In the beginning…|
SaddleBrooke Troop Support (STS) began in May 2005 when five SaddleBrooke residents wanted to do something to support troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and found that no SaddleBrooke organization existed dedicated to this purpose. Founders Mitch Steinberg, Sheldon Israel, Jerry Lujan, Moose Creighton and Ginny Van Doren named the organization Tucson Troop Support Group (TTSG)
TTSG started small by “adopting” Company A, 6th Battalion, USMCR, located on a corner of Davis Monthan AFB. At that time, no group had reached out in support of these Marines. Company A had deployed at the very beginning of the Iraq War. Upon completion of their mission they returned to Arizona but eleven volunteers from Company A were still deployed in Iraq when TTTS reached out. These were the first to receive care packages on a regular basis and to this day, we continue to support Marines of Company A.
TTSG formed a Steering Committee of activity and functional leaders with the dual role as “Board of Directors,” setting policy and direction for the charitable works of the organization.
Once word got out in the SaddleBrooke community, it didn’t take long for residents to respond with support. This generosity has been continuous over the years with volunteers, funding, care packages and comfort items for hospitalized vets and active duty troops. Within months STS recognized that resources and volunteers were there to expand its efforts.
Searching for an appropriate military-oriented organization with which to affiliate led to the VFW Post 10188 Ladies Auxiliary. Their mission in support of service members, veterans, and their families was exactly in line with TTSG goals. And most importantly they had been active in this role for over 20 years. Affiliation with the Auxiliary also brought a tax advantage for both groups. They had established contacts with Tucson area military units, Army & Air Force National Guard and Reserve Air Force units. We recruited the additional volunteers, donated items, and funding to grow our ability to support the troops.
Mitch Steinberg carried on as Chairman of TTSG until January 2014 when George Bidwell was elected President.
In 2014, the officers of TTSG decided it was time to apply for our own tax exemption and STS grew beyond the VFW Ladies Auxiliary association and became an independent 501(c)(3) also changing its name to SaddleBrooke Troop Support.