Following Mary Pat

First Lady Mary Pat Christie names her ninth NJ Hero of 2011

photoAlt Today I had the pleasure of naming my 9th NJ Hero of 2011, Rod Hirsch of Operation Shoebox New Jersey. Rod and his volunteers at Operation Shoebox NJ have sent over 50,000 care packages to our troops in the Middle East since their inception in 2005.

When Rod was an Eagle Scout in 1969, he had friends who were sent over to serve in Vietnam. He chose then to do a service project, sending care packages to his friends and other troops who were overseas. The idea came back to him to start up again 36 years later and Operation Shoebox New Jersey was born. He recognized that the simple gesture of a care package really means everything to a service member who is far away from their family and friends.

Through Operation Shoebox New Jersey he is making a difference in the lives of our military personnel every day. This organization brings together people of all ages to pack up these shoeboxes. From girl scouts and boy scouts to veterans, church groups, and major corporations, people from all walks of life have given their time to sort, donate supplies, and pack boxes. It’s an incredible thing to see so many New Jerseyans come together to help our service members overseas.

I’m proud to name Rod our 9th New Jersey Hero of 2011 and thank him for his ongoing commitment to our troops. To learn more about Operation Shoebox New Jersey, please go to their website: www.opshoeboxnj.org.