Stop for a moment and think of someone you love who’s between 18 and 40 years old...your son or daughter, husband or wife, sister or brother, grandchild, beloved friend.
Now picture that person halfway around the world in a foreign land, away from family and friends, separated from everything he or she loves, serving in the military. Put a face to the anonymous “troops” serving in Iraq and Afghanistan…and remember that each of them has a home, a family, a life they’ve left behind in order to serve. For some, this is the first time they’ve been away from home; many are parents who have left spouses and children behind; still others have put their education or careers on hold while they are away. All have chosen to serve. These are not faceless strangers—they are our family.
There has been so much discussion and controversy over having our troops in Iraq and Afhanistan--should they be there, should they not be there, should they stay, should they leave and on and on and on. Well, it doesn’t matter whether you or I think they should be there, the fact is they ARE there, and they are OUR AMERICANS.
It’s a small sacrifice to let them know they are remembered and appreciated, and to try to make their lives just a little better while they are there. Letters and packages mean so much to them...they remind them that Americans acknowledge and appreciate their service, and that a beautiful country prays for them and awaits their safe return.
For the past few years I’ve been sending about 20 care packages a month to American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. These packages contain everything from wet wipes and deodorant to sunflower seeds and beef jerky--lots of beef jerky. (Seriously, I could reconstruct several cows with the amount of beef jerky I've sent overseas!) The letters and emails I receive from those receiving these boxes always say it’s like Christmas when one of them arrives...boxes of toothpaste, shampoo and chewing gum, and they’re talking Christmas—wow, just wow.
Would you or your organization (or just group of friends, classmates, or business associates) like to help? If you would like information on how, let me know. You can donate items to send, money for postage; or if you and/or a group would like to start sending care packages, click here for detailed instructions on how to do it. Even if you just take a few minutes to write a letter, that would mean so very much to a young man or woman so so far from home. For 5 minutes and the cost of a stamp, you can really have an impact on a soldier’s morale.
Click here for a list of things that are commonly asked for and appreciated. Nothing goes to waste—if they can’t use something, they’ll pass it along to someone who can.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text 850-508-8810 if you have any questions or if I can help you with this in any way.