I appreciate the care package and have shared it with the other Marines here. Your students and community sound wonderful and I think that they will accomplish great tasks that they will face in the future... Corporal, Marines

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Manatee's
Operation Troop Support

King Middle School
600 75th Street NW
Bradenton, Florida 34209

About Operation Troop Support

Our Mission

To support Manatee County's soldiers and thier families.

History

My name is Jim Comkowycz and I have been a Special Ed teacher for the past 31 years. On October 2, 2006 my son Jeffrey was deployed to Iraq with the 1st CAV. As part of my class's gift shop type business, King Balloons and More, my students have been trained to make snack baskets to sell to the students at King Middle School. While shopping at Sam's Club for snacks for my class, I decided to make a good quality snack basket for my son and members of his group. It was a natural and the Soldier Snack Pack was born. To date we have sent over 350 packs to our Soldiers.

Manatee Operation Troop Support was recently formed to provide support to Manatee County's soldiers and their families. MOTS plans to offer fun support activities to students with a deployed household member. We also have a goal of making free after school tutoring available for these students and returning Soldiers.

Goals

  1. To continue to send at least 40 Soldier Snack Packs per month. The students involved in King Balloons and More will continue to provide the man power for the Soldier Snack Pack assembly, shipping and any other clerical support that they can handle.
    1. Stamps for Soldiers
    2. Donated Snacks
    3. Fund Raisers
  2. Provide support to Manatee County students that have a household member deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan or Kuwait. Family is the first and most powerful influence on a person's life and these students and their families are in need.
    1. Identify these students.
    2. Provide information to guidance counselors, teachers, and parents.
    3. Provide fun support activities for students.
      1. Students will assemble 2 Soldier Snack Packs, pictures of activity will be taken and sent with the package going to their soldiers, and the additional Snack Pack goes home with each student to enjoy.
      2. Pizza and bowling party for students, pictures of activity will be taken and sent in a Soldier Snack Pack to their soldiers.
      3. Students will attend a Pittsburg Pirate Spring training game; pictures of activity will be sent to their soldiers in a Soldier Snack Pack
      4. Students will select class work to be sent to their soldiers and/or letters from teacher will be sent with Soldier Snack
    4. To provide free after school tutoring for students and returning Soldiers if needed.
    5. To help facilitate free counseling to the student if needed.
    6. To provide welcome home packet for Manatee soldiers to include Down Range to Iraq and Back by Bridget C. Cantrell, PhD. and Chuck Dean. Also provide gift certificate items from local businesses.
  3. Utilize outside resources to assist students when a household member has been killed in action.
    1. Gold Star Program, Department of Defense
    2. TAPPS
    3. HUGGS

Organization and Volunteering