A Soldier hears his name called at Mail Call - not expecting anything, he is surprised to be called. But, the real surprise was in the box - keys to a 2007 Jeep Patriot Limited!!!
SPC Alfonso Sanchez was the 250,000 recipient of a care package from Operation Gratitude.
What a great story provided by a great support group!!!
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 17, 2007 - Thousands of servicemembers get care packages with surprises in them every day, thanks to caring folks back home. Some of the surprises, however, are bigger than others.
Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit troop-support group, celebrated the packing of its 250,000th care package by teaming with Tri-State Jeep Dealers Association to put Army Spc. Alfonso Sanchez in the driver's seat of a 2007 Jeep Patriot Limited.
"We were thrilled to give a Jeep Patriot to a true American patriot," said Carolyn Blashek, Operation Gratitude's founder. "It is an honor to be able to recognize him and, through him, all servicemembers in uniform."
Sanchez, who received the package containing keys to the Jeep on July 24, is assigned to the 16th Military Police Brigade, which is serving in Iraq. He will receive the actual vehicle upon his redeployment to the states, hopefully by the end of the year, Blashek said.
Not expecting any packages, Sanchez didn't initially respond when his name was called.
"When they called my name, I was shocked, stunned, and I froze for a second, double-checking that my last name was Sanchez," he said. "The first thing I saw when I opened the box was a Jeep brochure, but they give those at the post exchange.
"I expected anything else but this vehicle," he said. "I don't have enough words, but with all my heart, thank you (Operation Gratitude) for all you do."