The Brookings-Harbor Redshirts are keeping up the pace with requests from our troops and getting as many care packages sent to Afghanistan as we possibly can. Looking back over the past seven years of our Christmas In July project, I was reminded of the goodness and kindness in our soldiers hearts when I saw two of the first pictures sent back to us from Iraq. The troops had requested items for the children there; items they could play with and items they could learn with. I was touched by the humanity I saw in the middle of all that was going on and by the sight of our soldiers interacting with Iraqi children.
This coming month of November is the time when we send all of our Christmas care packages to the troops each year. Again we will be sending well over a hundred care packages, that changes on a weekly basis as new contacts become available. We are blessed to have so much support from our GlobalGiving partners, and also locally we have several groups that get together with the Redshirts during the holidays and help pack and make Christmas stockings that will also go to Camp Leatherneck, Combat Support Hospitals and many other places throughout Afghanistan.
Here are some responses we have received lately from some of our soldiers:
Good morning ladies and gentleman,
My name is Lcpl Donovan Hanson and recently I have received some care packages from your group and would like to thank all of you for the support. Everyone I have shared the goodies with have enjoyed them. I read the letters some of you have written and enjoyed each and everyone of them. I have passed through Brookings a few times when I was on a trip to the coast and enjoyed the beauty out there. I am from Springfield myself and enjoy and miss the state of Oregon. I enjoyed reading about your group called the Red Shirts and I'm delighted to hear there are still people back home who support the military. I'm not the best writer but I would just like to say, thank you, thank you for the gifts and thank you for the support.
Here is another letter from Afghanistan:
Dear Red Shirts,
I am writing this email to you in pure joy for the care packages that your organization sent to me and the members of my unit. What each and every care package we as Soldiers receive, brings such joy to us that is so difficult to explain. As Soldiers, we understand that life back home must go on. Your children still have birthdays, holidays come and go, different family functions happen that you cannot be a part of. None of this can be put on hold while we are deployed. We understand this, but that doesn't make the pain of missing these functions any less real.
This makes it very easy for a Soldier to feel that they are forgotten.
Every letter, package, post card we receive reminds each and every one of us that we are not forgotten during this time.
I am so thankful for programs around the country such as yours that makes it possible to remind Soldiers just how much we do mean. This is especially evident when things come from people that you don't know.
There truly are no words that can express the feeling it gives us.
By the way, the squirt guns and the water balloons are great! We will definitely be plotting against each other for a very long time to find new and different ways to get somebody wet! We don't just have an all out squirt gun war, we do covert operations so that one person gets soaked while the rest run away laughing like little school children! It is a great time.
The Soldiers of the 484th Military Police Company are extremely thankful for all that you have done for us and do for all the Soldiers in Afghanistan. Keep up the awesome work!
SGT, US Army
S1, 484th MP CS CO
Camp Nathan Smith, Afghanistan
So thank you again to our GlobalGiving partners and all of those who support our troops, we pray they can all come home soon and re-start their lives with their families and neighbors. Your have done an amazing job letting them know that we still care, and our Christmas care packages will convey that message to each and every soldier.
Frank Muller, Project Leader