Serving for a worthy cause
Local guardsman reflects on service
A man who has been deployed overseas before, U.S. National Guard Corporal Mark Gagne understands what a care package from back home can mean. Which is why he elected to take part in Chick-fil-A’s Support Our Troops Fundraiser for Operation Sandbox.
“ This is really a worthy cause,” Gagne, 49, said. “ We’d like to see more people come out. I haven’t personally been in combat, but most everybody in my company has and they really enjoyed the cards and packages last year, especially around the holidays.”
The Saturday event was a first for Chick-fil-A, but would not be the last, said Virginia Pearson, the head of Operation Sandbox.
During the fundraiser, cards and food items for gift baskets were donated including Slim Jims, chewing gum, pudding, Gatorade singles, trail mix and granola bars. So far this year, Operation Sandbox has collected more than 30,000 cards for soldiers overseas.
Gagne said Pearson and Operation Sandbox had sort of adopted his company, Bravo Company, many of whom have been or are deployed overseas.
For the past three years, Gagne has served in the National Guard and, in 2009, he will be deployed to Afghanistan. Before joining the National Guard, Gagne served for nine years in the U.S. Navy.