Group says 'thanks' to wounded troops

Operation Gift Cards volunteers made a trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland recently, to give a little “thank you” to troops on Nov. 3.

Since Oct. 2005, the Operation Gift Cards’ 99 monthly/bimonthly visits have presented 17,323 thank-you kits which contained $346,460 in post exchange gift certificates to  wounded troops. An additional $323,473 in other gift certificates and special group product donations (Girl Scout cookies, corporate gift certificates etc.) have been delivered to organizations that help wounded troops and their families.

On the last visit, representatives from the AMVETS (American Veterans), the Charley With A Y Foundation, the GTO Club, the Friezo Family Foundation and Vietnam Veterans of America visited wounded troops and personally thanked them for their service to their country.

Residents helping out

Shelton residents who have participated in at least one visit to Walter Reed: Chris Ackley, Walt Bills, Angel Cadena, Mike Clavorino, Mary Ellen Cortillini, Lauren Cust, Frank DeAngelo, Tom Evans, Dennis Guerricci, Ken Hagen, Hank Kormornik, Al Meadows, Nancy Meadows, Richard Norko, April Paschos, Dennis Salzer, Bernice Scott and Mark Scott.

Derby residents who have participated in at least one visit to Walter Reed: Joanne Brejwo, Kaz Brejwo, Clarence Douglas, Robert Muoio, Mary Porter, Roberto Santos, Karen Stracquadanio and Bernie Williamson.

Derby/Shelton veterans organizations who have been Operation Gift Cards co-sponsors: American Legion — Shelton Post 16 and Derby Post 24; AMVETS (American Veterans) — Derby/Shelton Post 43; Disabled American Veterans — Derby Chapter 4; Military Order of the Purple Heart — Derby/Shelton Chapter 1; Veterans of Foreign Wars — Derby Post 16858 and Huntington Post 10466. Most of these organizations have co-sponsored multiple times.

For more information contact Al Meadows at 203-929-3357 or

Wish list for Operation Gift Cards

ELECTRONICS — iPod Touches, gaming systems such as DS Nintendos or the portable PlayStation, portable DVD players, DVDs, digital alarm clocks, digital watches, electric toothbrushes, electronic games (for Xbox, Wii, DS Nintendo, PlayStation), laptops, iPads, prepaid cell phones and recharge cards.

CLOTHING ITEMS — Bleach markers or Shout sticks, tennis shoes in a variety of sizes, clothing in various sizes  (plain T-shirts, socks, boxers and boxer briefs, pajama pants, slippers, hoodies, rain jackets, winter coats, stocking caps, flip-flops), breakaway pants and shirts in a variety of sizes and sports bras in a variety of sizes.

CANTEEN — Individually bottled water and soda, individually packaged chips, cookies, crackers and candy.

TOILETRIES — Chap stick, Q-tips, nail clippers, Band-Aids, full-sized body wash, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, boxes of tissues and feminine hygiene products.

ALSO — One golf cart with a top so occupants protected from sun, sheet sets (twin, twin extra long, full and queen sized), magazine subscriptions, baby food, diapers, wipes, rolling duffel bags, plain black backpacks, crossword puzzle and Sudoku books.

All items must be new and unused for health and safety reasons.