Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 25, 2014

Auction supports deployed soldiers

By VICKI TILLIS. lifestyles editor | Jun 17, 2013

A military benefit auction is set at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Ottumwa National Guard Armory.

All proceeds will be used to purchase care package items for area military service personnel deployed overseas.

According to Chris Cook, one of the auction organizers, the auction will include household items, antiques, sporting goods, boats, animals and more.

“We will accept anything all the way up to the auction,” said Cook. “They can bring it to the armory [Saturday] or call and I’ll pick it up.”

Cook added monetary donations, made out to Military Benefit Auction, also are welcome.

“This is a great cause, and we need to show support for deployed soldiers,” said Cook, whose brother Lt. Corey Cook deployed to Afghanistan Jan. 28 with about 100 soldiers from the Ottumwa-based 833rd Engineer Company of the Iowa Army National Guard. The 833rd was formerly known as Company B, 224th Engineer Battalion.

Corey Cook, the son of Tammy Tuttle of Bloomfield and the late Steve Cook, has served in the Iowa Army National Guard for 10 years. He completed a tour of duty to Iraq with the 224th Engineer Battalion from October 2004 through December 2005, deploying just a few months after his 2004 graduation from Van Buren High School.

In his civilian life, Cook is employed as a Des Moines Target store manager. His fiancée Alex West and daughter Maddie are staying in their home in Grimes while he is on active duty.

Chris Cook said two other Van Buren High School graduates also are deployed with the 833rd: Tyler Jones, a 2009 graduate and son of Greg and Penny Jones of Keosauqua and Pam Euans of Oelwein; and Scott Lindley, a 2011 graduate and son of Mark and Susan Lindley.

The goal of the fundraising auction is to purchase “all types of items — dried food, magazines, movies — anything to help occupy the time and provide the things they are missing back home,” said Cook. “We are going to try to send a care package to every area soldier deployed.”

To donate or for more information about the military benefit auction, call Cook at 641-895-4058. Information also is available by calling 641-895-3191, 919-6686 or 919-6032.

Stuart Gilbert is providing auction services.

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