A woman who led an effort to deliver truckloads of creature comforts to soldiers serving in war zones has received the Army's fourth-highest civilian honor.
Donna Briggs received the Commander's Award for Public Service through her work with Plant City Support Our Soldiers. The nonprofit she founded has sent boxes upon boxes of snacks, sunscreen and more to combat troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.
Briggs, 48, was presented the award by the 4th Brigade Support Battalion, which her organization helped during its deployment to Afghanistan. Many of the care packages were for the battalion's injured troops.
"She has been a tremendous support not only to our unit but to others," Army Maj. Jerome Russell said. She was presented the award at a military ball in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Briggs and other volunteers have met regularly for three years to mail packages containing such goodies as chewing gum and such necessities as warm socks to soldiers.
Russell said the care packages did more than lift the soldiers' spirits.
"We were even able to distribute some of the items like blankets, clothes and personal items to civilians in our area of deployment," he said. "People we contacted started trusting us, talking with us. Because of that trust I can say that Donna's effort helped save American soldiers' lives."
George H. Newman