Back-to-School Brigade Supports Army National Guard Family of Seven
For military spouse Raychel Mantz, budgeting is a must. She and her husband, Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Albert Mantz, have seven kids, ages 14 to 2.
The couple met during their senior year of high school and have been together since. Albert joined the Army National Guard 16 years ago and has been deployed once to Afghanistan.
About five years ago they settled in Clearfield, Utah, where Albert is stationed at Hill Air Force Base. He is the training non-commissioned officer for 142nd Delta Company Military Intelligence Battalion. Raychel taught online school but recently quit because their growing family needed her attention.
After they arrived, Raychel heard from the family readiness coordinator about an Operation Homefront Back-to-School Brigade (BTSB) event. The BTSB program provides school supplies to children in military families. She has attended a few of these events and the latest was August 2021. Her family enjoys them, and the kids all look forward to the event.
“I love how excited it gets the kids,” she said. “And it relieves the stress and burden of financial obligations to purchase school supplies, get a back pack for each kid, and with a lot of kids that’s a big deal to me to have that support. It’s such a good experience for my family.”
As a military spouse she appreciates the donors who support organizations like Operation Homefront that in turn benefit the entire family.
“It’s pretty much the world to the family,” Raychel said. “It’s such a big difference in dealing with the stresses of life to have somebody say ‘you need this? Here it is.’ It makes you want to cry.”