Army Staff Sgt. Gerald R. Smith Jr. has returned to the U.S. after being deployed overseas at a forward operating base to serve in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The son of Gerald Smith Sr., of Holland, and Esther Swope of Earl Street, Toledo, the staff sergeant is a 1997 graduate of Waite High School.
Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Ralph M. Burgess, son of Ralph Burgess, of Oregon, and other Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) received more than 2,500 Operation Gratitude care packages at an all-hands call in the ship's hangar bay.
Carolyn Blashek, founder of Operation Gratitude and Michael Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan attended the event. They, along with other Operation Gratitude members, thanked the crew for their service and recognized the success of the work done thus far.
Burgess, a 2004 graduate of Clay High School, joined the Navy in November 2009.