Military News

Friday, May 15, 2015

ODC-Turkey personnel contribute time, resources for Syrian Refugees

by 1st Lt. Leah Davis
Office of Defense Cooperation-Turkey

5/15/2015 - ANKARA, Turkey  -- Personnel from Department of Defense-Ankara volunteered their time and resources to make lunches for refugees who call Turkey their home.

Volunteers worked together to build more than 100 lunches filled with sandwiches, fruit and candy for families who have become refugees. The lunches were delivered in support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Since the Syrian crisis began in 2011, almost two million refugees have entered Turkey, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees website.

Refugees come from not only Syria, but travel from Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq and Somalia. Half of the refugees from Syria are children, according to the UNHRC website.

Kristine Troy, Office of Defense Cooperation-Turkey, has taken on the task of organizing the volunteers and lunches.

"Our group here at Team DoD-Turkey started helping the refugees several months ago. I wanted to make sure we continue to support this group of people because we see the refugees out on the streets begging for money and food. Half of the time, the women have babies with them and it is heartbreaking."

This is the third time lunches were provided for the refugees. The ODC-T members plan to conduct the volunteer project once a month.

"I knew if we all put our efforts together, we could make a difference, whether it's a meal or through donations. I would really like for us to continue this project because the refugees will continue moving to Turkey and may not have the resources they need," said Troy.

"I'm very proud of the personnel who have given their time and resources to help," said Brig. Gen. Marc Sasseville, the U.S. Senior Defense Official. "Turkey has hosted many refugees and this provides an opportunity for people who are here for other missions to make a difference in their own way."

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