Saturday, 12 June 2021

Operation Tango Mike strikes again

"Thank you so much for the many packages you have sent me, they were all handed out equally among the soldiers. I wish you were here to see their faces when I opened each box and goodies fell out. It was like small children at a birthday party busting open a pinata. Every one here also sends their thanks ..."


That's Private Zachary Goot, the contact person for his unit, telling the tale in his own emailed words. The 50 boxes of goodies that Operation Tango Mike mailed on Feb. 28 have already landed in Iraq. Lake County's generosity has gone to good use. Indeed, the donor list is almost overwhelming.


Members of Chapter 951 of Vietnam Veterans of America, with the aid of interested citizens, packed everything and committed necessary paperwork in two hours. There was no shortage of help, with 15 sets of hands backing up Ginny Craven.


Ron Quick, Warren Canfield, Dean Gotham, Skip Hulet, Phyllis Hoffman, Dave Collins, Dan Davi, Patti Collins, Mike Hennig, Frank Parker, Harry Graves, Steve Sayers, Ellen Hennig, this author, and Dustin Angle pitched in. The latter is one of the chapter's most active members, and so hardworking, mature, and responsible that it's difficult to believe he's only 14.


Some volunteers settled in for box building, addressing and filling customs forms. Others packed hygiene items in separate boxes, or packed food, paperbacks, magazines, board games and puzzles. A couple of penmen settled to write personal notes to slip into the boxes.


Special thanks go to the third grade classes of Ms. Kies, Mrs. Brown, Mr. McClaren and Mrs. Ayers of Kelseyville Elementary School for their colored drawings and notes; these little personal touches are always welcome to homesick troopers. Every box contained notes from Lake County.


By the time we cleaned up the parish hall at Saint Mary Immaculate and turned off the music, Operation Tango Mike was cleaned out except for a few paperbacks. In other words, we're back to soliciting donations for the next round. Think a backpacker's Easter, with a March 20 deadline.


We now have goods collection points at the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion halls in Clearlake, as well as at Mackey Tire and Spa in Lakeport. Mendo Mill has donated 10 scarlet collection bins, which we are posting about the county. They have a Tango Mike logo on the back rim, and a donation suggestion list on the front lip. Look for them in all three Hardester's Markets, in Cobb, Hidden Valley, and Middletown. Country Carpet in Upper Lake is hosting one of them. Other locations are being arranged.


Checks can still be sent to Tango Mike care of VVA Chapter 951, PO BOX 1313, Lakeport, CA 95453. VVA can provide tax receipts upon request. Cash or checks can also be given to Ginny Craven. She may be reached at 349-2838 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


E-mail George Dorner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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