You have reached a collection of archived material.

The content available is no longer being updated and may no longer be applicable as a result of changes in law, regulation and/or administration. If you wish to see the latest content, please visit the current version of the site.

For persons with disabilities experiencing difficulties accessing content on, please use the DoD Section 508 Form. In this form, please indicate the nature of your accessibility issue/problem and your contact information so we can address your issue or question.

United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

DoD News

Bookmark and Share

 News Article

Affleck, Other Celebrities Help Volunteers Assemble Care Packages

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2008 – Actor and director Ben Affleck and other celebrities joined more than 1,000 volunteers over the weekend to put together care packages for deployed troops at the National Guard Armory in Van Nuys, Calif.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Actor and director Ben Affleck helps Operation Gratitude volunteers assemble care packages for deployed troops in the National Guard Armory in Van Nuys, Calif. Courtesy photo

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Operation Gratitude, a California-based troop-support group, organized the event that also included actress and model Kathy Ireland and “Days of Our Lives” soap opera stars Deidre Hall, Jay Kenneth Johnson and Leanne Hunley.

"Every time we reach a milestone package, it is an acknowledgment of the immense generosity of the American people, and ultimately a tribute to our brave men and women in uniform who inspire each of us to be part of something greater than ourselves,” Carolyn Blashek, Operation Gratitude’s founder, said.

Community volunteers stuffed, taped, labeled and transported thousands of care packages, not stopping until Charlie Othold, director of operations, announced that the 400,000th package had hit the assembly line.

“This milestone package represents 20 million individual items, more than 2.8-million pounds and $40 million worth of product that Operation Gratitude has sent to troops deployed overseas since 2003,” Othold said.

During the event, Los Angeles City Councilman Greig Smith presented the organization with a check worth more than $11,000, and Ireland thanked the volunteers for their “extraordinary devotion and hard work.”

On Dec. 14, Blashek presented Affleck with an American flag flown over Multinational Corps Iraq headquarters in honor of his support of Operation Gratitude.

Affleck stressed the importance of thanking U.S. servicemembers, especially during the holidays, when they are far from home and loved ones.

Contact Author

Related Sites:
Operation Gratitude

Additional Links

Stay Connected