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The Army’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center supports military families during back-to-school season

Photo credit Jennifer Carroll,
U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center

Military family members from the 20th Support Command and the 22nd Chemical Battalion participate in this year’s Back-to-School drive hand-off ceremony and collect school supplies for the following school year.

Photo credit Jennifer Carroll,
U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center

Col. Thomas Langowski, 20th Support Command deputy commander, and Suzanne Milchling, director of Program Integration at ECBC, kick off ECBC’s fifth Back-to-School drive hand-off ceremony while sharing welcoming remarks.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. ─ The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) held its fifth annual Back-to-School drive hand-off ceremony in its Berger Auditorium Aug. 20.

This event allowed military families from the 20th Support Command and the 22nd Chemical Battalion to select from a large variety of school supplies in preparation for this school year.

ECBC Director of Program Integration Suzanne Milchling, 20th Support Command Deputy Commander Col. Thomas Langowski and 22nd Chemical Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Andrew Miltner kicked off this year’s Back-to-School drive hand-off ceremony.

“We realize that our soldiers and their families make many sacrifices on a regular basis, and we are very thankful for their service,” Milchling said. “As a token of our appreciation, we’re glad to support them with back-to-school donations at the beginning of the school year.”

ECBC employees donated more than 4,600 back-to-school items valued at approximately $3,300. The items included more than 1000 pencils, 800 colored pencils, 500 erasers, nearly 300 washable markers, 120 crayon packs, 100 composition books and 18 book bags.

According to the National Retail Federation 2012 Back-to-School spending survey, the average person with children in grades K-12 will spend $688.62 on their children, as opposed to $603.63 last year. Combined K-12 and college spending will reach $83.8 billion, serving as the second biggest consumer spending event for retailers behind the winter holidays.

In an effort to help unburden military families during the back-to-school season, the contributions collected throughout this drive will benefit approximately 50 military families and their children.

“This drive not only brings lots of joy, but plants the seed of giving in children ─ especially in this day and age when dollars are tight,” said James Morris, Sgt. 1st Class and Chaplain’s Assistant at the 20th Support Command. “These kinds of efforts also alleviate other stresses and concerns that soldiers and their families have.”

“Furthermore, drives like these encourage reciprocation,” he continues. “Whatever I was going to spend on school items this year, I can use to help someone else.”

The parents and children that participated in the ceremony and stopped by to replenish their supplies for this school year expressed their gratitude for this opportunity.

“It’s really cool that we were able to be here,” said eleven-year old Hanna Wallace, daughter of Maj. Brandon Wallace of the 20th Support Command. “Now we don’t have to worry about Back-to-School shopping anymore.”

“I got everything I needed for the next school year.”

 

August 23, 2012

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