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Saugus salutes U.S. troops

Saugus High honors, gathers goodies for them

Posted: October 13, 2008 10:09 p.m.
Updated: December 15, 2008 5:00 a.m.

U.S. Air Force Sgt. Christian Manuel of the Van Nuys recruiting office greets members of the Saugus High School Jr. ROTC before Friday night's game against Crespi at COC.

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Before the battle between Saugus High School and Crespi of Encino took place on the College of the Canyons football field Friday, fans honored local servicemen and servicewomen who fight on the battlefield.

Service men and women honored Friday were Cpl. Bryan Warloe of the U.S. Marine Corps, Sgt. Adelina Perez of Santa Clarita's U.S. Air Force recruiting office and Sgt. Christian Manuel of the Van Nuys recruiting office.

Led out to the center of the field by Saugus Principal Bill Bolde, they saluted as the Saugus High School band played the National Anthem.

"It's a good feeling to know the town cares," said Warloe, a 2005 graduate of Canyon High School. "It's good to know that people support the troops."

Currently stationed with the 3rd Battalion 11th Marines at Twentynine Palms, Warloe was previously deployed with the 31st to support Operation Iraqi Freedom and with the Marine Expeditionary Unit in the Pacific to support humanitarian efforts aiding Myanmar.

In cooperation with Blue Star Mothers Chapter 91, Saugus High honors local service men and women in attendance at every home game, which the school plays at COC. The school also has a box at the entrance to the game where people can donate items to be sent to troops overseas.

"We've collected quite a bit of stuff," said Sandy Baer, president of Blue Star Mothers Chapter 91. "We'll be packing everything up in November to send it to the troops."

There are 1,500 to 2,000 troops from the Santa Clarita Valley serving in the military, Baer said.

"We send about 5,500 to 6,000 boxes over to the troops every Christmas," Baer said. "So any chance we get to let people know what the soldiers need is great."

The troops need items like socks, lip balm, large and extra-large pajamas, pre-moistened wet napkins, sports balls (baseball, basketball, football, soccer), and beef jerky. E-mail and the Blue Star Mothers will make pick-up or drop-off arrangements.

Warloe looked forward to receiving packages from the Blue Star Mothers when he was stationed overseas.
"When I got stuff from the Blue Star Mothers, I would just spread it all out for everyone in my unit to pick from," Warloe said. "I shared it with everyone so that those guys who didn't get packages would have something from home."

Bolde came up with the idea to partner with the Blue Star Mothers because he wanted to honor the people who make this country great.

"I think I'm very fortunate and very blessed to live in the greatest country on the planet," Bolde said. "So anything we can do to honor and respect the men and women who make that possible, I want to do that."


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