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    Golden Knights Present Flag at 20th Annual Operation Toy Drop

    Operation Toy Drop 20th Anniversary

    Photo By Master Sgt. Joseph Bicchieri | Members of the Army Golden Knights descend upon Sicily Drop Zone to deliver an...... read more read more



    Story by Master Sgt. Joseph Bicchieri 

    352nd Civil Affairs Command PAO

    FT. BRAGG – North Carolina

    The Army Golden Knights commemorated the 20th anniversary of Operation Toy Drop by delivering an American flag to the family of Randy Oler on Sicily Drop Zone, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. On the overcast Saturday morning of December 2, 2017, Staff Sgt. Ryan Reis streaked across the sky with an American flag streaming behind him. Below, Soldiers and the family of Randy Oler, the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) Soldier who first organized Operation Toy Drop, stood at attention and with their hands on their hearts as the Star Spangled Banner played. More Golden Knights followed and put their parachuting skills on display. After the Golden Knights presented the flag to the Oler family, Maj. Gen. Darrell Guthrie, commanding general of USACAPOC(A), described his excitement to see young Soldiers participating in the event, who as children had once received toys collected during the operation. As Randy Oler's son, Zachary, said afterwards, “They were given a toy from this operation, and now they are actually jumping in this operation. Who would have ever thought that would happen?”

    According to Zachary, no one else thought an intricate event like Operation Toy Drop would continue past the first year, yet his father started planning for the next operation as soon as the first one was complete. With the help of a dedicated team of supporters, Randy would keep planning and organizing Operation Toy Drop until passing from a heart attack in 2004 while “doing what he loved – airborne operations.” His friends, family and USACAPOC(A) continued the tradition that Randy started. “Just to see after 20 years, to see the people who are still involved...we just really appreciate it. It's amazing,” said Zachary. “I just want it to keep going as long as it can.”

    Now known as the Randy Oler Memorial Operation Toy Drop, the event allows Soldiers to train with foreign jumpmasters, as well as active and reserve units of the Army and Air Force. The result is the world’s largest joint and combined airborne training operation, which is still planned, trained and executed by the Army Reserve Soldiers of USACAPOC(A). The operation not only trains Soldiers but also provides them a chance to thank the surrounding Ft. Bragg community and donate toys to local children who might otherwise not get a toy for the holidays.



    Date Taken: 12.02.2017
    Date Posted: 12.04.2017 16:49
    Story ID: 257396
    Location: FT BRAGG, NC, US
    Hometown: FAYETTEVILLE, NC, US

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    Golden Knights Present Flag at 20th Annual Operation Toy Drop