Local Initiatives

Co-op Sends Calling Cards to Troops

By Derrill Holly | ECT Staff Writer Published: November 18th, 2011

A Colorado electric cooperative is shipping phone cards to members of its local National Guard unit to help them maintain their connections to the folks back home.

Members of the 928 Area Support Medical Company of the Colorado National Guard prepare for deployment to Afghanistan, Jan. 3, 2011 (Photo By: Delta County Independent/Kathy Browning)

Members of the 928 Area Support Medical Company of the Colorado National Guard prepare for deployment to Afghanistan, Jan. 3, 2011 (Photo By: Delta County Independent/Kathy Browning)

“We’ve recently donated $928 to the Family Support Group of the 928th Area Support Medical Company of the Colorado National Guard,” said Tom Polikalas, communications/public relations supervisor for Delta-Montrose Electric Association.

The 80 members of the unit left Fort Carson, Colo., Jan. 4, for language and cultural training at Fort Lewis, Wash. Within weeks they were in Afghanistan, where members have been involved in emergency medical treatment and ground ambulance transport.

Known alternately as the “Mile-High Medics” and the “Witch Doctors,” the doctors, medics, nurses and support personnel are now in the final weeks of a year-long deployment. Their return to the United States is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 15, 2012, just after the holidays.

“The unit is based in Montrose, and many of its soldiers are consumer-members of our co-op, so this is a great way to help them keep in touch with their families,” said Polikalas.

Funds for the co-op’s “928-for-928” campaign came out of its Touchstone Energy® community budget.

The co-op has also been encouraging individuals and businesses to support the effort with donations of cash and phone cards to the Colorado National Guard’s Family Program Office.

DMEA board members Marshall Collins (left) and Mike Sramek (right) present a check to members of the Family Readiness Group of their local Colorado National Guard unit. (Photo By: DMEA)

DMEA board members Marshall Collins (left) and Mike Sramek (right) present a check to members of the Family Readiness Group of their local Colorado National Guard unit. (Photo By: DMEA)

“Touchstone Energy cooperatives across the country are committed both to their communities at home and to our friends and family members who are making sacrifices for us overseas,” said Dan McClendon, the co-op’s general manager.

The calling card drive is kicking off a season of commitment to helping the families of Colorado National Guard personnel and active duty military personnel deployed abroad this holiday season. The co-op’s headquarters is also one of several drop-off points for a toy drive organized for military families.

“DMEA is pleased to help some of the families of the men and women in uniform now serving abroad,” McClendon said. “The holiday seasons can be a difficult time, and people need to know that the sacrifices their loved ones are making are appreciated throughout the year.”


Tags: