There are still tens of thousands of American soldiers who are serving in war zones this Christmas.
“We still run across people that are amazed to find out we still have troops in the desert sand box,” noted Chuck Palmer. “They believe President Obama has pulled out all the troops.”
Palmer and his wife Terri have made it their mission to make sure our troops aren’t forgotten since they lost their son — Manteca High graduate and Marine Corporal Charles Palmer II — in Iraq during the Global War on Terror.
Some 8.5 years ago they launched the Charles O. Palmer II Memorial Troop Support Program in their son’s honor. The community has embraced the monthly program that has made it possible to send more than 23,000 troop support packages so far.
While almost all of the items shipped are donated, it costs more than $15 to ship each box.
That is the reason why volunteers are staging the Christmas & Caring Ball for Our Troops on Saturday, Dec. 17, from 5 to 10 p.m. at the MRPS Hall, 133 N. Grant St., Manteca.
Tickets for the event are $75 apiece or $600 per table.
It will include a comedy show and dancing to music provided by disc jockey Angel.
Marine Captain Gene Redding is the guest speaker. He has been deployed to the Middle East and is currently a financial advisor for Ameriprise Financial.
Navy veteran James (J.D.) Greer will sing the National Anthem. He has done the same prior to the start of an Oakland Raiders game.
Chris Teicheira will serve as the master of ceremonies.
Jason Resler — a professional comedian currently residing in Manteca — will stage the comedy show.
Some of the confirmed special guests include Assemblyman Elect Heath Flora, retired Army Major General Elden Regua, Marine Captain Elaine Porter, Marine 1st Sergeant Bryan Campbell, Manteca Mayor Steve DeBrum, and Tracy Mayor Robert Rickman.
“This is our single most important fundraiser of the year,” Palmer noted. “This fundraiser provides us with the ability to send care packages throughout the world to our deployed troops. Additionally, the program provides a ‘hand up’ should the families need assistance or even after the (solider) comes home they may need a hand up. We do not forget our veterans. If we are aware of a veteran in need, we will work with them and assist anyway we can. And for our Gold Star Families, as a GSF ourselves, we are very aware that a family will need help. We let them know we have been there and then (we) offer any service they may need.”
Among the sponsors of the effort are Sunrise Kiwanis, United Way of San Joaquin, Doctors Hospital of Manteca, Cherokee Memorial Park & Funeral Home, and the Manteca Chamber of Commerce.
Tickets are available by calling Chuck Palmer at 209.627.5147 or Teri Palmer at 209.627.5146.
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