Operation Gratitude and CSX host Assembly Day for deployed troops

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., — Local Jacksonville volunteers will gather to pack 10,000 holiday care packages to be mailed to Carrier Striker 10 Fleet which includes Jacksonville’s USS Black, on Saturday, October 22, at Jacksonville’s Jumbo Shrimp Stadium.

”Operation Gratitude,” a national non-profit organization, is working in tandem with CSX, a Jacksonville-based transportation company that provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services, to assemble these holiday care packages to mail to deployed service members of the Carrier Striker 10 fleet USS George H.W. Bush which is stationed near Ukraine, supporting operations in Eastern Europe.

Operation Gratitude Care Packages contain snacks, personal care and hygiene products, handmade items, as well as handwritten letters from grateful Americans.

According to a CSX spokesperson, “Thousands of service members are deployed worldwide, separated from their loved ones and the comforts of home. Sadly, many troops rarely get mail and some never do. Receiving mail during Mail Call is important to service member’s morale and well-being, especially during a difficult deployment and while being away from family. Care Packages like these are a little piece of home and a reminder that a grateful nation stands with them,” they said.

Operation Gratitude is described as a part of CSX’s Pride in Service community investment initiative, which focuses on delivering resources and support to military members and their families, “when and where they need it.”

For those unable to attend, Operation Gratitude welcomes volunteers to help with their “Handmade with Love” program, letters they describe as the most cherished items in the Care Packages.

“Anyone can make a significant impact by jotting a simple note of gratitude to be included in a Care Package to our military, Veterans, or first responders,” they said.

The National Anthem kicks off the 10:00 a.m. The event that runs until 3 p.m. and is located at Jacksonville’s, Jumbo Shrimp Stadium, 301 A. Philip Randolph Blvd. Jacksonville, FL. 32202.

Lucia Viti

Lucia Viti

Lucia Viti is a seasoned journalist, photojournalist, and published author and works as a reporter for WOKV News. Lucia is a graduate of the University of West Virginia with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism.

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