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Operation Troop Appreciation Organization Helping Military Families

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Operation Troop Appreciation helps American servicemen and servicewomen who are overseas.

But with President Obama announcing that troops are leaving Iraq, the organization is getting calls asking if they will continue their invaluable service.

"With the Internet it makes it very easy for the troops to reach out to our organization, and they do that," said Monica Orluk, of Operation Troop Appreciation. "They come to us through our website. They tell us who they are, where they are and what they need."

With the announcement of troops leaving Iraq next week, OTA has received a number of calls asking if the service will continue. Orluk promises it will.

"Under Armour brand tee-shirts are very popular in the very intense heat and cold conditions especially in Afghanistan where it's incredibly cold right now, and then we also send some supplemental ballistics glasses and fireproof gloves - the cool stuff," she said.

The troops love it and so many are local. More than 3,000 Pa. reservists and guardsmen will deploy in February.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are getting involved this evening.

"We have a lot of wounded warriors, we have area soldiers from the Pennsylvania National Guard, from the reserves and from the 171st Airwing that are also going to be attending the game," she said. It's going to be a night about our veterans and our soldiers and honoring their service."

On Saturday, OTA holds a 100,000th Soldier Celebration.

"Our military only represents one percent of our population and I think we as Americans owe it to them to say thank you," said Orluk.

The celebration runs from noon to 4 p.m. at the OTA headquarters in the Century III Mall.

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