Tag Archives | Tony Zawacky

Finishing Our Mission Strong

Operation Soldier Care (OSC) has been faithfully sending care packages to our soldiers serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Persian Gulf area for 15 plus years. Care packages have been sent every six weeks until a soldier completes his/her tour of duty.

Funding for OSC has been based 100% on donations. God has met our needs over the years through the generosity of people like yourself who care about our troops.

Though, after much prayer we announce that the Operation Soldier Care Ministry will be shutting down operations on June 2019 after our final shipment. We request that no further donations be sent in.

OSC will continue to accept new troops names serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria through June 25, 2019.

With the decision to shut OSC down along with the upcoming troop withdrawals from Syria and Iraq we are at peace that this is the right time to finish our mission strong and on a positive note.

Ecc 3:1 says and it certainly fits here, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”

Thank you and may God bless you for supporting the Operation Soldier Care Ministry!

Tony Zawacky

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Honoring Our Six Fallen Heroes

Photo by Andrew Pons on Unsplash

Since the August 2003 birth of the Operation Soldier Care Ministry at First Baptist Church Naples we’ve observed fourteen Memorial Day holidays. With the fifteenth Memorial holiday just around the corner is seems proper to honor our six fallen heroes that our ministry supported.

Each of these soldiers signed up to fight for our freedom and country. Each of them trained and deployed. Each of them served honorably on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.

As we honor these brave men and women who died let us also honor their American Gold Star Families for their sacrifice for our freedom as well.

John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”

In Memory Of

LCPL Thomas Echols | KIA on December 4, 2006 | Al Anbar Province, Iraq

SGT Scott Kirkpatrick | KIA on August 11, 2007 | Arab Jabor, Iraq

PFC Richard Burress | KIA on January 19, 2008 | Arab Jabor, Iraq

SSG Marc A. Scialdo | KIA on March 11, 2013 | Kandahar, Afghanistan

PFC James W. Bibb | Casualty of War – February 28, 2015 | Naples, FL

Specialist Steven Taylor Hayes | Casualty of War – August 1, 2016 | Naples, FL

 

I ask that you take time to pray for all the men and women who died. Pray for their families, especially for our six Fallen Heroes.

May God bless those who courageously gave their lives this Memorial Day, and those who continue to bravely fight today for our freedom.

Tony

 

 

 

 

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Welcome Home Daddy

Once in a while Operation Solider Care learns that one of our deployed soldiers we supported has returned home safely to a wife and his first child.

Deployments are typically up to 12 months. If a soldier deploys during their child’s tender months then they are missing out on so much. Yes, the email and phone calls do help. Skype does too if you are lucky to have that available to you.  Truly there is a sacrifice for them missing out on the day-to-day milestones like a baby’s first tooth, first steps and first words such as “Da-da” are gone.

It’s times like this that we are reminded of the sacrifices of those servicemen and women who have served, and who are still serving on foreign soil. Their call to serve and protect comes with a sacrifice that can not be made up.

We at Operation Soldier Care would like to say “Thank you” to all those with families making the sacrifice for us and our country.

May the Lord God bless you all until you return home to your families!

Tony

Welcome Home Daddy!

 

 

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OSC 113th and 114th packing for the troops

The OSC Ministry is pleased to report that the shipments for 113th and 114th packing for the troops were a success.  The care packages have arrived to their final destinations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany, Korea and Diego Garcia. Amen to that!

It was a great packing session since we had some extra goodies to add in each box. We even had some extra small hands that helped to get the job done. Meet our youngest volunteer Jasmine.  Jasmine is the daughter of one of OSC’s former troops, U.S. Army Veteran Travis Jones, and she is the granddaughter of OSC Shopper & Packer, Blue Star Mother Lora Jones.

In the 144 care packages we included 14 bibles, 158 tracts, and 144 letters. These small little touches to each care package definitely help lift the troops spirits as they serve our country away from family and friends.

Together the shipments weighed in at 1,656 pounds with a total cost of $5,914.00 with funds to spare for our remaining 2017 shipments. We give praises to the Lord for providing for our troops!

As we push thru 2017 we continue to let others know about Operation Soldier Care’s mission. On February 25th, and 26th we had the opportunity to participate with several other FBCN ministries at the Missions Conference in the Commons.

Below is a photo of our table that we had setup in the Commons. We had many visitors to share the good news as to how the Lord is using Operation Soldier Care, a First Baptist Church Ministry to help bless the troops.

 

 

 

 

A big thank you goes out to our troops, and to all the volunteers and workers behind the scenes to keep this ministry going.

God bless and we will see you next time!

Tony

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OSC 111th and 112th packing for 2016

Ho-Ho-Ho and Merry Christmas Troops

The OSC Santa and his elves are pleased to report that the November 3 Thanksgiving shipment and December 2nd Christmas shipment are in route to their destinations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany, Korea and Diego Garcia. We can’t wait until the soldiers see their handmade Christmas stockings that were included for each of them.

It was a very busy packing session since we had lots of extra goodies to add in each box.  In the 154 care packages we included 154 Tracts, 456 Christmas cards, and 80 letters. They will definitely help lift the troops Christmas spirits as they serve our country away from family and friends.

Together the shipments weighed in at 1,772 pounds with a total cost of $4,987.00 with funds to spare for our 2017 shipments ahead of us. Thank you Lord!

As we wrap up 2016 I reflect on all the work that goes into the Operation Soldier Care Ministry. I am truly grateful for all the wonderful volunteers and supporters throughout the year.   I send warm wishes along with many thanks to all of the faithful hands from all our volunteers.  You are a blessing, and I appreciate that you have chosen to serve the men and women serving our country so that they see that they are remembered by the folks back home. It’s been a great year thanks to you!

God bless and Merry Christmas all!

Tony

Laura Paul (left) and Lauren Paul (right) our Christmas stocking artists and makers

(Left to right) Volunteers Joan Colosimo, Lee Haddix, Claudine Scialdo Ehlers, Gold Star Father – Marshall Scialdo, Rick Ehlers

Volunteers Claudine Scialdo Ehlers (left), Jackie Scialdo Nelson (center), Sarah Christensen.

 

Chad Coleman (Iraq & Afghanistan war vet) on left and Bill Conti (Vietnam vet) on right

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OSC 109th Packing For The Troops

osclogoI am pleased to report that our 63 boxes from the August 16, 2016 packing session have successfully been shipped to their destinations.  The 63 tracts that were included in each package should certainly help pick up the spirits of soldiers as the hot summer months come to an end.

The shipment weighed in at 725 pounds with a total cost of $2,947.13.

As of August 23, 2016 the Operation Soldier Care Ministry celebrates its’ 13th anniversary.  In thirteen years we have adopted 1,228 troop members, shipped 9,156 boxes that equals 115,924 pounds or 57.96 tons. We have raised and spent $430,847 during this period. We have also included a total of 10,727 tracts/booklets and 21,708 homemade cards and letters.

Not only are these stats amazing but the impact that our OSC Ministry has had on the troops is also very amazing.

I give many thanks to all of the faithful hands from volunteers and supporters over the years who have helped make this happen. You are a blessing and I am filled with gratitude that you all have chosen to serve the men and women who serve our country.

God bless and Happy 13th Anniversary OSC!

Tony

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OSC 105th Packing For The Troops

Golden Gate Post Office - Naples, FL - Rusty Manes processes 81 care packages for the troops

Golden Gate Post Office – Naples, FL – Rusty Manes processes 81 care packages for the troops

Our 81 boxes from the February 27, 2016 packing session have successfully begun to arrive to their destinations.  They are just in time to help pick up the spirits of 53 soldiers just before Easter.

The shipment weighed in at 932 pounds at a total cost of $4,358. We included 32 waterproof Bibles and letters.

Of the 81 boxes we distributed 69 care packages to soldiers stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq. The remaining 12 boxes were delivered to soldiers located in Kuwait, Persian Gulf, Korea and Egypt.

Our Postal Clerks Helping Hands

Behind the lines of fire at our Golden Gate Post Office work very exceptional postal clerks. OSC would like for you to meet Rusty Manes.

Rusty and all of the clerks at this office Continue Reading →

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Thank You Cards and Notes from Afghanistan

US FlagOPERATION SOLDIER CARE MAIL CALL

It’s always a pleasure to hear from our deployed soldiers and here is the latest from Operation Soldier Care Mail Call!    Click on image to enlarge.

Thank You from the TroopsThank You from the Troops

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 Thank You from the Troops

Thank You from the Troops

Thank You from the TroopsThank You from the Troops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OSC 88th Packing Session for the Troops

The 99 boxes from the OSC 88th Packing Session have successfully arrived to 27 deployed soldiers!  Of our 27 soldiers we have 4 officers and 23 enlisted troops. Our soldier and Marine count plus care package count remains steady due to the ongoing need for support even with Operation Enduring Freedom drawing to a close.

Easter Cards for the Troops

Our handmade Easter cards for the troops

Our shipment weighed in at 1,258 pounds with a total cost of $4,162.39! We distributed 35 waterproof bibles, 180 tracts, 55 handmade Easter cards, and 45 Keywi™ scripture cards in our care packages.

The handmade Easter cards were generously crafted by Camille Knotts and her friend Traci.  They both put many hours into making these beautiful cards for the troops.  It’s things like this that truly let our deployed servicemen and women know that they are loved and being thought of during the holiday. The cards are greatly appreciated and I am grateful for Camille and Traci for doing such a wonderful job.

A big thank you goes out to Ursula Brush from Ohio for donating the 100 Keywi™ scripture cards.  http://www.keywicards.com/soldier-project.htm  The Keywi™ cards have very cool desert camouflage skins that protect the Psalm 91 scripture cards on a compact key chain.

Keywi Scripture Cards

Keywi Scripture Cards

For this particular shipment we sent 45 Keywi™’s. We do look forward to hearing back from the troops on how they like this new item. Many of our soldiers are deployed for 7 to 12 months and in some cases even longer, so we try and provide new things to encourage them during their time away from home and family. We hope the Keywi™ is well received!

The truth remains that we do know that our OSC care packages are always well received. From seeing Doug Jarman and his fellow soldiers faces in this recent photo he sent me really says it all. I wanted to share the joy and their “thank you” message with all the many hardworking volunteers and with the individuals and BLG’s who generously donate to the OSC Ministry.

Thank you Doug for taking time out of your day to take a picture and share it with all of us back here at home.   It’s great to see everyone and that you’re spreading the care package joy!

God bless!

Tony

 

April 2014 - Thank you from the troops in Afghanistan

April 2014 – Thank you from the troops in Afghanistan

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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