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Family Story

Back-to-School Brigade® Saves Family Time

By Operation Homefront

June 20, 2024

Back-to-School Brigade Saves Family Time, Money 

With three school-age children and a deployed husband, Mandy Anderson knows the value of Operation Homefront’s Back-to-School Brigade goes beyond the financial value. 

Mandy saved time and enjoyed mingling with other military families at the August event in Goose Creek, South Carolina. 

“With inflation the way it is and prices being so high and everyone struggling, it was the biggest help to us,” she said. “But beyond that, when we’re having to buy clothes and shoes, not having to worry about school supplies was huge. The staff and the way they had it set up was awesome. We really enjoyed ourselves.” 

Her husband, Ernest, is a sergeant in the Army National Guard based at nearby Joint Base Charleston, and they have children – Mykel and Zyair, 9, and Jayden, 11. Ernest joined the military because he is proud of his country and wanted to defend it. 

“Not having to worry about school supplies was huge.” – Mandy Anderson, Army National Guard wife

Mandy first learned about Operation Homefront through a Facebook posting on a Holiday Meals for Military event in her area several years ago and keeps abreast of events through social media and the Operation Homefront website. 

“People think that everyone in the military makes lots of money when there’s not a lot of money made,” she said, “so the fact that there’s still some decent and kind and caring and giving human beings that support the military is absolutely a true blessing to us.” 

The Back-to-School Brigade program has distributed more than 500,000 school supply-filled backpacks to military children since its start in 2008.  

Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit that is celebrating 20 years of serving America’s military families this year, aims to help service members and veteran families build strong, stable, and secure futures.  

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