS BACK TO NORMAL, THEN WE'RE GOING TO GET THINGS ON AIRPLANES AND GET THEM OVER TO OUR TROOPS."

Carla Hitz/Operation: We Love Our Soldiers: "THEY WILL GO THROUGH THESE ITEMS SO QUICKLY THAT WE NEED TO KEEP THE SUPPLY REPLENISHED UNTIL THEY COME HOME SAFELY."

Some bags have already been handed out to soldiers at Camp Williams who are soon being deployed - to the Middle East. The army will store any more donations and ship it out later.

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