A local non-profit devoted to helping soldiers stationed overseas has fallen victim to a weekend fire. Our Matt Hunter reports from Saratoga County.
WILTON, N.Y. – For the past 15 years, Operation Adopt a Soldier in Wilton has been sending care packages to U.S. military members stationed overseas.
"We try to send a little bit of home overseas to the soldiers," said Cliff Seguin, who founded the non-profit after sending a handful of packages to his son and his fellow unit members during his first tour of duty. "We can't let them be forgotten. Last week we sent out 277 packages, and just this morning, we sent out 371 boxes."
This past Sunday, in the heart of their busiest season, Seguin received a call that there was a fire on land the non-profit rents behind Wilton's Gavin Park.
"When I got here it was indeed on fire and we lost everything in the building," Seguin said.
Inside the 10-foot-by-10-foot shed was equipment used in Operation Adopt A Soldier's fall haunted hay ride, one of the organization's biggest annual fundraisers.
"A lot of monsters. We had a projector in the building and we also had three fog machines in there," Seguin said.
With no electricity running to the shed or anything combustible inside, investigators have labeled the cause "suspicious."
"The stuff that was kept in there shouldn't have caused a fire, so it leads us to it was started somehow by human beings," said Jeff Brown, a lieutenant with the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office.
"If it is suspicious and someone gets caught, so be it,” Seguin said Tuesday. “We're going to pick up the pieces and we're going to keep on going."
Whether it was started accidentally or on purpose, Seguin says the fire will not alter the focus away from delivering the comforts of home to soldiers currently in harm's way.
"The soldiers, they need us,” Seguin said. “The public needs to know that we still have soldiers that are fighting and dying every week for the cause of our freedom."
In addition to visiting the organization’s website, donations to Operation Adopt A Soldier can be made at Glens Falls National Bank or Saratoga National Bank.