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Putnam Honors Veterans With 'Operation Defend The Holidays'

County Executive MaryEllen Odell said our nation's servicemen and women give of themselves every day of the year and are deserving of a care package during the holidays. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Donations that will send care packages to our troops overseas can be made at the Putnam County website - www.putnamcountyny.com/carepackage. Photo Credit: James O'Rourke

CARMEL, N.Y. – Putnam County government officials and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department will be working alongside United for the Troops this holiday season to fund care packages for U.S. servicemen and women overseas.

Now in its second year working with the county, the effort, known as "Operation Defend the Holidays," solicits donations from the public. Each donation of $15 covers the cost of one care package to be shipped overseas, according to organizers.

“The men and women soldiers serving overseas have sacrificed so much to protect our liberties and defend our freedoms; it is a gift that’s given to us every day of the year,” Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said. “Sending a comfort package lets the troops know we are thinking about them during the holiday season.”

Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith echoed Odell’s sentiment and urged those who are able to donate to the cause to do so.

“Speaking from my own experience as a soldier who was posted overseas during Christmas, I can personally attest to how uplifting it is to one’s morale to receive a care package from back home,” he said.

United for Troops, a nonprofit organization started in 2007, sent out 360 soldier packages last holiday season while working with Putnam officials.

Those who intend to donate materials should know that cookies, DVDs, CDs, snacks and t-shirts are among the most enjoyed items, organizers said.

Those who donate will be given a card acknowledging the gift and have their name appear on a virtual wall highlighting donations.

Donations can be pledged by submitting the form found at Putnam's county website. Terry Oliver, Odell’s confidential secretary, is accepting the contributions. Checks can be mailed to Terry Oliver, 40 Gleneida Ave., Third Floor, Carmel, N.Y. Oliver can be reached at 845-808-1001 or via email .

Checks can also be made out to United for the Troops with Operation Defend the Holidays written in the memo section. The deadline for all donations is Dec. 18.

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