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Adopt a Military Division

posted Mar 27, 2016, 8:49 PM by Jeffrey Wolf   [ updated Mar 27, 2016, 8:50 PM ]

By: Korey Alder, Photography Editor

Posted October 25th, 2015

From October 26-28th, the social studies department here at Slinger High School will be collecting items and letters to send to soldiers overseas.

The lucky recipients of these care packages are the Wisconsin National Guard 2nd Battalion of the 135th Aviation Regiment, who are currently working in Kuwait as a medevac unit. This particular medevac unit uses UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter to extract injured troops, provide medical assistance during transport to medical facilities, and transfer patients between hospitals.

According to the WI Dept. of Military Affairs, most of the medical requests the unit has responded to thus far have either been patient transfers or heat related injuries. Staff Sergeant Jason Sweet described the working conditions: “Kuwait is by far the hottest place I have ever been,” he said. “Most thermometers here cannot give accurate readings because they do not go past 120 degrees.” Kuwait holds the record for the 3rd highest temperature ever recorded, at 128°F.

The unit has been supporting Operations Inherent Resolve and Freedom’s Sentinel (whose goals are to limit the spread of terrorism in the Middle East and fight ISIS) since the end of May, and won’t be returning for several months.

Captain Casey Voss, the man in charge of the 2nd Battalion (and cousin to social studies teacher Mrs. Stolaski), is glad of Slinger’s support, explaining that many of the soldiers under his command don’t receive gifts from home. The soldiers are stationed more than a fourth of the way around the world, entering potentially hostile situations to, as Voss puts it, “ensure the worst day of [soldiers’] lives [do] not become their last.” Even though communication with their families back in the US is possible, there’s no way to truly make up that distance.

Students can help out the soldiers’ moral by writing letters addressed to the 2nd Battalion, and donating items to school for the creation of care packages. Items to bring include beef jerky, Girl Scout cookies, dehydrated fruit, k-cups, granola bars, magazines, and non-regular beef sticks – along with any letters. These need to be in by the 28th, so they can be organized and make the week-long, 6 ½ thousand mile trip to Kuwait in time for Veterans Day.

Students can also support the troops this Veterans Day by purchasing stars at school, with proceeds going to the Honor Flight program.

You can read more about the 135th on the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs website at the following links: