Warwick officer serving in Afghanistan receives gifts for his unit from celebrity OC Choppers

| 15 Feb 2012 | 11:10

Warwick — U.S. Army Capt. Robert Barnett, the son of Robert and Margaret Barnett of Warwick, currently commands an Army battery unit in Afghanistan. This past Christmas, Barnett, a graduate of Warwick Valley High School as well as Virginia Polytechnic Institute, contacted Orange County Choppers, a custom and production motorcycle manufacturer based in Newburgh. The company is owned by Paul Teutul Sr. and featured on the popular TV show, American Chopper, which can be seen Mondays at 9 p.m. on the Discovery Channel. “I told them I grew up in Orange County,” said Barnett. “Myself and my first sergeant were putting together stockings for our soldiers for Christmas Eve. We were using green army socks and I asked the Orange County Choppers if they could provide stocking stuffers.” Barnett thought the Choppers would send some key chains or stickers but, instead and much to their surprise, the Choppers sent high quality T-shirts, of different designs. The Choppers also requested sizes, so that each soldier in the unit would receive a shirt that fit. “Captain Barnett’s request wasn’t something that we could turn down,” said company spokesperson Michele Paolella. “While we realize many of the Iraq-based soldiers abroad made it home in time for Christmas, those based in Afghanistan did not. So filling the request was the least we could do to bring the holiday to them.” - Roger Gavan