Slideshow: Calling in the troops

by Matt Hamer
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MAYSVILLE, OKLA. — For the second year in a row, Burford Corp., Maysville, sent 11 care packages weighing more than 400 lbs to benefit over 250 members of the Armed Forces from various branches for the holidays.

The care package project is the brainchild of Kent Turner, Burford employee and member of the National Guard, who has been assembling and sending care packages on his own since returning from his last deployment in 2009. Noting a continued need in those he knows still serving, he turned to Fred Springer, Burford’s president and chief executive officer, for help.

“I had a former soldier post on Facebook about how he had been in Afghanistan for four months and received zero letters,” said Mr. Turner. “Knowing how supportive Fred has been of my military duties, I reached out to him and asked if he would like to put a package together.” 

Mr. Springer not only donated items himself but asked Mr. Turner to extend the invitation to the rest of the company. Burford has sent 1-2 packages a month since the initial donations, leading up to an annual year-end push for the holidays. Donated items include special snacks, hygiene products and other items difficult to find for deployed soldiers that remind them of home such as scented candles and homemade cookies. Any money donated goes to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).

This year’s holiday packages were sent to 379 ECES/CEF, a flight of 59 Airman and Woman serving in Bahrain.

Capt. Randall F. Wright, member of the U.S. Army Field Artillery and recipient of one of Burford’s care packages, expressed the morale boost that his soldiers experienced upon its delivery.

“It served as a reminder that we are here supporting our way of life back home, our people’s livelihood, our friends and their families that are just like us — trying to keep food on the table and go home at night after working all day to provide for their loved ones,” he said.

Burford has a long history of support for the U.S. military and recently received the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award from the Oklahoma State Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), their highest honor. The company employs 14 military veterans and three active Gaurdsmen, a total of 20% of its workforce. One-hundred per cent of its employees participated in the care package project this year.

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