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CARING FOR WOUNDED TROOPS IN TRANSIT: THE FIRST RESPONSE BACKPACKS

Newbury Park, CA (May 24, 2007) – Wounded in Iraq.  What happens next?  You’re transferred to a Combat Support Hospital with just the clothes on your back.  Recognizing the situation, Soldiers’ Angels founder Patti Patton-Bader (grand-niece of General Patton) teamed up with Minimus.biz for a solution – get troops clothes and toiletries the moment they arrive.

According to Patti Patton-Bader, when troops are injured, “The medical treatment and transportation occur with such speed that the soldiers often arrive in Germany wearing the same uniform that they were wearing when they were wounded. The soldiers' gear and personal items rarely catch up with them.”  So, Soldiers’ Angels created the First Response Backpacks.  A $50,000 donation from The Military Order of the Purple Heart helped to purchase the newly designed digital camouflage backpacks embroidered with the Purple Hearts and Soldiers’ Angels logos.  The backpacks provide a full set of travel-sized toiletries and accessories (such as toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, shampoo, and soap), calling card, change of clothes, and a hand-made blanket by one of the Soldiers’ Angels volunteers who participates in the Blankets of Hope project.  Each backpack contains sweatpants with velcro or zippered sides, as well as zip-hooded sweatshirts with the Soldiers’ Angels logo. 

The unique partnership between the non-profit and for-profit company, Minimus.biz, provides Soldiers’ Angels with the toiletry supplies at wholesale prices, and then provides fulfillment services to assemble, package, and ultimately ship them to places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, Korea, and Landstuhl, Germany, where they are needed most.  Minimus provides the warehouse space free of charge. 

After a military bloggers’ conference in Washington D.C. this May, a group of Soldiers’ Angels visited the wounded at Bethesda Naval Medical Center.  The first person they saw was a Marine wearing one of the brand new Soldiers’ Angels sweatshirts.  Asked if an Angel had brought it to him at the hospital, he replied, “No ma’am, I was evacuated from Baghdad, and was cold, and was given this sweatshirt.”   Minimus had received, packed, and shipped the new sweatshirts, recently added to the backpack, and that they were already in use.  The soldier’s mother was with him and asked if he could have a second sweatshirt since he had been wearing his for six days straight, refusing to take it off.  

Since the First Response Backpacks program started, Soldiers’ Angels has sent more that 5,000 backpacks to our wounded troops. There are now 500 backpacks being shipped every month.  While this is an unfortunate statistic, it is reassuring to know that there are organizations and companies out there providing these needed services.

People interested in donating items or sponsoring backpacks can view the Soldiers’ Angels website, www.soldiersangles.org, for more information about this and other projects to support our deployed troops.  

About Soldiers’ Angels:
Soldiers’ Angles is a non-profit military support group founded in June 2003 to provide aide and comfort to any of the armed forces and their families.  With the generous donations of thousands of Americans, they have sent hundreds of thousands of care packages to deployed soldiers, helping the wounded at most military hospitals and aiding military families in need. 

About The Military Order of the Purple Heart:
The Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), formed in 1932, is a non-profit veteran’s service organization consisting of over 40,000 combat wounded veterans.  They exist to offer assistance and support to the combat wounded and their families.  The alliance between Soldiers Angels and MOPH has created a vast network of dedicated volunteers across America and overseas. 

About Minimus.biz:
Minimus.biz is the world leader in all things travel-sized and individual-sized with over 1,000 products in stock.  The website comprises a variety of categories of travel size and trial size items, many of which are not available for retail sale anywhere else.  Additionally, Minimus works with many major corporations and non-profits through its wholesale and fulfillment divisions. 

Contact:

Patti Patton-Bader
Soldiers’ Angels - Founder
(615) 676-0239
soldiersangels@gmail.com

Ray Funderburk
The Military Order of the Purple Heart - Public Relations Director
(662) 772-5811
mophpr@bellsouth.net

Whitney Fajnor
Minimus.biz - Marketing Manager
(805) 480-1415 x117
Whitney@Minimus.biz

Joan Sandoval
Minimus.biz - Senior Project Manager/Military
(805) 480-1415 x115
Development@Minimus.biz

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