Presents from Paratroopers
The Travis Mills Foundation was fortunate on Thursday to partner with the 82nd Airborne Division for “Presents from Paratroopers” event, a scaled-down version of Operation Toy Drop that was previously hosted by U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command.
In honor of our very own, SSG Travis Mills, we knew the impact that programs like Operation Toy Drop have on the lives of young families living in the greater Fort Bragg community. Travis participated in Operation Toy Drop multiple times during his time in active duty, and the greater Fayetteville community means so much in the life of Travis and Kelsey, and this was the perfect opportunity to give back to a community that had given so much to them.
When the Travis Mills Foundation was presented with the opportunity to continue its legacy, we knew we had to step up to the plate! This initiative was a part of our efforts to give back to communities who give so much to us. As an organization, we know that we could not do the work we do without the communities that allow us to do it.
Randy’s Toy Drop has become the largest joint airborne operation in the Army, spearheaded by the Army Reserve’s USACAPOC(A) with the help of Pope AFB’s 43rd and 440th Airlift Wings, and the participation of Soldiers from Fort Bragg’s XVIII Airborne Corps, 82nd Airborne Division and Special Operations Command. Since its inception, Operation Toy drop has collected more than 35,000 toy donations.
In 2019, the event lives on as Presents from Paratroopers – continuing Randy’s spirit of generosity and living the Army’s value of Selfless Service to others. The Travis Mills Foundation staff jumped in ready to live up to the values: serving as the support for distributing over 2,000 toys to area organizations benefiting local families around Fort Bragg.
In order to receive a slot on the Airborne jump, soldiers bring a new Christmas toy to be donated. The slot is based on a lottery system, and soldiers who receive the opportunity to jump are then lead by Foreign Jumpmasters through the commands. Upon completion of the jump, soldiers receive their Foreign Jump Wings from the Jumpmaster from his or her country of origin. This year, soldiers received German and Chilean jump wings and jumped out of CH-47 Chinook or UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, rather than the C-130 and C-17 cargo aircraft they’re more familiar with.
The Travis Mills Foundation staff was proud to work alongside the 82nd Airborne Division and the All-Americans to make a difference in the lives of the Fort Bragg community, and we look forward to making a difference in the years to come alongside the men and women who mean so much in the legacy of our organization.
All the way!