Operation Teddy Bear was created by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4918 in an effort to provide "comfort" bears to children of deployed Utah soldiers.
The bears are created at Build-A-Bear Workshop with a voice box containing a recorded message from the child's deployed parent. The bears are also outfitted in the uniform worn by the child's parent.
The goal is that the stuffed animal will help the children cope with separation anxiety.
The bears handed out Saturday were given to the children of three Utah National Guard units stationed in Afghanistan and the Balkans. The group said it has provided more than 1,000 comfort bears to the children of deployed soldiers.
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company