Can you imagine being thousands of miles from home, in a strange land where conflict is all around you? Can you imagine eating whatever is served in the mess hall, or worse, a prepacked meal ready to eat (MRE). Can you imagine being in a place that doesn’t have a 7-11 or Walgreens on every corner for you to run out and get a candy bar or a magazine?
Many of the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces have experienced these discomforts, on deployments, throughout the years. Deployments can last anywhere from 6 – 18 months, causing the deployed to feel isolated and forgotten.
Care packages from the home front have benefits that stretch beyond simple pleasures, like a candy bar. Here is what a few former military members have to say about receiving care packages while deployed:
- Brian Wagner, who served in the US Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005, said care packages “make you feel human to get something from home”.
- Dennis Hardy, an E4 in the Army, who spent 11 months on a mountain top in Bosnia, says “In a confined and disrupted environment like that, a care package is something that grounds us to who we are, and we realize there is another place, a normal place where we hope to get to again after our soldiering is done”.
- Ivan Gardner, an ER in the Air Force, who spent time in Dau Tieng, Vietnam, said “just a small piece of home to hold onto, so the rockets and mortars, sappers and snipers, couldn’t steal every last bit of your sanity”.
- Army MSG Lou Shaver, who served in the Gulf War in 1991 and Operation Enduring Freedom in 2003, said “Care packages and letters from the states were a tremendous morale booster. Especially from the kids in school. You sometimes feel forgotten by the public”.
We, at the Yellow Ribbon Support Center (YRSC), will not forget our troops who leave their families, and daily lives, to serve overseas – sometimes in harm’s way. They need to know that we, at home, think about them and care enough about them to send them “love” from the home front.
How can you help? Keith always says “we need 3 things to make this mission work: items to send, money to send them, and someone to send them to”
- Coordinate a collection drive using the Soldier’s Wish List found here on our website. A volunteer from YRSC will be happy to collect the items from your drive and ship them.
- Send donations to YRSC using Paypal, send a check, or payroll deductions (coming soon).
- Spread the mission of the YRSC using Facebook and word of mouth.
- Volunteer some time at the Center to help with packing the care packages.
Our troops depend on each one of us to support them while they serve in harm’s way, defending the freedoms and way of life of this great nation.