...and that means that it is high time I start taking up a collection toward some Soldiers' Holiday Care Packages. Once again (the third time if I have not lost count) I have had myself assigned to a soldier by Soliders' Angels. Again he is in Afghanistan. Again, for two out of three, he is on the front lines and very close to the Pakistani border. I already have one nice package put together for him and his unit thanks to donations from a couple of coworkers. That one is going out on Monday. It isn't a Christmas package - just a regular care package. The Christmas packages and their contents have not been shopped for yet and still need to be put together. Toward that end, I ask you for your generous support as in previous years. Any amount you can donate will go, after PayPal gets their cut, toward the contents of the care packages. As usual I will donate at least $25 toward the contents of each package (plus an initial amount of about $50) and I will pay all shipping costs out of my own pocket. I am hoping we can do good enough for our guys and gals in Harm's way so as to put together at least 4 or 5 nice holiday packages.
Each of the last two years, I contacted StreamLight and Angel D. sent me some really nice and expensive high intensity flashlights to be included in the packages. I don't think I can bring myself to ask again this year if only because I forgot to send her a gift last year to show our appreciation. I will make sure to send one though before the holidays - maybe it is best that way - so she gets it in time for Christmas this year. She has been a true Angel, and so has her company - StreamLight. The cost of her gift will be put up by me out of my own money and will not come from any donations you make toward the care packages for my assigned soldier and his fellow troops. If you would like to donate toward her gift, you can do so through the regular PayPal donation link but be sure to let me know part or all of your donation goes toward something for her. I figure a nice gift would help show her our appreciation for what she has done for our troops but you need not donate anything toward that because I can handle it.
As for the care package contents, I will try to get things that the soldiers want, need and otherwise will help make it easier for them to be in the hellhole in which they are stationed. I have had no communication with this soldier. I have written but have received no reply. I do not know if he received the letters. I have no email address for him to try contacting him that way as I did have for the other two. I do know though from his brief profile on Soldiers' Angels, that there is no PX on his base. They need toiletries and they want tobacco products. Those items will be included in the packages. So too will be included things like: candy, cookies, other treats, chewing gum, books, music CDs, batteries, ear plugs, maybe some folding knives (if I collect enough), wool socks (it gets very cold there in winter) and whatever else I can think of that will help make their days a little easier to bear and that will show we have not forsaken them especially at this special time of year.
You may notice I keep saying I have a soldier assigned to me but also keep referring to they and them. That is because what we send is not just meant for the soldier to whom I am assigned. Whatever we send is meant for all of the others in his unit and so far each solider to whom we have sent packages has readily shared everything. I see no reason to think otherwise this time, I mean would you expect it to be any other way! You may also note that I refer to this as a Christmas Package and holiday package. I used to be a Catholic. Old habits die hard and even though I have not practiced any faith in many years I like the idea of the Christmas season as one of giving - for after all - giving is exactly what the message of Christmas was all about. If you want, please think of it as a Chanukah package, a holiday package or simply a care package or whatever you want to call it. Just remember that the packages we will send are being sent to help our troops regardless of their beliefs. The most important thing about this is that it helps them.
This year, like the previous years, I will document everything in this blog that I collect and everything I buy and send to the troops from all of us. Be as generous as you can and don't be bashful. If being generous for you means you can give a dollar, then please do so. Every little bit helps. I'd like to get the first package out no later than two weeks from tomorrow, so please if you are planning on donating, send something as soon as possible.
To donate please use the link, in the red area, on the right side of my blog page.
All the best,
Cactus Wrens at the Feeders
1 hour ago