Grissom Airmen get ready for back-to-school

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Rachel Barton
  • 434th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The waning summer days signal that back-to-school season is here.

The Grissom Military and Family Readiness Center partnered with the Indiana Uniformed Service Organizations and Operation Home Front to provide backpacks and school supplies to the families of military members, during the August Unit Training Days.

“This is something we look forward to doing every year,” said Stacey Pennington, Military and Family Readiness program manager. “We’ve done this for the last few years now. The members look forward to it and we’re very fortunate that we’re able to provide it to them for this school year.”

The Indiana USO provides the backpacks and OHF’s Back-to-School Brigade partner with Dollar Tree to collect and distribute school supplies to military children each year.

“Every little bit helps,” said Pennington.  “To be able to have those backpacks and lunch bags, that’s an expense that doesn’t have to come out of the members’ pockets.

Many of the Airmen at Grissom have multiple students returning to school this fall, and the cost of backpacks, notebooks, and folders can get expensive.

“I have four kids in school right now,” said Master Sgt. John Simmons, 434th Maintenance Squadron munitions flight chief. “The older ones were already taken care of but I was able to pick up supplies for the two younger ones, a seventh grader and fifth grader, so this is a big help.” 

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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