Placer County Navy League could keep Operation: MOM afloat

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - Placer County’s Navy League chapter is throwing surviving Operation: MOM volunteers a lifeline. Operation: MOM folded at the end of the year in Placer County after eight years of sending “care” packages to troops serving overseas worldwide. But Tom Jones, an Auburn resident with two grandchildren in the U.S. military, teamed with other volunteers who wanted to keep the effort going to find a new partner with an already established, non-profit designation. The Placer County Council of the Navy League, which meets in Auburn, is now working with former Operation: MOM volunteers to keep a reorganized group afloat and sending packages to troops. Jones said he’s confident after a meeting with the Navy League on Monday that while the Operation: MOM program won’t continue under that name, it will continue in a revitalized form to do good things for military personnel from a Placer County base. “The Navy League is willing to operate an Operation: MOM type of program,” Jones said. “We’re thinking of calling the new program ‘A Touch of Home’ but everything will basically stay the same.” The Placer County chapter – part of a non-profit that also has chapters in the Bay Area – ceased operations at the end of 2011 after group leader Pat Ryan stepped down and no one took her place. Jones said that the group, which works out of donated space at the Auburn Municipal Airport, has about 100 volunteers who serve throughout the year. Folsom’s Rolling Hills Blue Star Moms, which also sends care packages to troops, was named as a successor organization. But Jones said there was continued interest in keeping the effort local. Mike Holmes, Placer County Council of the Navy League vice president, said his organization allows non-veterans and military personnel as members. A check with Navy League headquarters in Washington, D.C. determined that the Operation: MOM successor group could become part of the Placer County council if a preponderance of its members join the Navy League, Holmes said. “We proposed that if members of the group wish to join the Navy League council, we would be more apt to take responsibility,” Holmes said. The annual dues the national organization charges to be a Navy League member total $50. “The mission of the Navy League is to support the sea services but since packages will be going to Marines and Nave personnel, it kind of fits in,” Holmes said. Care packages for the troops Interested in getting involved with a Navy League effort to aide the troops? Contact Tom and Bonnie Jones at (530) 885-0366. Editor's Note: Because of technical difficulties, this story was reposted at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 19 and the previously posted copy of the story, with no changes, was taken offline.