Shelton veterans Lauren Cust, Frank DeAngelo and Al Meadows recently helped present thank-you kits to wounded troops at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland. During the visit, the Shelton residents delivered more than $8,100 in gift certificates to the wounded troops and their families.

The visits are made monthly or bimonthly to the military hospital near Washington, D.C. as part of Operation Gift Cards.

Sixty-six groups and individuals have co-sponsored the Operation Gift Cards program. The goal is to  present gift certificates to all visited wounded patients at Walter Reed with the help of co-sponsors.

Thanking the troops in person

During the most recent visit, the Shelton residents joined with representatives from AmVets (American Veterans), the Fairfield Fire Department, Disabled American Veterans, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. employees, and Stamford‘s Union Memorial Church to visit wounded troops and personally thank them for their service to their country and for their sacrifice for freedom.

Each patient was presented with three thank-you kits containing $60 in gift certificates, a custom-designed thank-you card with a photograph of the co-sponsors, and information about benefit programs developed by the co-sponsors.

More than 16,000 thank-you kits

Since October 2005, more than 16,000 thank-you kits have been delivered to troops at Water Reed during 93 trips as part of Operation Gift Cards. The gift cards have contained $321,100 in post exchange (military department store) gift certificates for the wounded troops.

An additional $286,800 in other gift certificates and product donations (Girl Scout cookies, corporate gift certificates, etc.) have been delivered to the Soldier Family Assistance Center, the Fisher Houses, Building 62, Navy Lodge, American Red Cross and Casualty Affairs Office, along with more than $50,000 worth of items on the “wish list” for both the wounded troops and their families.

For information on Operation Gift Cards, call Al Meadows at 203-929-3357.