On Friday, April 16, 2010, DHL Express picked up a 47-in widescreen TV -- the last piece for the Day Room -- from Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon at the Unilever warehouse in Cresskill, NJ. Dennis and Marion Zilinski (center) attended the event.
We recently learned that the Multi-National Hospital in Kandahar, AFG -- Role 3 MMU -- did not have the normal amenities for our warriors. No Day Room for the medical and security staff of the hospital to relax and relieve the stress of the everyday pressure of running a combat hospital in a war zone.
Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon set out to fund a Day Room that would house a TV, Xbox and Wii games, DVD players, camcorders, notebook computers and other entertainment amenities for the brave US and NATO warriors in Southern Afghanistan.
It wasn't long before the family of LT Dennis Zilinski, II volunteered to fund the Day Room through a foundation, Run with Dennis.org, which raises money every year in their son's honor to help worthy causes. A West Point graduate, LT Dennis W. Zilinski, II died in Iraq on November 19, 2005, as a result of a roadside bombing near Bayji, Iraq, 155 miles north of Baghdad.
Once the Day Room funding was set, it became apparent that the center piece of the Day Room, the wide screen High Def TV, would be a difficult item to ship. And that's when AaSP went to another Special Friend, DHL of JFK Int'l Airport, to see if they could help. Our good friend Cathy O'Reilly contacted the Vice President of the DHL JFK Gateway, Cain Moodie, who relayed the international shipping giant's approval in quick order.
We're grateful to the Zilinski family and DHL for enabling this wonderful project. Additionally, other supporters have come forward to donate towards this operation, including the NJ Turnpike Authority, Coffee Associates, Electronic Arts, Gene K and Jim A. Thank you!
NOTE 4-16-10: Today, the Toshiba 47" wide-screen TV was picked up by DHL Express. But if that were the whole story, it would be very simple. In fact, we had a very special send off for the TV with Dennis and Marion Zilinski in attendance, along with a NJ ARNG COL, Marine Gunnery Sgt and another Marine Sgt in dress uniform and several AaSP supporters there. Folks wrote notes on AaSP stickers and put them on the bubble wrapped TV. The TV is the last element of the Day Room to be shipped. A Karioke machine, two Xbox 360s, a Wii and Wii Fit, four notebook computers, three DVD players, a Flip HD camcorder, two webcams, several headsets and 10 video games (Xbox 360 and Wii) have already been shipped to Role 3. We have been told that a plaque will be installed in the room in honor of 1LT Dennis W. Zilinski II.