Thanks and appreciation to Boonville United Methodist Church, and especially to Administrative Assistant Crystal Dauback, for helping spread the word about our “Adopt a Platoon” collections, and for allowing donations to be dropped off at the church. If you’ve read our earlier posts, you know that we’re collecting things for both our adopted platoon, as well as our adopted marines in Afghanistan.
You may have read Crystal’s article about the club’s project in the January edition of the church newsletter, Tidings, which includes a list of things we’re collecting. Crystal emphasizes that it’s easy to pick up a little something extra each time you go shopping. And it’s easier on the budget if you spread out your purchases. Maybe you’ll see some type of snack food on sale at the grocery store. Add it to your cart, and you probably won’t notice the extra amount on your bill. Do this each time you shop, and your donations will add up.
Or if you’re shopping at Wal-Mart or a local dollar store, pick up something like a Chap Stick, a deodorant bar, or eye drops for just a dollar or two. And don’t forget to save the paperbacks, magazines, or newspapers you’ve read (no matter how old they are) and add them to your stack. You might even ask your family and neighbors to do the same!
When you’ve collected a bag full (or what you think is a reasonable amount) of goodies, personal hygiene articles, or reading material, take it to the Boonville United Methodist Church office, which is on the lower level, and can be reached by the Ann Street entrance, or from the parking lot on the opposite side of the building (the entrance to the fellowship hall and Senior Nutrition and Head Start programs). If you need more directions, call Crystal at 942-2626. She is in the office Monday through Friday from 9:30 to 2:30 (See www.boonvilleunitedmethodist.com). Club members, of course, can bring donations to the club meetings.
Are you wondering why we’re collecting these things? You may be thinking: Doesn’t the government provide the basic necessities to our soldiers? Well, yes, of course it does. But that’s the problem – it’s just the basics, and it’s our understanding that they often run out of these essentials. Here’s what the author of a website called www.operationhooah.com wrote:
Thousands of brave soldiers are deployed to Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) in pretty rugged and primitive conditions. Some in remote outposts live in dugouts or hand built fort-like structures of timber, rock and mud sandbags. In the WINTER, it is very cold and wet, and in SUMMER it is beastly hot, dusty and dry over there in Afghanistan. Soldiers deployed to outposts and firebases are often dirty, hungry, bored, lonely, very cold, or miserably hot, and much of the time, in harm’s way. Many do not have any laundry facilities; the only water is what the Chinooks helicopters can deliver, so some only get a shower once a month. Often, sanitary conditions are quite dispiriting.
And, as we posted earlier, the mother of a marine in Afghanistan, to whom we sent the first shipment of items we collected, had this to say about her son and his unit:
They can use all the help they can get. His unit is responsible for getting everything that anyone needs anywhere in Afghanistan by land convoy or by air. It is an extremely dangerous job…Any kind of food is much appreciated; there is a lot of contaminated food and water over there. They are in South Afghanistan, and were the first to go there. There was nothing there except desert. They are building everything and living out of tents.
Our contact for the Adopt A Platoon Project, Mike Plummer, who heads the 10th Mountain Division Association, wrote these words:
“The thought was that if the community could somehow show their appreciation and pride to these Soldiers, the Soldiers would feel better about what they were doing and be less concerned about being away from their friends and/or family members.”
So now you know! If you’d like more information, please visit the above mentioned site, www.operationhooah.com, which has many more suggestions on what can be sent and what should not be sent to the soldiers. It also reminds us that these soldiers are young women, as well as young men.
Thanks for your support! We hope to hear from you soon.