By John Chappell
When Christine Jepson started collecting tennis balls for her son, she thought it was just for a week or so.
Patrick Wilson’s 4th Brigade Combat Team Tactical Explosive Detection Dog (TEDD) team deployed from Fort Bragg in February. The unit he commands uses specially trained dogs to search out improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and other explosives.
They need two to three balls a week for each military working dog. Jepson thought if she put boxes around she could collect balls here and send them over there.
It turned out to be a bigger job than she ever dreamed.
Even with the success so far, Jepson still needs more balls. Lots more balls. Soldiers in Wilson’s unit go through two to three balls a week for each dog. There are 125 dogs.
“So, that is well over a thousand a month,” Jepson said. “They will be there until Sept. 30, so that would be over 8,000, well over 8,000.”
If you are interested in donating balls, you might try and contact John Chappell at (910) 783-5841 or by email at [email protected]