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Operation Gratitude kicks off 2012 Patriotic Drive

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"Our troops, their families and I are eternally grateful for your generosity. We are truly honored...and your support," said Operation Gratitude founder Carolyn Blashek in an email.

Operation Gratitude, which was founded in 2003, sends care packages to Servicemembers downrange and Wounded Warriors that are back home. They have also developed a Battalion Buddy program for military children with deployed parents. The Troop Care Packages contain food, toiletries, entertainment items and even personal letters of appreciation. To date, they have shipped over 750,000 care packages and hope to add another 100,000 boxes this year.

The next big wave of packages - which have an average value of $125 per box and cost $15 a piece to assemble and mail - will be assembled between April 22 and June 30 and shipped downrange soon after.  

For more information on how to donate to the 2012 Patriotic Drive, visit

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