Adopt-A-Platoon Team

1-26 Blue Spaders Recon Unit

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1-26 Blue Spaders Recon Unit

The Blue Spaders are a Sniper Recon Unit that operated in the Korengal Valley (the Valley of Death) for over sixth months receiving support from the BVA AAP the entire time. We supplied them with cold weather boots and gear for the harsh winter.  During this time we lost three of them and one wounded.  Boots cost us dearly at $230 a piece for 30 men, but was worth it considering the job that these brave warriors were performing.  Typically they watched and waited, called in drone strikes and then picked off surviving Taliban scrambling out of caves. The National AAP helped to fund the purchase of the boots and JC Penny donated the sneakers.  Lt Deen and his crew were very generous with pictures and emails keeping us up to date on how they were doing.  They also took part in working with in the towns working with the village elders to protect them from the Taliban. 

We got the boots in just in time for Christmas and what an awesome gift.

My guys couldn't believe it. Thanks to Adopt-A-Platoon, the holidays aren't as bad. The boots are just what we needed. We will send pictures soon.

I can't thank you enough, Lt. Sam Deen

Sorry I have been out of the loop for a while. We have received the sneakers, woobies, and ghillie suits. Both are great and we really appreciate it. My guys are digging the lightweight and breathable they are being used. I have also set up a new operation downtown, hence my not being able to check email. The electric skillets you guys sent a while back are being used almost daily too. Things are going well. My guys are getting along pretty good with some recently successful missions.

Thanks again, and I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know how things are going.

Lt. Sam Deen

Pictured from left to right - SPC Richard Dyal, Lt. Sam Deen, SPC Lenneth Kim.  Look closely and you are staring into the botton of the Korongal Valley.  There is a town down at the bottom left.  This is the units COP where they would typically go out in small units on recon and sniper missions. 

Recon unit in Afghanistan (photo above and below).



Kym Jennings (right) of the JC Penney store at Roosevelt Field presents Ken Erickson of Brookhaven Lab's Adopt-a-Platoon program with 32 pairs of new sneakers, which will be delivered next month to U.S. soldiers stationed in Afghanistan.  2/27/09 

The members of U.S. Army reconnaissance platoon 1-26IN will be able to run faster and jump higher next month. On February 13, the JC Penney department store of Roosevelt Field donated 32 pairs of new sneakers to the soldiers through the local chapter of the Adopt-a-Platoon program, which is based at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

"We are so grateful for the donation from JC Penney, and the sneakers will go directly to soldiers in the front lines," said Ken Erickson, a Ridge resident and Brookhaven Lab employee who heads the local Adopt-a-Platoon chapter. "Most of these soldiers in the platoon are about 19 years old and they're somebody's kids. We want to do whatever we can to boost their morale and make them comfortable while they're there."

The sneakers are scheduled to arrive in the Middle East next month and will then be delivered via helicopter to the soldiers who are stationed in the mountains of Afghanistan. While the platoon originally requested 32 pairs of sneakers (one for each soldier), only 29 will be used. Since the original request, two members of the platoon have been killed and one has been injured.

Adopt-a-Platoon Soldier Support Effort is a national nonprofit organization that helps civilians to "adopt" a soldier or an entire platoon of soldiers by providing them with letters and items that they request including winter boots, shaving razors, magazines, snacks, and even backup generators. Adopt-a-Platoon accepts supplies and financial donations from individuals as well as local, regional, and national businesses.

The Brookhaven Veterans Association's Adopt-a-Platoon team has supported many platoons as well as deployed BNL employees and their children since its inception in 2007. Anyone who would like to adopt a soldier or a platoon, or contribute to the Adopt-a-Platoon program should contact Bob Duffin.

2009-1103 | Media & Communications Office

October 15th was the Fourth Annual 'Unity Day' for DOE’s Brookhaven Site Office (photo above).  For them, Unity Day was a time to reflect upon their different genders, ethnic and racial backgrounds and celebrate how they unify us and make us a wonderful office. This year’s theme was “We Are All Americans” and “Adopt-a-Platoon” was the main event. They collected and shipped items to the Recon unit and thanked them for representing our Nation so very far from home. 10/15/08

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Last Modified: January 14, 2015
Please forward all questions about this site to: Bob Duffin