Thursday, April 05, 2007

Operation Aces High: Poker Run for the Troops

Soldiers' Angels in Kansas City and American Legion Riders Post 370 are joining wings and wheels for the first Annual Operation Aces High: Poker Run for the Troops, Sunday, June 3, 2007.

The funds raised will be used to provide First Response Backpacks for our wounded men and women in uniform.

From Soldiers' Angels:

On today's battlefield wounded American soldiers are no longer hospitalized in the combat area of operations. Rather they are transported to a Combat Support Hospital for initial treatment and, if further medical treatment is warranted, the soldiers are transported to an American hospital in Germany. The medical treatment and transportation occur with such speed that the soldiers often arrive in Germany wearing the same uniform that they were wearing when they were wounded. The soldiers' gear and personal items rarely catch up with them.

In an effort to provide comfort to these wounded heros, the First Response Backpack was developed by a nonprofit organization named Soldiers' Angels. The First Response Backpack is a backpack stuffed with personal items which are necessary and vital to the physical comfort of the soldiers. A typical First Response Backpack contains a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, shampoo, soap and other hygiene products. It also contains articles of clothing and undergarments to provide the soldier some relief from the airy hospital gowns. A phone card is included so that the soldiers can call their family members while they recover. Each pack also contains a blanket. The blanket, dubbed a "Blanket of Hope" is handmade by Soldiers' Angels volunteers and is accompanied by a note of well wishes for each soldier.

Soldiers' Angels wants to invite you to join us in supporting our troops. The Poker Run will begin registration at 9:00 AM, Sunday, June 3, 2007 at the American Legion Post 370 7500 W. 75th St., Overland Park, KS, 3 blocks west of Metcalfe (rain or shine). Registration at the door is $25.00 for the first hand and $10.00 per each additional hand. Pre-registration is available. The pre-registration fee is $20.00 for the first hand and $10.00 for each additional hand.

You can pre-register by downloading this form: Soldiers' Angels Operation Aces High: Poker Run for the Troops (pdf). All pre-registration forms should be completed and mailed by May 12th, 2007.

Ride t-shirts can be pre-ordered on the above registration form for $15.00 each.

The bikes will leave the American Legion at 11:00 AM. All bikes should return by 4:30pm. Prizes will be announced at 5:00pm. Cars (cages) are welcome. Water, soda and food will be available for purchase. UPDATE: A BBQ will be held at the close of the ride at the final post, American Legion Post 370. 50/50 raffles will be held at specified destinations. Destinations and a map will be made available at this site, stay tuned.

One of the great prizes that we were able to obtain for our "winning hand" is an American Flag flown in our honor at a forward operating base in theater and will come with a certificate and other verification of authenticity. A second flag, seen below, will be auctioned in a "silent auction" at the American Legion Post 370. Bids can be placed before and after the run. This flag was flown on a river patrol boat on the Tigris River in Iraq and comes complete with a certificate and pictures for verification.

A second flag flown over a land base or FOB (forward operating base) in Iraq or Afghanistan, along with photos and certificate, will be placed for "silent bidding" to help raise direct cash funds.

Please bookmark this site so you can get all of the latest information.

If you have any questions, please email Kansas City Soldiers' Angels.

Soldiers' Angels and the American Legion Riders Post 370 thank you for supporting our troops. We look forward to seeing you there.

What is a Poker Run?

A Poker Run is an organized motorcycle event where riders travel over a prescribed course and at designated stopping points, select a card. At the end of the run, the person with the best poker hand wins a prize. Poker Runs usually require a fee to enter with a part of the proceeds going to charity. The rules for Poker Runs vary depending on the event.

More about First Response Back Packs:

On May 10, 2006 Soldiers Angels shipped the 5,000th First Response Backpack The packs have been shipped to Combat Support Hospitals in Iraq and to all of the United States Military hospitals worldwide. The work of Soldiers' Angels has been recognized by the Department of Defense and Patti Patton-Bader, the group's founder and the niece of General George S. Patton, has been awarded the Civilian Award for Humanitarian Service by the Department of the Army.

However, the greatest recognition has come from the wounded hero's themselves:

"I want to thank your organization personally for the back packs that you have provided for the wounded and sick soldiers here ... As the 1SG of this company, I want you to know that these back packs put smiles on the soldiers' faces and that's priceless."

A hospital worker recounted her experience with a soldier who had received a First Response Backpack. She stated, " When his parents arrived the first thing he showed them was his Purple Heart, the second was his Blanket of Hope from Soldiers Angels! I cannot tell you the emotional thank you we received from this young soldier's mother!"

Hi, I was recently wounded in combat in Iraq..It was a pretty good hit and when I was medevac'd obviously I didnt get to grab some important items:) I woke up the next day and had nothing to wear or any hygiene uniform I had on was bloodsoaked and unwearable..This very sweet nurse (in the pic) brought me a backpack full of goodies from you folks and there was even pajamas:) the hospital robes didnt fit me and I just managed to squeeze your clothes on:) I felt alot better with a shower and some pants on...all with your gift. I ended up having to go to a few more hospitals by helocoptor to get some specialist work done as some of the wounds were deep..I took the bag with me everywhere it was all I had..It was the best thing that could have happened at that time..I just wanted to say thank you for all you nice people do...Here is a pic when I was nurse, my friend on the left and thats me with the new "facejob"..thanks again, Sgt. Cary

About Soldiers' Angels

The Soldiers' Angels was started by a self-described ordinary mother of an ordinary young man turned hero, Sgt. Brandon Varn. Brandon was deployed in Iraq and has since honorably completed his mission and has returned back to his proud and loving family.

In the summer of 2003, he wrote home expressing his concern that some soldiers did not receive any mail or support from home. Being a caring and loving mother, she decided not to allow a situation like that to continue. She contacted a few friends and extended family to ask if they would write to a soldier or two. Within a few short months, Soldiers' Angels went from a mother writing a few extra letters to an Internet Community with thousands of angels worldwide.

With more and more merchants donating services, money and items for packages, the Angels reorganized as a 501 c 3 non-profit so all donations would be tax deductible. Soldiers' Angels currently supports thousands of American Service Members stationed wherever we raise our Country's Flag and the number is growing daily. Soldiers' Angels are dedicated in supporting our military during and after their deployment.

In December of 2004 a worldwide support forum was created. In hopes of providing a place where needs of our heroes can be fulfilled

A special thanks to John Donovan from Castle Argghh for hosting our registration sheet and for all the things he does for Kansas City Soldiers' Angels.

- May no soldier go unloved
May no soldier walk alone
May no soldier be forgotten
Until they all come home