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Operation Support Our Troops America collects supplies for soldiers

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(Jim Dallke – jdallke@shawmedia.com)
Alex Hams (right) of Sage Products delivers a check to Joe Alger of Operation Support Our Troops America.

CARY – Numerous trucks go in and out of the Sage Products building in Cary every day, but on Friday only one had the faces of fallen McHenry County soldiers printed on the side.

Joe Alger, chief operating officer for JA Frate in Crystal Lake, is in charge of collecting donations for Operation Support Our Troops America, a program that delivers supplies to members of the armed forces serving overseas. On Friday, he received a check for more than $1,200 and 100 cases of bath products for the troops.

Alger said the organization started collecting donations and supplies on Veterans Day. By the end of the year, his group will have collected around $8,000 in monetary donations and two 53-foot truckloads of supplies.

Alger, who has a son in the military and served two and a half years overseas himself, understands the importance of receiving items from home.

“I know what it’s like to get a care package from home,” he said. “It offsets the day-to-day struggles that you have.”

Operation Support Our Troops America sends everything from “socks to Slim Jims,” Alger said, and he will be driving to the program’s headquarters in Lisle today to deliver all the supplies.

The JA Frate truck has the faces of six fallen military members who were from McHenry County painted on the side. Alger said it serves as a memorial to the fallen soldiers and a way for people in the community to remember that sacrifice.

“I want everyone in McHenry County to know that we’ve had six soldiers, now seven soldiers, that have given their lives,” said Alger, who attended four of the soldiers’ funerals. “I want everyone in McHenry Country not to forget the sacrifices that were made for them personally.”

Alex Hams, a senior quality engineer at Sage, said the company jumped at the opportunity to give back.

“We saw this as an excellent opportunity to give back and to show that we certainly haven’t forgotten [the troops],” Hams said.

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