Coyotes receive gift from First Lady

  • Published
  • By Tech Sgt. Angela Brees
  • 190th ARW Public Affairs
A special gift awaited 190th Air Refueling Wing members at this year's holiday party - gift bags personally filled by First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden and scores of volunteers from Washington D.C.

Forbes Field was one of three bases selected to receive the gift bags. Families of deployed Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and families of deployed Naval personnel from Little Creek, Va., will also received care packages in December.

"This type of support solidifies what it means to be citizen soldiers and Airmen in the National Guard," said Col. Keith Lang, 190th ARW commander. "It's great to see the businesses and organizations that our Airmen may work for exemplify their respect for the service and sacrifice of our service members and their families."

Blue Star Families, the organization that spear headed the effort, teamed up with Target and PBS to present 190th ARW families with the gift bag, which included a camera, an electronic key chain, board game, and gift certificates. The bags also came with a special handwritten note from a volunteer, thanking the veteran for their service and recognizing the sacrifice made by military families.

"Blue Star Families created this care package program to provide some welcome care and comfort to our deployed families, and to let them know that America supports them and is thankful for their service," said Claire Woodward, executive director of Blue Star Families.

Communications Flight member Senior Airman Rachael Ortega, who brought her 7-year-old niece, Allison, to the party, was excited to learn about the Blue Star Families organization.

"The bags were great, and it was great learning more about Blue Star Families and what they do for military families," she said. "I may even join."

Master Sgt. Kristina Perkins, Operational Support Flight, was equally excited about the gift bags.

"These bags are so cool," Perkins said. "The cameras in there - wow! Everyone is loving them."

Denise Winton, Family Readiness Coordinator, and planner of this year's holiday party, appreciated the significance of these donations.

"Someone may have a note from Mrs. Obama or Mrs. Biden. We are making history," she said.

"This is great effort made by these outstanding organizations," said, Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, Kansas Adjutant General. "With the holidays upon us, it offers a time of reflection for the gifts of freedom our service members have fought both home and abroad for."

Blue Star Families launched the "thx box" care package for military families at a Service Nation Veteran's Day event in Washington D.C. attended by First Lady Obama and Dr. Biden. Volunteers from Blue Star Families, City Year, George Washington University and groups around the D.C. area joined with Target team members to assemble more than 500 care packages.