Operation Pioneer Spirit Seeks Airline Miles For Soldiers

One Saturday morning recently, Mary Anne Potter, founder of Operation Pioneer Spirit, received a phone call from local Ponca Citian, Marilyn Krepps, asking if Potter knew of any group that turned unused airline miles into emergency trips home for our soldiers deployed overseas. After extensive investigation, Potter discovered Soldiers’ Angels and decided this was another wonderful opportunity for Operation Pioneer Spirit to assist our fighting men and women.

In the summer of 2003, Sgt. Brandon Varn wrote home expressing his concern that some of his fellow soldiers never received mail or support from home. Being a caring and loving mother, Patti Patton-Bader, great-niece of  General George Patton, decided not to allow a situation like that to continue. She contacted a few friends and extended family to ask if they would write to a soldier or two. Within a few short months, Soldiers' Angels went from a mother and her friends writing a few extra letters to a non-profit group asking for donation of unused airline miles to be used by soldiers needing to get home for an emergency.

Unused air miles are so important to our soldiers. Emergencies arise.... Often many of our soldiers deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan or Kuwait need to get home immediately because of a death or serious family illness.... A spouse or parent of a wounded service member needs to get to the hospital where their loved one has been transported. However, many times these brave soldiers do not have the resources to purchase an airline ticket to return home to the states.

 Your donation of unused air miles will be instrumental in getting an Oklahoma soldier and his loved ones together as quickly as possible. You may be wondering how this program works. To get more information on how to donate your unused airline miles, you can contact Soldiers' Angels at donations@soldiersangels or call Patti or Gay at (626) 398-3131. The website for Soldiers' Angels, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization is: www.soldiersangels.org

Soldiers' Angels will ask you for your contact information, the number of miles being donated, the name of the airline and the expiration date, if any, on the miles. When the need arises, Soldiers' Angels will contact you to coordinate your unused airline miles and getting the airline ticket issued.

Soldiers' Angels is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting our brave men and women in uniform who are valiantly serving our nation in support of the War on Terror in Iraq, Afghanistan and wherever we proudly raise the flag of the United States of America, the greatest country in the world!

Soldiers' Angels mission is to provide aide and comfort to our brave American Heroes of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and the Coast Guard and their amazing families.  By working together and sharing a common vision of service, the volunteers of Soldiers' Angels take care of the needs of the deployed soldiers and their loved ones at home.

To date Operation Pioneer Spirit, which began in August. 2006, has sent an incredible 6000+ Pioneer Spirit boxes to our troops. It recently joined Operation Cell Phone For Soldiers which allowed Operation Pioneer Spirit to send hundreds of prepaid phone cards in Pioneer Spirit boxes to our Oklahoma troops fighting overseas. Operation Pioneer Spirit packs Spirit Boxes every second Wednesday at the Pioneer Woman Museum and is always in need of volunteers, items to send to our troops, and money to pay for shipping. You can find a list of needed items or more information about both Operation Cell Phones For Soldiers and Airline Miles For Soldiers at www.operationpioneerspirit.com.

This new project that Operation Pioneer Spirit has teamed up with, Airline Miles For Soldiers, will allow our Oklahoma soldiers in their time of greatest need, to return home for a family emergency and not have to worry about how they will pay for this trip home.

Potter concluded, “These are our brave Oklahoma kids and they are our American Heroes! If one of them needs to return home for a family emergency, then Operation Pioneer Spirit with the help of Soldiers’ Angels will see that finances do not stand in the way. These young men and women deserve our support, our help, and our eternal gratitude.  When an emergency back home makes it essential for one of our Oklahoma soldiers to return home in a hurry, donating your unused airline miles is one of the best ways to say thank you.”