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America Supports You: Wounded Fort Hood Troops Receive Laptops

American Forces Press Service

A Dell computer corporation representative helps to present 30 wounded soldiers recovering at Carl R. Darnall Medical Center at Fort Hood, Texas, with laptop computers on Dec. 21, 2007. The donations were made through Operation Homelink, a group that refurbishes donated computers and donates them to recovering servicemembers or families of deployed troops. Photo by Jon Connor

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2008 – Wounded servicemembers at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center on Fort Hood, Texas, recently got some help staying connected with loved ones during their recovery.

Operation Homelink, in collaboration with the Dell computer corporation, presented 30 refurbished laptops to wounded soldiers participating in the Army Wounded Warrior Program on Dec. 21.

The Army Wounded Warrior Program serves the most severely wounded, injured or ill soldiers and their families by helping them with their transition back into civilian or military life.

“This means a lot to us,” said laptop recipient Leslie Mansur, a recently retired member of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division and a participant in the Army program. “We cannot do our jobs as soldiers if it weren’t for the support and faith of the American people and for programs like (Operation Homelink).”

Operation Homelink is a supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and corporations with military personnel and their families serving at home and abroad.

Having e-mail access during recovery meets soldiers’ desires to stay in contact with fellow soldiers and family members, said Dan Shannon, founder and president of Illinois-based Operation Homelink.

Internet access also allows management of medical and financial matters and provides entertainment, which helps boost morale during extended recovery periods. Laptops provided to the most severely injured soldiers in the program have expanded functionality to run adaptive software and accessories.

“We are extremely grateful for Dell’s continuing support of our expanded efforts to support our wounded warriors,” Shannon said.

Operation Homelink strives to assist military support programs like Army Wounded Warrior Program by providing refurbished computers, which are donated by sponsors such as Dell.

“Dell has a longstanding relationship with the U.S. military,” said Troy West, vice president of Dell Federal. “We are proud to assist programs like Operation Homelink in providing technology that will help soldiers like those in the Army Wounded Warrior Program to not only keep in touch with family, friends and fellow soldiers, but to also assist in their recovery processes.”

Formed in 2003, Operation Homelink also provides desktop computers to families of servicemembers so they can stay in touch with deployed loved ones.

With this latest laptop donation, Operation Homelink has provided more than 100 laptops to wounded servicemembers. To date, the organization has connected more than 2,500 military families through its donations of laptop or desktop computers.

“If we ask our closest family members and dearest friends if they would die for us, we will get many different answers: but a soldier will die for us without being asked,” said Army Command Sgt. Maj. Rickey Tucker, who attended the laptop distribution event. “They do not often hear thanks or praise for their efforts, so it is very much appreciated when organizations like Dell and volunteers from Operation Homelink show how much they value the sacrifices being made on their behalf.”

(From an Operation Homelink news release.)

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