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Nebraska Troop Support Makes
Difference In Local Men's Lives

Mar 5, 2012 Updated Feb 3, 2022

Grateful appreciation  - CMCN Jacob Miles and EN3 Third Class Petty Officer Michael Harvey presented Beth Tielke of Nebraska Troop Support with flowers for sending them packages while they where deployed to the Middle East over the past 10 1/2 months.

Two O'Neill servicemen made their pilgrimage back to the Shamrock City two weeks ago to see their families and friends and to thank one special person. 

The servicemen are Jacob Miles, son of Terry and Beth Miles, and Michael Harvey, son of John and Kris Harvey. 

The men left home at the end of March 2011 and were deployed out of Virginia.

Michael Harvey, an EN3 Third Class Petty Officer, is stationed aboard the USS Mesa Verde which is out of Norfolk, VA. CMCN Jacob Miles, was deployed on the USS Whidbey Island and with the Beach Masters Unit 2 out of Little Creek, VA. The Beach Masters Unit 2 are assigned the mission of providing tactical components in support of amphibious operations. Both ships were part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th fleet.

The two men have been in the Middle East and Africa until returning to Virginia to their respective bases the first weekend in February 2012, making their deployment one of the longest in recent naval history.

Mrs. Tielke made the boys' voyage a little more bearable by making sure the boys each had packages coming to them every month while at sea. "The packages were great.  We got everything from food we couldn't get on board to little games and articles of clothing like crocheted slippers and hats, that really were nice. One of my favorites was the Famous Dave's BBQ Sauce. That stuff was like gold," said Miles. 

"We were very fortunate to get these packages. A lot of my shipmates just didn't get this kind of stuff and the ones that did might get a small package every once in a while like from a family member or a church group from home.  It was great that we have such a wonderful lady in our community that would think to do this for us," said Michael Harvey.

Mrs. Tielke has been part of the Nebraska Troop Support for many years and the care packages from the Heartland have affected the lives of those who are in the military today.

"These packages are just a little something to give them a taste of home and to put smiles on their faces," Mrs. Tielke said.

'First established in 2006, Nebraska Troop Support sent a dozen cookies to each of the 176 members of the O'Neill area National Guard members who were deployed to Iraq.  The positive response by service members motivated volunteers to continue sending care packages from home.  Items and monetary donations help the non-profit organization send approximately 40 boxes monthly to soldiers stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea, Japan and Kuwait,' said Tielke.

'And it is good to remember that even the brave need encouragement,' she said.  "Even though they are soldiers, they get just as lonesome and homesick.'

Donations to help sponsor a care package to a soldier can be mailed to: Nebraska Troop Support, 515 E. Donegal St., O'Neill, NE 68763.

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