First of Operation Gratitude’s Twin 500,000th Care Package Gifts Presented to Soldier

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C., July 30 — A Fort Bragg soldier recently returned from Afghanistan received a Harley Davidson Sportster during an Appreciation Ceremony in the Hall of Heroes at the Rawcliffe Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  The donation was made by Lee Rawcliffe, owner of Sands Resorts and Don Allen, CEO of American Veterans Traveling Tribute (“AVTT”).  A second soldier will be receiving a Sportster in the fall.

The soldiers,  randomly selected as the Operation Gratitude milestone 500,000th Care Package recipients last December, are US Army Staff Sgt. William Fullerton, a squad leader from 82nd Division Special Troops Battalion and US Army Sgt. Michael Herne, an infantryman with 82nd Airborne Division.

SSG Fullerton on his Harley

During the presentation ceremony, Staff Sgt. Fullerton graciously accepted his gift as family, friends, and military supporters applauded the efforts of all servicemen.   A luncheon and reception followed.  A similar event is planned for Sgt. Herne in the coming weeks.

“Our purpose is to show continuous support for Americans who protect our country,” said Lee Rawcliffe.  “Our plans include more future recognitions to these courageous Americans.”  In 2009, Sands Resorts dedicated the Hall of Heroes as a tribute to American Heroes.  Since then, there have been ongoing projects to recognize both Wounded Warriors and VFWs.  

Operation Gratitude sends care packages filled with fifty or more assorted snack, entertainment and personal care items to US Service Members deployed in combat.  The volunteer-based non-profit will send its 600,000th care package this December.

See video coverage of the presentation here: SSG Fullerton Receives Harley

Sands Resorts in Myrtle Beach, SC has been a leading provider of beach and golf vacations for over 35 years.  Their collection of seven oceanfront resorts with 1600 guest accommodations are convenient to golf, dining, shopping, entertainment and attractions.  The resorts highlight 28,000 square feet of meeting space, a waterpark, popular oceanfront restaurants and lounges, two spas, health clubs, indoor/outdoor pools, lazy rivers, and kid’s programs. Sands Resorts is home to nationally known Ocean Annie’s Beach Bar and Mango’s on the Beach.  It is also the site for Hall of Heroes.  More information is available at or by calling (877) 322-3224

American Veterans Traveling Tribute (“AVTT”) is a veteran-owned project traveling the USA to provide a forum for communities to HONOR-RESPECT-REMEMBER those who have sacrificed their lives for our country’s freedom.  AVTT honors Veterans and those currently serving and is funded through sponsorship fees, donations, and sale of merchandise at events.  Donations to support AVTT’s mission are through The Traveling Wall Foundation.  More information is available at

About Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude annually sends 200,000+ care packages to Veterans, First Responders, New Recruits, Wounded Heroes, their Care Givers, and to individually named U.S. service members deployed overseas and their families waiting at home. Each package is filled with food, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, as well as personal letters of support. Our mission is to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of the Military and First Responder communities, and provide volunteer opportunities for civilians anywhere in America to express their appreciation to all who serve our nation. Each package contains donated product valued between $45 and $100 and costs our organization $15 to assemble and ship. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 1.6 Million Care Packages.
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