SOT volunteers are rewarded

SOT shoppers loading up for troop care packages

SOT shoppers loading up for troop care packages

Mike Hoernemann

With waving flags and decorated floats, Robson residents demonstrated their patriotic fervor during the annual July 4 parade. One group of residents were also thinking, as they do every day of the year, of their loved ones serving in dangerous and hostile environments thousands of miles from the safe confines of Robson Ranch.

Today less than one percent of Americans serve in our all-volunteer military. Robson Ranch currently has over 80 residents with close relatives serving in uniform. Most are sons, daughters or grandchildren. The basic mission of SOT is to support these families and their serving relatives. Monthly “care packages” are mailed to troops overseas, often responding to special requests from those in remote desert sites. Gift cards are sent to active duty personnel at Christmas, and birthday cards and written communications are mailed on a regular basis. In 2016 alone, SOT mailed over 200 boxes and 250 personalized cards, which were beautifully created by the Sassy Stampers.

The reward for SOT is the wonderful feedback we get from the troops. The following excerpts are from a letter read at the July meeting:

“The boxes you shipped…were a welcome relief and reminder of home! We continue to receive your boxes and every time they show up we are delighted by the treats within. Your thoughtfulness and appreciation are truly felt here in Baghdad, Iraq. The distance and separation of deployment can sometimes make the images of home and family fade (only slightly); your care packages are a great reminder of our purpose. The …Task Force…is feeling the love from you, our biggest supporters and from the great state of Texas.

“Here is a brief introduction to who we are and what we are doing. One of our missions is to help the government of Iraq, through its own military/police, find and defeat a radicalized faction of Sunni Muslims know as ISIS…. By engaging the enemy locally we degrade their ability to organize and commit atrocities on our turf, in our cities, in our nation. Your continued resolve to support us as we work only fortifies our resolve to keep you, our extended family, safe. We truly appreciate your continued thoughts and prayers as well as support to our families back home while we are forward….”

The author of this letter is married to the daughter of Robson residents who care for their daughter and their two grandchildren while their son-in-law is away on one of his multiple deployments to the Middle East. As stated above, this feedback is our reward.

Ranch residents are invited to show their support for the troops and their families by endorsing SOT activities. For an annual $10 tax deductible contribution, your name will be added to the list of residents who are supporting these families. Members are not required to attend any meetings or to volunteer for any SOT activities. Application forms are available under Clubs and Activities on the HOA website, or by contacting Mike Hoernemann at [email protected] or SOT secretary Bill Wright at [email protected].