Operation Homefront is ready to help families on Fort Hood get their children ready to go back to school with their Back-to-School Brigade 2016 distribution event, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 13 at the Bronco Youth Center.

“We’ve opened registration for military families who want to save a bundle on back-to-school supplies by getting them free from us,” said Stephen Thomas, regional communications manager for Operation Homefront. “All they have to do is visit www.operationhomefront.net/event/list, scroll down to the Fort Hood event under Aug. 13, and sign up. We’re going to give away a thousand backpacks and accompanying school supplies at the Bronco Youth Center on post. Fort Hood is currently on a wait list, though.”

Operation Homefront’s annual Back-to-School Brigade is a nation-wide school supply collection campaign hosted by the nonprofit. In 2015, the organization distributed more than 25,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to military kids across the country, according to the group’s website. Dollar Tree partnered with Operation Homefront as a presenting sponsor for the eighth year by setting out collection barrels from July 5 to Aug. 11 at over 5,000 Dollar Tree and Deals stores across the nation.

All families of active duty military in the ranks of E-1 to E-6 are eligible to receive the school supplies, as well as all families of post-9/11 wounded, ill or injured veterans of all ranks, Thomas said. Operation Homefront assists military families during difficult financial times by providing food assistance, auto and home repair, vision care, travel and transportation, moving assistance, essential home items and financial assistance.

The Back-to-School Brigade program is a nationwide campaign by Operation Homefront and Dollar Tree. This is the eighth year that Dollar Tree has partnered with Operation Homefront to provide school supplies to military children. Last year, Dollar Tree patrons purchased more than $5.6 million dollars of school supplies.

“Operation Homefront’s goal is to help military families to thrive — not solely struggle to get by — in the communities they have worked so hard to protect, and our amazing 10-year partnership with Dollar Tree and their incredibly supportive customers has allowed us to make a difference for tens of thousands of military families by helping to ease the financial burden many face during the back-to-school season,” said retired Brig. Gen. John I. Pray Jr., president and CEO of Operation Homefront. “We are absolutely delighted to partner with Dollar Tree, a caring corporate partner and a friend to military families, for an eighth year on our Back-to-School Brigade program.”

“We are proud to be a national sponsor of Operation Homefront,” said Chelle Davis, Dollar Tree spokesperson. “We are honored to once again participate in the Back-to-School Brigade and we thank our Dollar Tree customers for their continued generosity and support.”

Each Operation Homefront field office has few or no paid staff. Without the dedicated support of volunteers, the organization would not be able to accomplish its mission, according to their website. From special event to staff-level volunteers, each person makes a life-changing contribution to the troops, the families they leave behind and to wounded warriors when they return home.

Over the next six weeks, Operation Homefront will welcome thousands of military families into communities across the county through the Back-to-School Brigade, which is now in its ninth year of collecting and distributing backpacks and other school supplies to military families.

dbryant@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7554

dbryant@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7554

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