Local children to attend pre-deployment picnic, present gifts to troops Published April 2, 2007 By 070302 LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Local school 6th graders from Church Hill Elementary school in New Braunfels, Texas, spent time recently collecting items to send to American troops fighting the Global War on Terror. When they were done, they found the cost of shipping those items posed a challenge. So, Ms. Hillary Hoben, a school representative, called the 433rd Airlift Wing to see if they could help. "We aren't able to take items directly for the public into the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility for two reasons," said Master Sgt. Collen McGee from the 433rd AW Public Affairs Office. Air Force airlift can not legally do anything that would compete with commercial shippers or the U.S. Postal Service and the Alamo Wing doesn't fly directly into that area currently. Organizations can apply through USAID.org to send humanitarian supplies around the world on a space available basis. But 6th graders can't wait months to see the fruit of their labor and the Alamo Wing and Ms. Hoben came up with another way to get some of the donated items directly to troops who can use them. "We have about 20 Airmen getting ready to deploy to Iraq," Sergeant McGee told Ms. Tobin. Those Airmen are part of the 556th RED HORSE squadron of combat engineers who build roads, runways and buildings all over the world, including forward operating bases in Iraq. When the members of RED HORSE found out what the kids from Church Hill had done, they invited Ms. Dana MacRoberts' 6th graders to their pre-deployment picnic where the kids will get to give their collected gifts directly to the deploying Airmen. -30- Media Advisory: The picnic is scheduled for Thursday, March 29. Those media interested in participating must RSVP to the 433rd Public Affairs Office at (210) 925-5194. Attending media are asked to arrive no later than 10:15 a.m.