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Operation Back to School

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U.S. Marine Sgt. Nathen Gruden, 312th Training Squadron instructor, gives a free backpack full of school supplies to a child during Operation Back to School in the Event Center on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 10, 2017. The backpack included pencils, pens, notebooks and crayons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randall Moose/Released)

U.S. Marine Sgt. Nathen Gruden, 312th Training Squadron instructor, gives a free backpack full of school supplies to a child during Operation Back to School in the Event Center on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 10, 2017. The backpack included pencils, pens, notebooks and crayons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randall Moose/Released)

U.S Air Force Senior Airman Ariana Gordon, 17 Medical Operation Squadron dental assistant, demonstrates dental hygiene to a military family during Operation Back to School in the Event Center on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 10, 2017. The 17th Medical Group also provided child physicals at the clinic to ensure the children’s medical records are up to date. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randall Moose/Released)

U.S Air Force Senior Airman Ariana Gordon, 17 Medical Operation Squadron dental assistant, educates about dental hygiene to a military family during Operation Back to School in the Event Center on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 10, 2017. The 17th Medical Group also provided child physicals at the clinic to ensure the children’s medical records are up to date. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randall Moose/Released)

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randall Moose/Released)

Military members and their dependents line up to receive free backpacks full of school supplies during Operation Back to School in the Event Center on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 10, 2017. Local organizations donated school supplies to be given to military members and their dependents. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Randall Moose/Released)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

The 17th Force Support Squadron hosted Operation Back to School, an event to help military families prepare their children for school, at the Event Center, Aug. 10.

Various Goodfellow agencies teamed up with local sponsors to provide supplies, information and support to the families. Members with an E6 or below pay grade as well as veterans and their families were eligible to receive backpacks filled with school supplies.

During Operation Back to School, Goodfellow volunteers worked with Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable and secure military families.

“Operation Homefront helped donate backpacks to be given, for free, to military dependents,” said Theresa Goodwin, 17th FSS school liaison officer. “We wanted to bring every resource available to our families and make them aware of what is available to them.”

Local organizations donated school supplies to be given to military members and their dependents. The donations included pencils, pens, notebooks, crayons and a backpack.

“This event has helped me become aware of the many school programs offered on base,” said Tech. Sgt. Elijah Diraimondo, 17th Civil Engineer dorm manager. “It also helps me save money on school supplies.”

The 17th Medical Group provided child physicals at the clinic to ensure the children’s medical records are up to date. Safe Kids, a child safety organization, performed checks on car seats to ensure they were properly installed. The San Angelo Independent School District provided enrollment information for military children. The Youth Center provided information on their Child Development, School Age and Family Child Care programs for children 6 weeks to 12 years of age.

“We want to ensure our members are taken care of,” said Master Sgt. Brenda Dodson, 17th MDG first sergeant. “It’s important that our members know that we also take care of their families.”

The back to school event takes place each year with different organizations taking turns to host it.

“It makes me feel like our base and local community really cares about us,” said Diraimondo. 
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