Oklahoma military families and families of wounded veterans get free supplies through 'The Back to School Brigade'

Operation Homefront has helped supply children in its “Back to School Brigade,” program. Children of families of military members can benefit from free, donated supplies.
BY ROBERT MEDLEY rmedley@opubco.com Modified: August 6, 2012 at 7:24 pm •  Published: August 6, 2012

— Military families may struggle from paycheck to paycheck, so buying school supplies can be tough, says a military spouse who heads a project to provide students with what they need.

Carol Herrick says she knows what it is like for military families when it is time to go back to school.

She helped more than 250 families in central Oklahoma last week at a “Back to School Brigade” event that gave away backpacks full of supplies.

Some families needed several backpacks for children in Midwest City.

“This is my family,” Herrick said.

She is the director of the nonprofit Operation Homefront that helps military families with their school supply needs.

“I am an active-duty military spouse,” Herrick said. “I see the challenges that military families face. Folks have a tough time. It's a financial burden.”

Herrick is coordinator for the Oklahoma and Arkansas program. The Oklahoma office is in Lawton.

Brandi Dykes, 32, of Moore, whose husband is in the Navy, volunteered her time to help the project for three years before being hired recently as the Oklahoma City area community liaison.

“When we got married, I can remember struggling for some things,” Dykes said. “And school supplies, just like everything else, have gone up. It can be up to $50 a family.”

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