Monthly Archives: January 2010



10th Mtn. Div. Assoc. President Mike Plummer, Platoon Leader 2nd Lt. Kapua Ampong, and Historical Club President Joyce Charboneau

Translated, that heading means we met our Adopt A Platoon (AAP) Point of Contact, 2nd Lt. KAPUALANI H.  “Kapua” AMPONG, Platoon Leader (PL) for the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Reconnaissance Platoon, CBRN Recce (pronounced “see-burn rec-key”) – Chem Recce for short – on Monday afternoon, January 25, at Fort Drum.  Kapua and her platoon are part of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion (HHC1st BSTB), 10th Mountain Division, (Light Infantry).

Kapua had this to say about her group:

   My Platoon Sergeant (PSG) is Staff Sergeant (SSG) Jason Roberts. Under our command, we have 17 soldiers. Our platoon has two sections: the CBRN section and the security section. CBRN consists of 7 Chemical Soldiers, and Security consists of 10 Infantry Soldiers.  Whether it’s a chemical related mission or an escort/security mission, we work together as a single unit to complete any task or mission assigned. We are the Wolfhounds!

   Club President Joyce Charboneau drove my husband and I to the Link-Up meeting. It was exciting to meet the young soldiers and some of the other sponsors, including Rotarians and Girl Scouts. We also met the man who is largely responsible for the success of the Adopt A Platoon program, Mike Plummer, head of the local chapter of the Association of the U. S. Army. You could tell that Mike certainly has put his heart and soul into this project of matching every 10th Mountain Division platoon with a sponsor. During his introductory speech to the sponsors and platoon leaders, he told us that the 10th Mountain Division is the most deployed  in the country.

 Joyce and I talked with Kapua for a short time and learned a little about her. Kapua will set up another meeting in early March. This will be an opportunity for the other club members to meet with the soldiers of her platoon, prior to their deployment at the end of March.     




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History of the U.S. Flag at Next Meeting

The Boonville Historical Club invites the public to a presentation about the history of the American flag on Monday evening, February 1. The program is in keeping with the club’s current theme, “Freedom is Not Free.”

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Cathy Duncan, a Remsen area resident, and a member of the Boonville Elks Club, will present the program. Duncan has had a longtime interest in our country’s flag. She will display her flag collection, which consists of the original version up to the present time, and discuss the changes the flag has undergone. Her presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Episcopal Church fellowship hall, Ford Street, Boonville. It’s actually behind the church, which faces Schuyler Street. Light refreshments will follow.

Prior to the public program, historical club members will hold a brief business session, beginning at 6:45 p.m.

For more information, call Judy at 942-4173 or Joyce at 942-4835. You can also send email to


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Why We’re Doing What We’re Doing and Thanks to BUMC

Thanks and appreciation to Boonville United Methodist Church, and especially to Administrative Assistant Crystal Dauback, for helping spread the word about our “Adopt a Platoon” collections, and for allowing donations to be dropped off at the church.  If you’ve read our earlier posts, you know that we’re collecting things for both our adopted platoon, as well as our adopted marines in Afghanistan.

You may have read Crystal’s article about the club’s project in the January edition of the church newsletter, Tidings, which includes a list of  things we’re collecting.  Crystal emphasizes that it’s easy to  pick up a little something extra each time you  go shopping. And it’s  easier on the budget if you spread out your purchases. Maybe you’ll see some type of snack food on sale at the grocery store. Add it to your cart, and you probably won’t notice the extra amount on your bill. Do this each time you shop, and  your donations will  add up.

 Or if you’re shopping at Wal-Mart or a local dollar store, pick up something like a Chap Stick, a deodorant bar,  or eye drops for just a dollar or two.  And don’t forget to save the paperbacks, magazines,  or newspapers you’ve read (no matter how old they are) and add them to your stack. You might  even ask your family and neighbors to do the same!

When you’ve collected a bag full (or what you think is a reasonable amount) of goodies, personal hygiene articles, or  reading material, take it to the Boonville United Methodist Church office, which is on the lower level, and can be reached by the Ann Street entrance, or from the parking lot on the opposite side of the building (the entrance to the fellowship hall and  Senior Nutrition and Head Start programs). If you need more directions, call Crystal at 942-2626. She is in the office Monday through Friday from 9:30 to 2:30 (See Club members, of course, can bring donations to the club meetings. 

Are you wondering why we’re collecting these things? You may be thinking: Doesn’t the government provide the basic necessities to our soldiers? Well, yes, of course it does. But that’s the problem – it’s just the basics, and it’s our understanding that they often run out of these essentials. Here’s what the author of a website called wrote:  

Thousands of brave soldiers are deployed to Forward Operating Bases  (FOBs) in pretty rugged and primitive conditions. Some in remote outposts live in dugouts or hand built fort-like structures of timber, rock and mud sandbags.  In the WINTER, it is very cold and wet, and in SUMMER it is beastly hot, dusty and dry over there in Afghanistan.  Soldiers deployed to outposts and firebases are often dirty, hungry, bored, lonely, very cold, or miserably hot, and much of the time, in harm’s way.  Many do not have  any laundry facilities; the only water is what the Chinooks helicopters can deliver, so some only get a shower once a month.  Often, sanitary conditions are quite dispiriting.

And, as we posted earlier, the mother of a marine in Afghanistan, to whom we sent the first shipment of items we collected, had this to say about her son and his unit:

They can use all the help they can get. His unit is responsible for getting everything that anyone needs anywhere in Afghanistan by land convoy or by air. It is an extremely dangerous job…Any kind of food is much appreciated; there is a lot of contaminated food and water over there. They are in South Afghanistan, and were the first to go there. There was nothing there except desert.  They are building everything and living out of tents.

Our contact for the Adopt A Platoon Project, Mike Plummer, who heads the 10th Mountain Division Association, wrote these words:

“The thought was that if the community could somehow show their appreciation and pride to these Soldiers, the Soldiers would feel better about what they were doing and be less concerned about being away from their friends and/or family members.”

 So now you know! If you’d like more information, please visit the above mentioned site,, which has many more suggestions on what can be sent and what should not be sent to the soldiers. It also reminds us that these soldiers are young women, as well as young men. 

Thanks for your support! We hope to hear from you soon.


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A SLIGHT CORRECTION: In an earlier post we told you about a scheduled trip to Fort Drum to meet our “adopted” platoon. After further clarification, we realized we won’t be meeting our soldiers just yet!

We’ll actually be meeting our POC, which translates to Point of Contact, or someone we’ll be communicating with about the platoon and their activities. We’ve been advised that at our meeting on January 25, we’ll set up another time to meet the troops before they’re deployed. At that time, we’d love to have as many people as possible go with us to meet the soldiers and wish them Godspeed. Do you think you might be able to join us? Watch for  more details, which we’ll post here as soon as they’re available.

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The Voice of the Black River Valley Joins the Cause

Yesterday, Brian Best, the news director at local radio station WBRV/WLLG The Moose ( contacted me about our project for the soldiers. Apparently he learned of it when station owner Bill Flack came across a flier somewhere in town, listing the articles we’re collecting for shipment overseas.  

As a result of our discussion, I agreed to do a live telephone interview with Brian on Monday morning, January 18. Brian is mostly interested in the list of items we’re collecting, but his interview will certainly create some awareness of  the club and our activities.

I’m not sure yet when the interview will be aired, but if I find out, I’ll post it here. It’s a win-win situation, and I  appreciate the opportunity to talk about the club and our most recent undertaking.  

Once again, thank you to everyone who has supported our project in any way! You’ve all been very generous with your donations, but we now have two groups we’re collecting for, so we need all the help we can get.

We’re proud of our troops and we know you are too!

Please feel free to contact us ( if you’d like more information.

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Ready to Deploy!

It’s official…

We’ve just received word that our Fort Drum 10th Mountain Division soldiers – our “adopted” platoon –  will be deploying to Afghanistan, and our link-up meeting has been scheduled. Here’s what Mike Plummer wrote:

You have adopted a platoon from the 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion (1BSTB):All sponsors will linkup with their platoon POCs at the Headquarters, 1BSTB at 2:00 PM 25 JAN 2010.  They are getting ready to deploy soon and this is the only time they have available.  

 So, some of us are planning to be at Fort Drum on the specified date and time. Everyone is welcome to join us as we meet our soldiers and wish them well during their deployment. But we will need to know if you plan to attend.  Here’s more from Mike, who heads the 10th Mountain Division Association:

I will need the names of all persons attending the linkup so I can give them to the Military Police at the gate so they will let you/them in.  If you do not have a military ID card, stop at the military police station at the gate and get a pass … your name will be on the Adopt-a-Unit roster to make it easier. You will need your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance.

 We’ll need to hear from you immediately if you plan to join us, as we’ll be sending the names to Mike by Wednesday, January 20. Please call Judy at 942-4173 or Joyce at 942-4835, or send an email to if you’ll be attending or if you need more information. Thanks, and we hope to hear from you soon!

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Adopt-a-Platoon is Now a Reality!

A few weeks ago, we received news from  Mike Plummer, who heads the 10th Mountain
Division Association. He told us that the president’s recent decision to send more soldiers to Afghanistan means that 3,500 soldiers of the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division stationed at Fort Drum will be deployed in March.  

 A heartfelt Thank You to everyone who donated items or postage funds  for our first shipment to Afghanistan.  BUT WE NOW NEED TO DOUBLE OUR EFFORTS!

 Club President Joyce Charboneau would like to continue our project of gathering needed articles for our “adopted” U. S. Marine Corps 1st Sgt. in Afghanistan, who distributes the personal hygiene articles, reading material, and food to the marines  under his command. At the same time, we’ll go ahead with the new project:  Adopting a Platoon of  soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum Army Base, just north of Boonville. Besides sending them the items we’ve been collecting (see the list on an earlier post), we’ll also be sending cards, such as birthday and holiday greetings, as well as e-mails to our adopted soldiers. According to Mike Plummer, link-up meetings will start in late January for those of us within a two-hour drive of the base.

For more about the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum, click on this link:

You might also want to check out their weekly TV program:

We’ll be updated soon on the progress of the adoption, so stay tuned for the latest news!

For the original information from Mike Plummer about adopting a 10th Mountain Division Platoon chick here: FlyerIraq09









(Photo courtesy of Fort Drum Public Affairs)


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