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Campers Collect Items for Troops Overseas

Donations presented to mother of U.S. Army Private Matt O'Hern of West Caldwell who has been deployed to Afghanistan.

Boxes and boxes of shaving gel, razors, toothbrushes, hand sanitizer and other items needed by American troops overseas are making their way from Caldwell to Afghanistan. 

The toiletries, snacks and magazines were presented by Camp Caldwell Friday to Leanne O’Hern, mother of U.S. Army Private Matt O’Hern of West Caldwell, and will be making their way to her son and his unit.

Matt served as the camp’s EMT last summer and up until a few weeks ago when he left New Jersey

The campers made donations to show their support.

“He’s put a Band-Aid on every kid here,” said Rob Paterson, director of the , home of Camp Caldwell. “What’s important to me is that [the soldiers] know somebody cares.”

Paterson said campers had about two weeks to bring in donations. The results were “overwhelming,” according to Matt O’Hern's mom.

“I can’t put into words what this means to Matt and the troops in Afghanistan,” she said. “Some borders have been shut making it difficult for supplies to be delivered to some areas of Afghanistan, so the troops depend on donations.”

Along with the supplies, Leanne O’Hern was presented with an American flag created by the campers using their handprints. They also wrote personal letters to her son.

“I felt so many emotions while I read over them before sending them out,” she said.

Shannon Cornine, director of Camp Caldwell, said Matt is “awesome” and a lot of the campers know him.

“He was really good with the kids,” she said.

Anybody interested in writing to U.S. Army Private 2 Matt O’Hern or sending him care packages, should contact Lisapaulbeaver@aol.com.

Cathy Jansen August 22, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Many thanks to all of the kids at Camp Caldwell. I'm Matthew's aunt. What you did for him and the other soldiers was so very kind, and I just wanted to personally thank you all for supporting my nephew!! :) Cathy

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