The Brookings-Harbor Redshirts continue to support our troops through the "Christmas in July" project. To date we have sent 5,664 care packages to our men and women in uniform serving in Afghanistan and also those who served their country in Iraq. We are approaching our seventh year of supporting our troops and are again planning another special shipment for July.
We have found that during these especially hot and difficult summer months our care packages can make it feel like Christmas. So during the month of July we send special care packages that games, toys, socks, under ware, gloves (because things are so hot to handle), phone cards and requested hygiene and food items such as baby wipes, toothpaste, soap, razors, beef jerky, can fruit, granola bars etc. Chocolate cannot be shipped during the summer months, so we send hard candy that won't melt.
We have recently received a couple of letters from soldiers and also welcomed home a local soldier returning for a short leave from Afghanistan. Here are the letters:
I can't thank you all enough for all your care packages, letters and little things that you guys send from home. A little bit of everything helps when you're away from home and away from your family. Being over here is definitely a life changing experience. It's not a simple task to complete without a little heartache and missing your family constantly. On behalf of myself and the 1st Platoon Outlaws, I greatly appreciate everything you all have done for us; it's a good feeling knowing some people out there still care about the people who defend everyone's freedom on a day to day basis.
SPC Michael Ruegsegger
Also this letter from the Nato Multi-National Hospital:
Kind folks of the Redshirts,
Let me say how much we all appreciate you taking the time to send these wonderful tastes of heaven and home to us. We had just come off an operation that had us in the middle of nowhere for about 30 days. Coming back to these wonderful boxes was awesome.
I wanted to make sure you knew how much we appreciate all your support and recognize that it’s because of people like you and your group we can keep on with the mission knowing we have wonderful people like you backing us up.
Take care, pleasure talking with you.
LT MSC USN
1st Battalion 8th Marines
So thank you all our partners in Global Giving, you are making a big difference in the lives and morale of many of our soldiers serving in harm's way.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
For Christmas this year the Redshirts were able to send 132 care packages to our troops serving in Afghanistan. Our main focus were the Combat Support Hospital in Camp Dwyer, and the Nato Multi-National Hospital, both in Afghanistan. In addition we sent care packages to other soldiers supporting those organizations. We have been able to send 5,570 care packages to our troops to date.
Here is a letter we received from Chaplain Anthony Allen about our Christmas shipment to Camp Dwyer:
TASK FORCE 10TH MED-SW
Camp Dwyer, Afghanistan
Wednesday February 8, 2012
Dear Brookings-Harbor Redshirts,
It is my prayer that this letter finds you in good health and prosperous On behalf of Task Force MED-SW, I would like to wish you and your organization a Happy New Year! Because of your kindness and generosity we indeed enjoyed a wonderful holiday season.
Thank you for your donation of snacks, stockings and gifts to Task Force MED_SW.
The tokens of love were more thoughtful than we ever imagined, and really added a touch of home during our separation from our families and friends. I personally heard several Soldiers commenting on the difference that they made.
Please know that your liberality will help the Soldiers continue to make a difference in the lives of the Afghan people and the global community. Let there be peach on earth!!
Anthony D. Allen
Here is another recent letter from Sergeant Major Tiomthy Wayne:
Brookings-Harbor Redshirts Team,
I am Sergeant Major Timothy Wayne from the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Paktya stations at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Gardez in Afghanistan.
We have received numerous packages from you all and it is great for the Soldiers and Airman as it always lifts their morale when we receive great packages from people back home.
It is a honor to have received a flag that has been flown back home from some great people that have taken the time out of there busy schedule to assist and take care of the men and woman of our Armed Forces in today’s fight on terrorism.
We have displayed the flag in our PRT Classroom so everyone can see and remember that we have some great people back in the United States that care about us on a daily basis.
All of us here at Team Paktya would like to say thank you and hope you all have a great Holiday Season, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Hope you r 2012 is as good as your 2011 or even better.
SGM Timothy M. Wayne
PRT Paktya Sergeant Major
FOB Gardez, Afghanistan
So our sincere thanks goes out to you, all our GlobalGiving partners, for you make this support possible and we thank you for all of our troops serving in harm's way. Our goal is still the same as the day we started, to support our troops serving in harm's way "Until they all come home."
Frank Muller, Project Leader
On November 25th, the Brookings-Harbor Redshirts were able to send 130 more care packages to our wounded warriors and our troops at two hospitals in Afghanistan. Thanks to our GlobalGiving partrners for helping make this support possible.
We sent care packages filled with hand made Christmas ornaments, gifts, portable DVD players, DVD's, CD's, healthy snacks, goodies and lots of hygiene items. We directed our support to the Nato Role 3 Multi-National hospital in Afghanistan and also the 10th Combat Support Hospital in Afghanistan.
We wrapped many Christmas gifts for under their Christmas trees and had 40 portable DVD players to help keep our wounded soldiers entertained while recovering from their injuries. We included coffee, popcorn, licorice, Christmas candy, over 100 cloth frisbees, Clif bars and many letters from our local Middle School, as well as from various churches and private citizens.
We have yet to hear back from any of the reciepients as they are probably just now receiving the packages and will probably save them until Christmas. Our contacts promised they would let us know when everything has arrived at their camps. We do however, have a couple of recent thank you letters from troops who recently received some of the care packages you helped us send.
Please continue to support the troops. Some times, that's what keeps us going. Knowing that there are people back home who care what we do and know why we do it. We are coming to an end on our deployment. We had some good times and some bad times. But going through it with your brothers in arms, is what makes this experience a very special one. Thank you again for all your prayers, support, and packages. Thank your for serving those who serve. May God bless you all! We all can't wait to come home!!!!!!!!! God Bless America!
- Harold Badillo and the Military Police Platoon
And from Chaplain Gilmore at Camp Dwyer:
On behalf of the leaders and Soldiers of the 115th Combat Support Hospital, I’d like to thank each of you and your organizations for being so faithful in serving in our unit. Over the past year, your efforts to increase our morale and make being away from home a bit easier have paid eternal dividends. And from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you.
Our replacements, the 10th Combat Support Hospital are here now and are in the process of assuming this mission. Their Chaplain, CPT Anthony Allen, is copied on this email. He will be in touch with you to share their needs and their gratitude as well. I’m sure you’ll take as good care of them as you did us.
So thank you, first, to our Troops for being on the front line for our nation and also thanks to all our partners at GlobalGiving, for without your support, our project would not be nearly as sucessfull as you have helped make it. We will send you another update when we hear back from our contacts and reciepients of our Christmas program.
Thank you for your support,
First, a big thank you to all of our supporters from the Brookings-Harbor Redshirts and from the troops. We continue to send care packages twice a month to our troops, but on July 22nd we had a larger mailing we estimated to be around 60 care packages but the final total was 73. There are always last minute additons and adjustments that need to be made.
We sent the majority of our care packages to the 115th Combat Support Hospital at Forward Observation Base Dwyer in Hemland Province Afghanistan and also to the Nato Multi-National Hospital in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. We also included other individual soldiers in units in the field. Here are some of the responses we have received back; the first from Debra Young:
First I want to thank you so much for helping to keep our morale up while we are deployed to Camp Dwyer. All the soldiers really appreciate getting care packages from home. I am one of the Emergency Department RNs here. I am also running the Morale Tent here for our soldiers. I work with a group of soldiers that help distribute the boxes and place needed supplies in the Morale Tent for all to use. We have over 200 soldiers in the CSH. We also have Marines and Navy personnel that work along with us at the hospital Thank you so much for all you do on the home front. It really means so much to us here.
Also we received this reply from HMC Lukas Gardner:
Frank & the Redshirts,
It is good to hear from you. We did receive the Redshirt's care packages, thank you so much. We distributed them to a various number of units and wounded warriors. I will be leaving very shortly and will be passing this on to HMC Monica Florence, her email is attached. Thank you again for all the support you have shown us, it truly means a lot and keeps morale and spirits up.
HMC(AW) Lukas Gardner
Role 3 MMU
From SPC Nicollette Kennemer
I just would like to say a quick thank you for your organizations support, and the care packages. They were greatly appreciated by myself and my fellow soldiers. I attached a picture to the email so you can see all the faces you supported. We are almost done with our tour, and should be out of Iraq by Sept 1st.Thank you Brookings-Harbor Redshirts for all you do.Sincerely,Spc Nicollette Kennemer
And finally an email from Captain Casey Brock, USMC:
I took the contents of the packages and split them up amongst a bunch of the Marines. "Some people spend their whole lives wondering if they have made a difference. The Marines do not have that problem”. I believe that statement to be true and I believe this same statement applies to the members of your organization. You have made a difference in our lives and for that I truly grateful.
Casey M. Brock Captain, USMC
These letters are to thank all of you, our supporters. This is the how our soldiers feel about your help on Global Giving. As we move forward, The Brookings-Harbor Redshirts are preparing again for a large Christmas shipment of care packages to both of these hospitals in Hemland Province and also in Kandahar. The troops keep rotating through these two bases so they are in constant need of our moral support and greatly appreciate any goodies they receive from home.
Our goal this Christmas is to send a lot of portable DVD players, movies, healthy snacks, letters from home, military phone cards and hygiene items to both hospital units as well as to continue sending items to individual soldiers and units. As of September 16th, the Brookings-Harbor Redshirts will have sent 5,322 care packages to the troops with a shipping cost of over fifty-eight thousand dollars. Thank you for your generous donations that help make this possible as the Redshirts will be here supporting our troops "Until they all come home."
Thank you for your support of the "Christmas in July" project. We are nearing another of our yearly goals, our special annual summer shipment called "Christmas in July." This year we will have our special mailing on July 8, 2011 and are expecting to ship about 60 care packages to two hospitals in Afghanistan and more to soldiers deployed in Iraq.
The first hospital receiving these care packages is the Nato Multi-National Role 3 Hospital in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. The other is the 115th Combat Support Hospital at Camp Dwyer, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
We chose these hospitals not only because they are located in "hot spots," but also because our contacts there said they would distribute the care packages to the wounded soldiers at both facilities, and then to the rest of the groups to share. In addition to healthy snacks, dried fruits, trail mixes, nuts, coffee, etc. we'll also be including military phone cards for the soldiers to use and also letters from our local students, letters from home and pictures of the beautiful southern Oregon coast.
We'll be updating you as we receive feedback from our troops. Thank you for your continued support, since we send care packages all year long, and as of July 8th, we will have sent 6,109 care packages to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pictured below is SPC Amy Feltzin and her unit with local Afghans; Amy and her unit were recent recipients of care packages from the Brookings-Harbor Redshirts.
As a final thought here is a letter from June 9th from SGT Tristan Ryan:
First, thank you so much for the two boxes that you sent of treats and hygiene supplies. Not only will I and the rest of my unit use it, but we will also be sharing with the locals that work with us. It was great to receive mail as a surprise and to find all the goodies in it was even more of a shock!
My mom has made sure that I know about the Red Shirts and everything that you guys do, but I am not sure you guys understand how appreciated it is. I have been told many time "Thank you for your service", but for a while I really had no idea how to respond. My statement now is thank you for your support. I could not imagine going home after spending time in Iraq or Afghanistan to people that hate us. When someone tells me thank you, it helps remind me why I love serving my country.
So I want to say thank you for your constant support of all of the service members in deployed areas, and that you are true heroes.
SGT Tristan Ryan
SOCOM Attached to 1310 AOB, 1st SFG
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