CHARLESTON, S.C. –  Operation Gratitude and volunteers from the Charleston area worked together Monday at the Isle of Palms Exchange Club to build 300 Battalion Buddy bears for the children of deployed service members. 

According to Operation Gratitude, Battalion Buddy bears are meant to serve as a comforting reminder to recipients while their parents are deployed. The bears say “I’m your Battalion Buddy and I`m here to keep you company while your mom or dad is away. I‘m so excited to join your family!” 

“It’s so important for them to know that we care about them,” Vicki Johnson of Operation Gratitude said.  “And also it gives the volunteers an opportunity to do something special for these, we call them ‘our little heroes.’” 

The bears will be distributed at Joint Base Charleston during deployment family events.