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NEWS | Dec. 1, 2006

17 AS booster club participates in ‘Operation Sock Drop’

By Tech. Sgt. Paul Kilgallon 437 Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 17th Airlift Squadron booster club is always trying to find new ways to bring happiness to deployed servicemembers abroad.

Recently, the booster club and the Lowcountry chapter of the Airlift Tanker Association have teamed up to send socks to Soldiers.

They spent time talking with troops returning from the frontlines to assess what they felt their greatest needs were. What they discovered was many of our deployed troops are wearing their combat boots for 24 hours or more at a time.

To help with this problem the 17 AS booster club and the ATA teamed up with a manufacturer of high-quality military boot socks. These anti-fatigue socks are designed for assignments that require prolonged standing or excessive walking. The socks are specifically made for lightweight compression, which helps to increase circulation, enhance mobility, and reduce foot and leg fatigue. They are also made with a silver fiber, which is knitted into the foot area to provide permanent anti-microbial and anti-odor benefits.

"The first step was trying to figure out how to get the money to purchase the socks," said Maj. Laura Radley, 437th Airlift Wing plans and program officer and treasurer for the ATA. "A spouse of one of the ATA members recommended that the 17 AS booster club and ATA solicit some organizations from the local community to help offset the costs of purchasing the socks for the troops."

A local company here, contributed more than $2,000, said Major Radley. In addition to their initial contribution, this company solicited donations from each of their offices nationwide.

In a project, they dubbed "Operation Sock Drop" they helped the men and women of the 17 AS booster club and the ATA raise money for their cause.

With the support of the local community, donations were received from all over the country. The 17 AS booster club and the ATA were able to raise more than $5,000. With these donations in hand, the 17 AS booster club and the ATA were able to purchase more than 575 pairs of these top quality military boot socks.

"In return for the large order, and to show their support to the men and women serving overseas, the sock company contributed 36 pairs of socks for free, and agreed to send the packages out to us for free as well," said Capt. Aaron Boston, 437th Operations Group special operations director of operations and ATA member.

"We are working really hard to the get delivery over to servicemembers in Iraq before Christmas," said Captain Boston. "With the contacts we made in the AOR, the distribution of the socks to our men and women can take place as soon as the shipment arrives."