The City of Burlingame officially adopted Bravo Company, 1/327 INF, 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in May 2004 as our adopted soldiers. The adoption is part of the America Supporting Americans (ASA), which seeks to bond American communities with American men and women serving in the military.
An Adopt-a-Unit Committee was formed to enlist and inform Burlingame and the surrounding communities regarding the Adoption Program and how we can help Bravo Company either in the United States or on a foreign deployment. Our first major challenge was to support the Unit during Operation Iraqi Freedom 4 (OAF4). We did this by sending nearly 500 boxes of personal items to Bravo Company in Iraq from September 2005 through September 2006. The supply list came from the men themselves during a roundtable discussion we had with them during Week of the Eagles in May 2005 at Fort Campbell. We were successful because individuals, businesses, organizations and groups all made a show of support to our adopted sons possible. In return, we would receive emails from the men thanking us when the boxes arrived. Bravo Company soldiers were overshelmed with the generosity of people they did not even know. Before they left Iraq in 2006, we received dozens of hand-written letters from the men telling us, in their own words, how they felt about Burlingame's show of support. Imagine them thanking us when they are the ones supporting us every day no matter where they are stationed!
Our second great challenge is here. Bravo Company left of Iraq at the end of September 2007 for a 15-month deployment. The company is under the leadership of Captain Aaron Billingsley. About one-half of the company will be experiencing the hardships and dangers for the first time. Many of the others were with our company during OIF4. It looks as if our adopted soldiers will be assigned to the area around Baiji, which is about 140 miles north of Baghdad. Their mission will include security for power producing facilities, the Forward Operating Base (FOB) where they are stationed, and area patrols in local towns.
Once again we have a list from the Bushmasters on what personal items we could send to them in Iraq; you can find it on our Bravo Company Supplies web page. We are asking each of you to donate money (for mailing or supplies), or purchase items on the list, and to spread the word to family and friends so we can exceed what we did a year ago. If you have any questions please call or email the committee contacts listed on the supply list.
This is our chance to make a difference in the lives of others. Our motto, "It's about the people, not the politics," is what guides us to do small things for fellow Americans as they perform their sworn duties as members of our military. We have the opportunity to send such a strong, positive message to these young men. Please consider joining our group to make that difference.
The committee hopes you will continue to support our efforts and those of our troops during the next 15 months or as the men say, "Two Christmas',"
Don Dornell, Chairperson
Burlingame Adopt-a-Unit Committee