About STS

In the beginning…

SaddleBrooke Troop Support (STS) began in May 2005 when five SaddleBrooke residents wanted to do something to support troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and found that no SaddleBrooke organization existed dedicated to this purpose.  Founders Mitch Steinberg, Sheldon Israel, Jerry Lujan, Moose Creighton and Ginny Van Doren named the organization Tucson Troop Support Group (TTSG)

TTSG started small by “adopting” Company A, 6th Battalion, USMCR, located on a corner of Davis Monthan AFB.  At that time, no group had reached out in support of these Marines.  Company A had deployed at the very beginning of the Iraq War.  Upon completion of their mission they returned to Arizona but eleven volunteers from Company A were still deployed in Iraq when TTTS reached out.  These were the first to receive care packages on a regular basis and to this day, we continue to support Marines of Company A.

TTSG formed a Steering Committee of activity and functional leaders with the dual role as “Board of Directors,” setting policy and direction for the charitable works of the organization.

Growth And Evolution

Once word got out in the SaddleBrooke community, it didn’t take long for residents to respond with support.  This generosity has been continuous over the years with volunteers, funding, care packages and comfort items for hospitalized vets and active duty troops.  Within months STS recognized that resources and volunteers were there to  expand its efforts.

Searching for an appropriate military-oriented organization with which to affiliate led to the VFW Post 10188 Ladies Auxiliary. Their mission in support of service members, veterans, and their families was exactly in line with TTSG goals. And most importantly they had been active in this role for over 20 years. Affiliation with the Auxiliary also brought a tax advantage for both groups. They had established contacts with Tucson area military units, Army & Air Force National Guard and Reserve Air Force units. We recruited the additional volunteers, donated items, and funding to grow our ability to support the troops.

Mitch Steinberg carried on as Chairman of TTSG until January 2014 when George Bidwell was elected President.

In 2014, the officers of TTSG decided it was time to apply for our own tax exemption and STS grew beyond the VFW Ladies Auxiliary  association and became an independent 501(c)(3) also changing its name to SaddleBrooke Troop Support.

Mission

STS is dedicated to helping Tucson active duty, National Guard, Reserves, Veterans, and their families, including disabled, homeless and hospitalized Veterans.  Our dues fund administrative affairs but all donations go directly to troop support and are tax deductible.

Members include retired or former active duty service members, spouses, and families but many members have no prior service affiliation and are simply interested in supporting our military personnel.  STS is an all volunteer organization proud that all donations are spent on the needs of our Military and their families.

STS currently has five core programs

 1.  MLO 

STS helps stock and maintains the Tucson International Airport Military Liaison Office.  Located on the ground floor in the center of the terminal behind baggage claim, this USO-style facility provides free snacks, sodas and rest facilities 24/7/365.  The MLO also has computers, books, television, movies and an area for young children. In 2016 more than 5,000 troops and their families visited the MLO with over $20,000 in food and necessities dispensed.

  

2. FOOD ASSISTANCE

    • Military Food Banks
      STS collects and delivers hundreds of boxes of food worth tens of thousands of dollars to three separate food banks located on military instillations in the Tucson area and working on a fourth. Much of this food is donated by volunteers, local retail grocers and neighbors supplemented by items purchased directly by STS volunteers. Our monthly budget for this program is $400 per month.
    • Food assistance cards
      Originally to help service members at holidays, food card assistance has become an invaluable year-round resource. In 2014 we provided $5000 in food cards. Last year we supplied $12,000 in food cards and this year we will supply $16,000. A generous $15,000 grant from the Safeway foundation helped give this program a top priority.

3. VETERANS

    • VA Hospital donations and Volunteers
      Gifts of clothing, books and a large assortment of necessities are donated at the VA.  Members and friends fill volunteer positions at the hospital while others make thousands of handcrafted greeting cards for care packages and meal trays during holidays.
    • VA Blind & Homeless programs
      We provide listening devices and books on tape to the VA’s Blind Rehabilitation Unit totalling an estimated value $30K.

4. LAYETTES AND BABY SHOWERS

STS provides layettes, baby baskets, of essential newborn items including hand-made booties and blankets, courtesy of the Knit-Wits of SaddleBrooke and other organizations. Units will periodically host baby showers to collect items and donations to fill the baby baskets. They are then given to pregnant veterans or spouses of veterans by base family services. Each basket has an approximate value of $150.

5. EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE

On-base services and the VFW Ladies Auxiliary Committee for Family Support receive requests for direct assistance to deployed and in-need individuals.  STS helps with appropriate resources and our ability to assist quickly with flexibility.

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