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First Command’s Package Brigade sends care packages to troops

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When Vicky Rollins's brother, Lt. Col. Bill Greer, deployed to Iraq in 2003, she wished she could "send a little piece of home" with him. And she did. Rollins - an employee of First Command Financial Services Inc. - enlisted the help of a few co-workers, and together they packed and shipped six packages to Greer's unit in Iraq. Thus, the First Command Package Brigade was born.

Today, the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization has roughly 50 volunteers (mostly First Command staff, including Rollins's co-worker and husband Tom) who send hundreds of care packages for Valentine's Day, Easter, the 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holidays.

"Recently we packed 425 boxes for (troops in Afghanistan) in one hour and fifteen minutes," said Rollins. "We now partner with Hershey's, Star-Kist, Alcon, Frito-Lay, and 29 schools in the Laredo school district. We mail puzzles, games, sanitizers, beef jerky, letters, notes, cards, you name it."

As a former military spouse (Tom served in the Air Force for 28 years), Rollins knows how much little things from home mean to deployed troops.

"I can't think of a better way to say thank you to our Soldiers," she said.

First Command employees and field agents nationwide (some of whom have deployed themselves) donate regularly to support the Package Brigade, which operates out of First Command's corporate offices in Forth Worth, Texas.

"Every week I donate money," said Leslie Paulson, an employee at the Lakewood branch. "It's easy to donate when you know the names on the list," added her co-worker, Amanda Stafford, referring to military clients of First Command who are added to "the list" once they deploy.

"First Command focuses on helping Soldiers retire comfortably," said Rollins, "Tom and I focus on keeping them comfortable while they serve."

For more information visit or email Rollins at

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