Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. – The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) sponsored its fourth annual Back-to-School drive hand-off ceremony Aug. 23, 2011.
The hand-off ceremony presented the military families of the 20th Support Command and the 22d Chemical Battalion with much needed school supplies. This year, military families of the 1st Area Medical Laboratory and 9th Area Medical Laboratory also attended the hand-off ceremony and received donated school supplies.
During the month-long drive, ECBC employees donated more than 6,500 items – an 800 item increase from last year – valued at approximately $4,500. The items included: 1,514 pencils; 904 pens; 24 backpacks; 30 lunch boxes; 53 pencil cases and other necessary school-related materials. According to the National Retail Federation 2011 Consumer Intentions and Actions (Back to School) survey, the average American will spend $603 to equip a K-12 student to go back to school for clothes, shoes, electronics and supplies.
The Back-to-School drive contributions will benefit more than 300 military families and their children. To Staff Sgt. Kenneth Heningburg, 22d Chemical Battalion, the school supplies are
invaluable. “I have a family of five, so anyway that I can save money helps a lot…I appreciate what ECBC has done and don’t take anything for granted, I’m very thankful,” he said.
The hand-off ceremony took place at the 22d Chemical Battalion headquarters and was kicked off by Lt. Col. Andrew Miltner, Commander 22d Chemical Battalion (Technical) Escort, and
Joseph D. Wienand, ECBC Technical Director. Both Lt. Col Miltner and Wienand communicated the importance of supporting warfighter families.
While expressing his gratitude, Lt. Col. Miltner explained “the relationship between ECBC and the 22d Chemical Battalion has been long standing, and the soldiers and their families have enjoyed excellent support from leadership and employees. This is yet another example of that devotion.” As a token of gratitude for ECBC’s dedication and support, the 22d
Chemical Battalion presented Wienand with a personalized appreciation plaque.
The success of the drive was a direct result of tremendous behind-the-scenes support of the Back-to-School drive volunteers. The volunteers not only contributed goods, but also picked up donations from numerous buildings across Edgewood and sorted, counted and boxed the items for transport to the ceremony site. Marti King, Family Readiness Support Assistant for the 22d Chemical Battalion, knows how important it is to honor and support our military families for their strength and sacrifices.
As part of the Battalion, King feels that the soldiers and their families are part of her family, stating “I know these supplies mean a lot to them. I know how grateful they are to ECBC for showing their support and appreciation not only to those serving, but also to their
ECBC is the Army’s principal research and development center for chemical and biological defense technology, engineering and field operations. ECBC has achieved major technological advances for the warfighter and for our national defense, with a long and distinguished history of providing the Armed Forces with quality systems and outstanding customer service.
ECBC is a U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command laboratory located at the Edgewood Area of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. For more information about the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, please visit our website at http://www.ecbc.army.mil or call (410) 436-7118.
Note: Over 6,500 items were donated during the month-long drive.