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Local mom sends ‘a little touch of home’ to soldiers

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Dee Rein is the group leader of Operation: MOM in Placer County. The local chapter of the nation-wide organization sends 100 packages every month to soldiers serving overseas. Q: What is Operation: MOM? A: “We are a support group for military families. What we do is we host a support and packing meeting once every month. When we show up everybody jumps in and we assemble our care packages for the troops. We brainstorm, we toss around ideas on how we can do fundraising, which we need to do to get our packages shipped out.” Rein said the meetings are also forums for family members of deployed soldiers to talk about their loved ones and share any concerns they might have. The organization is always in need of donations and more products for care packages such as snack foods and toiletries, Rein said. Q: How did the Placer County chapter of the organization start? A: “Operation: MOM in Placer County was started by Bobbi Park, whose Marine son was deployed to Iraq in January 2003. She saw a documentary about Operation: MOM in Castro Valley, met with the founders, and launched the Placer County group. About a year later the leadership transitioned over to me.” Q: What does Independence Day mean to you? A: “Independence Day means to me a celebration of being able to have the privileges and the rights to live as free as we do. Our troops are so patriotic that it makes you proud to be an American … They will die for their country (while) serving their country without question. It’s amazing. Even though Independence Day brings families together for barbecues and fun times, let’s remember that we are celebrating the privileges we have to live free in America due to the bravery and sacrifices of others. Help us continue our work of supporting our deployed troops by donating items for the care packages.” Q: How do you plan to celebrate the holiday? A: “I’m getting ready for my granddaughter to come out and see me from Oklahoma. This is my chance to get to see her, and she’s 9.” Q: What would you like to say to families who have a loved one currently serving overseas? A: “I would say keep the faith, support them without question. If they are local, Placer County, we welcome them in our support group. It’s really important that we support our troops … support the families because they are hurting just as much.” ~Bridget Jones ---------------------------------------------------- Operation: MOM in Placer County What: a support program for military families that sends care packages called “A Little Touch of Home” to troops deployed overseas. Next meeting: 6 p.m. July 20 at the Colfax Veterans Memorial Hall, 22 Sunset Circle, Colfax To donate: Operation: MOM, Placer County, P.O. Box 515, Auburn, CA 95604-0515 Auburn care package drop-off locations: Dawn’s Hallmark, 13390 Lincoln Way, UPS Store, 2945 Bell Road, Sierra Doctors, 275 Grass Valley Highway, Windermere Real Estate, 680 Auburn Folsom Road, Frank Lewis State Farm Insurance, 185 Linden Avenue, Scentchips, 1037 High Street For information: call Dee Rein, (530) 320-4954 Website: operationmom.org