Upon their return on August 27, after training in the field for several weeks, soldiers assigned to the 185th Engineering Support Company of the Maine Army National Guard received two truckloads of school supplies collected by the Presque Isle Elks, Lodge #1954, working with Operation Homefront’s Back to School Brigade, to be distributed to dependents of the active Maine Army National Guard in Aroostook County.

The school supplies had been donated by customers of the Dollar Tree stores in Caribou and Presque Isle. The Presque Isle Elks made weekly pickups of the donated school supplies, which they sorted and boxed for distribution to the Maine Army National Guard dependents at two separate locations in Aroostook.

In commenting upon the donated school supplies, Captain Cook, , commanding officer for the 185th, said, “The soldiers of the 185th are truly appreciative of the generosity of customers of the Dollar Tree stores in Caribou and Presque Isle, as well as the efforts of the Presque Isle Elks, which donation the soldiers recognize as a genuine expression of gratitude and community support for the service of the troops of the 185th.”

Presque Isle Elks

Operation Homefront exists in order to provide supportive and emergency services to families of current military personnel. Throughout the year, it administers a number of programs in addition to the Back to School Brigade, such as the holiday toy drive and emergency housing services.

Reuben Caron, Exalted Ruler of the Presque Isle Elks, Lodge #1954, stated, “The work of the men and women of the 185th Engineering Support Company is of vital importance, both while we are at peace and during war. The Presque Isle Elks are extremely grateful for the willingness of these soldiers to serve and are thankful for the opportunity to convey that gratitude with the large quantity of school supplies with which the solders’ dependents can start the school year.

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