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Thank You from Sgt. Branden

Afghanistan MapHi Tony,

My name is SGT Branden, I am a Chaplain Assistant and work with CH Boyer. We have been receiving your care packages, and I have been meaning to write you back to simply say thanks. We greatly appreciate your support (and by the way, you send some of the best stuff).

Thanks again for all your support and time.

Respectfully,  SGT (P) Branden – Chaplain Assistant

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OSC thanks U.S. Marine Veteran Cpl. Brett Decker

Aug. 10, 2013 - Tony Zawacky thanks U.S. Marine Veteran Cpl. Brett Decker

Aug. 10, 2013 – OSC – Tony Zawacky thanks                      U.S. Marine Veteran Cpl. Brett Decker

At the Operation Soldier Care’s 83rd packing session on Saturday, August 10th at First Baptist Church of Naples we had the honor to personally “thank” one of our  local U.S. Marines for his 5 years of service. I have to say that it is a rare and true pleasure for me and all the OSC volunteers to actually meet a Marine that we supported and have the opportunity to shake their hand and thank them for their service.

Corporal Brett Decker was stationed at U.S. Marine base Camp Pendleton and was also stationed at Camp Allen for a brief period during his 5 years of Active Duty.  Cpl. Decker was an Infantryman and had served a 7 month tour in Helmand Province, Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom during 2010 to 2011.

It was during this deployment to Afghanistan that OSC had shipped care packages to Cpl. Decker.

Cpl. Decker completed his 5 years of Active Duty and arrived back in his hometown of Naples, Florida with his mother Kim Pehlke on August 9th.   “It hasn’t hit me yet”, says Decker when asked how he felt to be a Veteran Marine.  With his arrival from the long road trip from California to southwest Florida still less than 24 hours old he had not given much thought to his plans yet, but said that he would most likely pursue a college education.

We truly appreciate U.S. Marine Veteran Cpl. Brett Decker’s service and we were honored to have he and his mother Kim visit with us. We wish Cpl. Decker all the best and we will keep him and his family in our prayers during this transition period back into civilian life.

Aug. 10, 2013 - Tony Zawacky (left), Brett Decker (center) standing with Proud Blue Star Mother, Kim Pehlke, who is holding her "Easy" Button gift to help reminder her that the hard part of her Blue Star Mother journey is over.

Aug. 10, 2013 – Tony Zawacky (left), Brett Decker (center) standing with Proud Blue Star Mother, Kim Pehlke, who is holding her “Easy” Button gift to help remind her that the hard part of her Blue Star Mother journey is over.



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OSC 83rd Shipment and Packing Stats

OSC August 2013 PackingThe Saturday, August 10th OSC 83rd packing went extremely well considering many of our regular volunteers were away this session. Everyone worked hard to get the job done. I can’t thank all our volunteers enough for putting in the double time effort to support our troops! Even our guest visitors, U.S. Marine Veteran Corporal Brett Decker and his mother, Kim Pehlke of Naples, Florida jumped in to help pack, seal and fill out labels in the final hour of our packing session.

Troops can expect to receive their packages around August 24, 2013.

This shipment contains 93 packages that weights approximately 1,175 pounds.  There are a total of 40 soldiers (39 in Afghanistan, 1 in Kuwait) receiving our care packages. OSC supports 30 male soldiers and 10 female soldiers with 8 of them being officers and 32 enlisted soldiers. The break down per branch is:  (20) U.S. Army, (15) U.S. Marines, (2) U.S. Navy, (1) U.S. Air Force and (2) UK Army soldiers.

The boxes were filled with all our standard packaged goods. Nine of the soldiers received waterproof bibles. We also included 101 cards and letters to our troops.

We have three packing sessions remaining in our 2013 schedule. These sessions are on Saturday, September 21st, November 2nd and November 30th, which will be our Christmas packing session.

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OSC August Packing Reminder

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 9.14.16 PMThe next packing session is on Saturday, August 10th in WC-117. All Operation Soldier Care Volunteers please check your email for times on when to report to your assigned duty. Please email me if you can not attend. After our August packing session we will have three remaining packing sessions for our troops. Updates are now posted to our OSC blog as well. Look forward to seeing everyone this Saturday!

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Happy 10th Anniversary Operation Soldier Care


Sgt. Tim Zawacky at Camp Jaguar, Iraq
May 2003

It’s hard to believe but we’ve hit the 10th Anniversary of our ministry.

Operation Soldier Care (OSC) began on August 2, 2003. Our very first shipment consisted of one care package, which weighed a whopping 43 pounds! It was shipped on August 22, 2003 to Sgt. Tim Zawacky and his 101ST Airborne squad at Q-West, Iraq.

We now support an average of 45 soldiers and are sending 88 care packages weighing in at 1,100 pounds at a cost of $4,020.00 per packing session.

I am very thankful to all those individuals, businesses and BLG’s that have supported our troops over the years through the OSC Ministry. I am very thankful to all the volunteers who worked and continue to work so hard behind the scene to make a difference for our troops while they are deployed. I am very grateful for all those “Prayer Warriors” who take time out of their busy lives to pray for the OSC soldiers and Marines we have sent packages to over the years.  I am also very grateful for the ladies in our FBCN Prayer Shawl Ministry who have been giving of their time and talent to send beautiful handmade Prayer Shawls to the wives and mothers of the soldiers we support. Each and every one has played a major part in making our OSC Ministry a success and a blessing to our soldiers on the front lines and it truly has been a great 10 years.

All I can say is “To God be all the glory” for all that has been accomplished!

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.

1 Chronicles 16:34





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Thank you so much for the care package

OSC SSG James AfghanistanTony and First Baptist Church of Naples, —I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the care packages sent. We received them today on 7-21-13.  It’s hard to believe it has been 5 years now since I received your care packages on my last deployment, 2008-2009 in Iraq, now on duty again, this time in Afghanistan. Your generosity and love for America and the troops is heart warming and humbling at the same time.

Thank you and please give a big hug to my Aunt and Uncle there at FBC Naples, Conrad and Jean.

Sincerely, SSG James – Kandahar, Afghanistan

SSG James Afghanistan


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OSC 82nd Packing Session for the Troops

Packing June 29 2013The boxes from Operation Soldier Care’s 82nd packing session for the troops is officially on it’s way to Afghanistan!

We shipped a total of 90 care packages this time, weighing in at 1,002 pounds.  Of the 90 packages there were 88 heading to Afghanistan and 2 for Kuwait. These care packages where addressed to reach a total of 38 troop members: (17) U.S. Army, (16) U.S. Marines, (2) U.S. Navy, (1) U.S. Air Force, and (2) British Army members.  There were 25 Bibles included in this shipment as well.

Each packing session is always unique and special.  This particular packing session we were honored to have American Blue Star Mother Jeanne Fell join us in the afternoon on Saturday, June 29th.  Jeanne is an Active Member of the Southwest Florida Blue Star Mother’s Chapter – FL4 and is a Proud 2 Blue Star U.S. Army Mother. Her son is currently serving in Afghanistan and her daughter just returned from serving a 2012 deployment. Thank you Jeanne and thank you to your family for serving!

OSC is very fortunate to have so many wonderful volunteers to support our troops. A big thank you goes to Kent Anderson who took time to take some photos of our volunteers at work.



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Our Youngest Packer Kendra Pruitt Supporting the Troops

Kendra PruittKendra Pruitt is no stranger to packing boxes for the troops at Operation Soldier Care, a Ministry of First Baptist Church of Naples.  With each packing session it takes many hands and many man hours to get the job done.  Kendra, our youngest OSC packer, and her family enthusiastically have joined forces to help support our troops since 2012.  Her spirit and energy is contagious and keeps veteran volunteers moving at a sprinters pace while they are packing and sealing up each box heading to Afghanistan.  This truly confirms our belief that no matter how small or young the volunteer, each and everyone one does make a difference in the lives of our troops.

Photo taken at OSC June 29, 2013 Packing Session.


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Thank You from SSG. Tenana

SSG_Tezana_WhiteJune 20, 2013

Dear OSC,

Thank you for the box you sent me. Tell everyone I am truly grateful for everything in the box. Your organization has put so many smiles on all of our faces. Thank you for loving us so much.

Your friend,

SSG. Tenzana

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Thank You from Cpt. Marie

Cpt._Marie_Thank You CardJune 9, 2013

Dear Operation Soldier Care,

Thank you for all of the prayers and support during this deployment. My unit appreciates all of the care packages.

Cpt. Marie

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