ADDISON (CBSDFW.COM) – Celebrating his eleventh birthday, Chase Brown opened some unusual presents. There was plenty of toothpaste, a bottle or two of mouthwash and some crackers.
They weren’t for him, though. Brown asked that his friends not buy him birthday gifts, but help out his mission instead: “To get the soldiers that are protecting our country recognized,” he said.
Holding his party at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison, Chase collected items for care packages that he’ll soon be shipping to Afghanistan. His mother, Debra Brown, said a sergeant at Fort Hood provided them with the list of soldiers.
“And he will oftentimes pick out the names of soldiers who he knows don’t have a lot of family or that can’t afford to send things,” she said.
Chase doesn’t have any connection to the military or any family fighting overseas. His older brother, though, began sending gifts to soldiers years ago.
“My brother started it, and he’s a senior now going off to college. So I thought I’d follow in his footsteps,” Chase said.
He now wants to expand on the idea and create an organization at his school to keep the packages going year-round.
“You just want to try to do anything to get a smile on their faces,” he said.
Chase urges anyone interested in helping out to donate to Operation Once in a Lifetime, a nonprofit that offers contributions for soldiers and their families.