Operation Home Front

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It's also about remembering many area soldiers fighting to keep that freedom alive. Such spirit came out in full force in Freeport earlier Sunday afternoon. Volunteers showed that love one care package at a time.

Three years ago, Gulf War veteran Michael Brinkmeier had a patriotic calling. Michael says, “With everything that I've been through, being a Desert Storm veteran, being disabled with Gulf War illness, I wanted to make sure that the returning solider had something and that the families had something."

That something is these care packages wrapped and sealed by volunteers of Operation Home Front. The packages get sent to more than 230 area soldiers serving around the world. Some of the helpers have loved ones serving overseas while others are called by their love of the red white and blue.

Lindsay Reed, who has a brother in Iraq, says, "It's really cool. If I was over there and I needed a lot of stuff it'd be cool to have lots of people knowing that they cared about me."

The day was also about the anticipation of the exact return date for the 333rd Military Police Battalion. The unit was shipped to Kuwait last week and soon will likely be headed back to Illinois where patriotic supporters await.

Cal Westcott with the 333rd Family Readiness Groups told 23 News, "This area has really backed our cause and Operation Home Front really helped us support our troops while they were overseas."

And on the day that freedom first reigned in the United States, workers make sure the modern day patriot is given their proper due. It's a thank you that's put together one care package at a time.

Organizers say the 333rd will parade through Freeport upon their return. There will also be a party on September 11. If you are interested in helping out with care packages for Operation Home Front you can contact their headquarters at 815-235-7987.