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Service member distributing back to school free supplies.

Family Story

Backpack Drive Helps Army Family with Six Children

By Operation Homefront

July 15, 2022

Backpack Drive Lightens the Load for Army Family with Six Children

Caley Lewis faced the start of the school year for her six children with a pending move across base and her husband deployed overseas.

Receiving school supplies for the five boys and one girl through Operation Homefront’s Back-to-School Brigade program came as a huge relief.

The busy mom didn’t have to invest time or money in shopping for all the supplies for the children, who range in age from 3-year-old twins boys to a 15-year-old daughter.

“Back-to-school stuff is very expensive – about $200 a kid,” said Caley, whose husband, Spc. Christopher Lewis, is an airborne infantryman with the 4th Brigade Combat Team stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

Christopher enlisted in the Army to ensure a stable future for the family.

He was a cook at a Florida steak restaurant and Caley was working as a hair stylist when the twins were born. Despite both of them working, they were struggling with making ends meet and finding time for family.

A friend who was a veteran told Christopher about the military benefits, and he decided to enlist.

The family appreciates the support military families receive from Operation Homefront and donors such as Airgas, which generously shipped supply-filled from Vancouver, Washington, to Alaska. Airgas employees in Vancouver also donated school supplies and stuffed them into about 25 backpacks for military children in Alaska.

“Having someone who looks out for us and cares and makes sure we’re less stress is amazing,” Caley said.

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