Show Your Appreciation to Our Troops
No one wants to feel alone. It's a queasy, achy gut sort of feeling that makes people feel vulnerable and isolated from other people and the world around them. Suncrest community members Edie and Rodney Wells don't want anyone to feel alone. With help from a friend and their own good intentions, the couple started sending care packages to a very special troop of men serving in Afghanistan.
“We want to give those boys a little taste of home,” Edie says. “Plus it lets them know people are thinking about them. I just thought it was an opportunity to show these young men that there are people in the states that care about them.”
The project came about because of a friendship with a lieutenant in the army. The lieutenant graduated from West Point Military Academy and was sent overseas this past August on his first remote assignment. Now the 31 men in his platoon have been taken under the hearts and wings of Suncrest. The first six care packages were sent September 6, and it's been a community event since then.
“It's hard to comprehend what these boys are going through until you really think about it,” she says. “They are in pretty remote areas, and they have to go out into the dark on duty and I'm sure it's scary. Most of them are just young men.”
The care packages are filled with items like food snacks, shaving gear, soap, baby wipes, toothbrushes, flavored water packets, cards, crossword puzzles, letters and foot powder. Edie says it's the little things and ordinary activities – like going to the sink and washing your hands – that people in the states take for granted.
The Lakeside Cop Shop has also been of great help. During their monthly luncheons, the group gets together to bake treats and cookies so that the boys overseas get a fresh, homemade tastes. ”The group has really decided they are going to adopt those boys,” Edie says. “In some ways, it really feels like our community has adopted this little group out there.”
Although the group has had limited contact with the platoon, volunteers are sure the men in service are enjoying the goodies and supplies. But more help and supplies are constantly needed and appreciated. The packages are sent express mail and cost $12.50 per box to send them out to the troops. Donations are accepted in the form of money or though supply donations.
Hygienic supplies, snacks (especially hand baked treats and sweets for the holidays), playing cards, notes, books and letters are kindly accepted. Chocolate (it melts!), aerosol items and alcohol are strictly prohibited. Edie asks members of the community to look back to a time when the entire country was rationed on supplies because U.S troops were overseas.
“The country was aware of what was going on,” she says. “People woke up everyday thinking about the fact that we had young men and women at war. And today, everyday that we get up, we just take our lives for granted. We forget that there are people out there taking care of us and there is no price tag you can put on that. Whether you politically agree or disagree with the war is the not the point. The point is these soldiers are serving our country.”
Donations can be dropped off at the Cop Shop located at 5919D Hwy 291, Nine Mile Falls. For more information call Edie or Rodney Wells