Thank you to Gander Mountain and its customers for supporting our troops!


Hello, my name is Alison Mansfield, founder of two military-service projects, Operation U.S. Troop Support, Inc. and Operation Socks for Our Troops! Both projects are dedicated to supporting the brave men and women who protect our freedom every day. These initiatives and all of their associated projects continue to be a great blessing to me, and the opportunity to meet true American heroes has taught me many valuable life lessons. However, this website and all of its highlighted projects are not about me, but rather about the men and women serving our country. To them, we owe so much.

The inspiration for all of Operation U.S. Troop Support, Inc.'s projects and this website is an American hero named Sgt. Paul Statzer who has taught me about the tremendous sacrifices many soldiers daily make for each of us. Therefore, it is my great pleasure to dedicate this website to Sgt. Paul Statzer, my hero!

I was in 5th grade when our class was assigned a small writing piece following our We the People unit. The prompt was to write about an individual we believed exhibited “civic virtue,” meaning putting the common good before individual interests. Immediately, like many of my peers, I thought of celebrity philanthropists, who, without a doubt, have positively impacted many communities and individuals. However, after further consideration, I realized my desire was to bring attention to someone who exhibited civic virtue without gaining media attention. I wanted to honor someone who did the right thing-- even when nobody was watching.

After more thought, I remembered hearing a church message about a soldier named Sgt. Paul Statzer, and I decided to write my essay about him. Since I had never met Sgt. Statzer who was then being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, I arranged to interview him telephonically for my essay.

When I spoke with both Sgt. Statzer and his father, I learned that while serving in Iraq, Sgt. Statzer was severely injured in a convoy explosion. Because nearly half of his skull, his eye, parts of his larynx, and part of his hearing were blown away, he was immediately transferred to a hospital in Germany, and his parents were alerted he probably would not make it through the night. After many prayers, Sgt. Statzer miraculously made it through the night, and was later transferred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

I was immediately fascinated and touched by Sgt. Statzer’s story, his application of Bible doctrine, and his dedication to his country. After being asked by my parents if I wanted to meet Sgt. Statzer, the hero I had written about, I immediately and enthusiastically said “Yes!”

When I met Sgt. Statzer on Veteran’s Day 2005, I was even more amazed by the positive mental attitude he maintained throughout this whole experience. While others may have become bitter or angry in his situation, Sgt. Statzer remained positive and consistently stated that if given the chance, he would do it again for his country. Even in the face of adversity, Sgt. Statzer maintained his love for God and country.

Now, after successfully going through a cranioplasty and many other major surgeries, Sgt. Statzer is alive and is prospering. This is truly a testament to God’s grace.

Sgt. Statzer has been, and continues to be, the inspiration for all of my military-related service projects. He has taught me several invaluable lessons about sacrifice and love of country. If I have learned one thing from meeting Sgt. Statzer, it is that freedom isn’t free, and that we owe a debt of gratitude to those who protect our freedom each and every day. I am so honored to have had the experience of meeting Sgt. Statzer and the many other servicemen and women who make our freedom possible. Operation U.S. Troop Support, Inc. salutes American heroes like Sgt. Paul Statzer and all of the men and women who serve this great nation! God bless America!