Tuesday, July 29, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

349th spreads holiday cheer with Operation Teddy Bear

349 santa, 12/17/12

Cleo Gordon Elementary School kindergartner Abraham Garcia, 5, thinks of what to ask for Christmas from Santa, played by Chief Master Sgt. Mark Kloeppel, during a visit by the 349th Air Mobility Wing as part of their annual Operation Teddy Bear, Monday morning. Also helping are Airman Miguel Reyrao and Senior Airman Talavou Nuusa, right. (Brad Zweerink/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | December 19, 2012 |

FAIRFIELD — When asked what he wanted for Christmas, one Anderson Elementary School kindergartner whispered in the ear of Chief Master Sgt. Mark Kloeppel – aka Santa Claus – that he wanted to get his father a truck because the family’s current one had broken down.

On Monday, the first Cleo Gordon Elementary School child made a similar, but more fillable request, asking if Santa/Kloeppel would provide a teddy bear so the child could give it to his sister.

“That I was able to provide,” said Kloeppel, who has been donning Saint Nick’s garb and visiting local elementary schools for the past five years as part of the 349th Air Mobility Wing’s annual Operation Teddy Bear.

The two children’s stories are part of a nice trend that Kloeppel said he is seeing more, that more youngsters are asking for presents for other family members rather than for themselves.

Cleo Gordon Elementary was the second of four elementary schools the Air Force Reservists visited, after their visit to Anderson Elementary in Dixon.

Called Operation Teddy Bear, the visits are a long-standing holiday tradition with the 349th Air Mobility Wing, started about 10 years ago by two civilian members of the wing with a visit to a single school. It was grown since, with the 349th collecting donations from throughout the wing and from the community to buy the teddy bears, gifts and snacks.

Each of the visits starts in the school’s multipurpose room, with a show by the base’s honor guard, demonstrating how to fold and unfold a flag. On Monday, kindergartners applauded when the flag was unfurled and then asked questions of the honor guard members that ranged from what the flag’s colors meant to if the folded flag can be slept on like a pillow. The honor guard member politely replied, “no.”

Kloeppel was accompanied by a dozen other reservists wearing elf helpers’ hats and carrying the bags that included a teddy bear, booklet, an orange and other snacks.

“We go to the schools where the kids’ families are not so well off and give them a better Christmas,” Kloeppel said.

Every time, Kloeppel asks those who have been good to raise their hands. He gets a full complement of raised hands in response.

When he talks about his reindeer, he makes sure to point out he left them at Travis. One of his predecessor Santas said he landed his reindeer on the school roof, only to have several of the children dash outside to catch a glimpse of the legendary animals. That Santa covered himself by adding his reindeer were very good at hiding.

Master Sgt. Dana Phodes loves being a part of Operation Teddy Bear, “because of all the cute kids and seeing the joy that they get from this.”

Teacher Rozanne Helms had one of the four classes that got to meet Santa and get the bags of goodies.

“This is great. We have had this here for several years and it is a wonderful, wonderful program,” Helms said. “They do a great job and we appreciate them coming to our school.”

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or ithompson@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Library teens plan summer reading party

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

 
Weather for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Big-rig driver strikes telephone lines in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: July 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: June 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Caltrans makes I-80 lane change

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

 
Fairfield tries to end Cordelia Road detour

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 15 Comments | Gallery

 
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ primed for big screen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7 | Gallery

.

US / World

 
Sacramento Gold Rush Days canceled due to drought

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Man charged in teen’s 9-month disappearance

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Deal to improve veterans’ health care costs $17B

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

Suspect dead, 2 marshals and cop wounded in NYC

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
New fears about Ebola spread after plane scare

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

In Iraq’s Mosul, radicals unleash their vision

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments

 
Fighting in Ukraine prompts residents to flee

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Witnesses: Thunderstorm hit beach without warning

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Suspect’s mom also charged in Long Beach burglary

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
City: Emails show ‘cozy’ ties of PG&E, regulator

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Pool water dumped in South Tahoe; resort fires 3

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Additional charge filed in California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page:

California governor takes dig at Texas guard plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Editorial cartoons for July 29, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page:

 
 
.

Living

Horoscopes for July 29, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Today in History for July 29, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

I don’t want to have intimate contact since learning I had a STD

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page:

 
Community Calendar: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

.

Entertainment

Kevin Bacon brings his ‘Six Degrees’ to Comic-Con

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Sarah Palin launches online subscription channel

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

‘Sharknado’ sequel has bite and lots of laughs

By Frazier Moore | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
TVGrid July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Giants lose 5th straight, 5-0 to Pirates

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
 
Lakers finally confirm Byron Scott is new coach

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders relying on healthy Watson to solidify line

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
This date in sports history for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Quarterback Johnny Manziel’s day at Browns camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Judge OKs record-setting $2B sale of Clippers

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Humphrey to savor Hall of Fame day with ‘wingman’

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Rays’ Archer: ‘Never saw Hank Aaron flip his bat’

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Reed HOF induction gives Bills cause to celebrate

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

In the Pits: Gordon eyeing 5th title after big Brickyard win

By Jenna Fryer | From Page: | Gallery

 
Marketing agreement an obstacle in US bid for 2024

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Sailors to navigate dirty water in 1st Rio test

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Manningham back with Giants, with no guarantees

By The Associated Press | From Page:

.

Business

Contracts to buy US homes slip in June

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
FAA proposes to fine Southwest Airlines $12M

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Stocks pause as traders await key economic news

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Zillow buying Trulia to build real estate titan

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Dollar Tree steps up fight, buys Family Dollar

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

B.C. July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Crossword July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Garfield July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Word Sleuth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

For Better or Worse July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Bridge July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Wizard of Id July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5