Clay County resident, Darlene Kilker is doing her part to bring our troops home.
Kilker is spearheading "Operation Education", a donation only project to send school supplies to Iraqi school children in new schools. She got the idea for the project after speaking to her stepson, Tim Kilker, a member of the communication department from the Iowa National Guard's 234th Signal Battalion who is currently stationed in Iraq. In the conversation Tim had told Darlene that most of the troops were upset because they were being treated very poorly and it was taking a toll on their morale.
Darlene then recalled seeing on a news report that troops had rebuilt schools in Iraq. The report also flashed images of content children that were using the new dwellings the troops had built for them. After the conversation with her stepson she made a phone call to Sgt. Mike Ames to make sure that her idea could be and do everything she was hoping for. From there she called local businesses and started making boxes that could serve as drop-off points.
From those few phone calls and boxes "Operation Education" was born. "Operation Education" allows Clay County residents to donate new school supplies for Iraqi school children at designated drop-off points at Page's IGA, Wal-Mart or the National Guard Armory. After the donations are collected and delivered to the U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq, the soldiers will distribute the supplies to the Iraqi students.
"I think we should still support our sons and daughters over there so they know we haven't forgotten about them," Darlene says.
She has not set a deadline for the donations yet because she is attempting to expand "Operation Education" to surrounding areas in attempt to get as many people as possible to participate. Also, area businesses interested in donation boxes may contact Darlene at 448-8417.
Darlene pleads, "Please keep supporting our troops. Lets help them get their jobs done so they can get home faster."