"The only thing harder than leaving your family to defend your country, is leaving your country undefended."
That was how my cousin Bridgette ended her speech on October 1, 2017 as her and a group of U.S. Army reservists were being sent overseas for their next mission. I was so grateful to be there for their send-off ceremony. Sad and emotional of course but it was such a inspiration to see them all there. It's difficult to put into words but I think "Thank you" would probably be a good place to start.
With the help of social media Bridgette is able to keep in touch with her family back home here and recently sent us a request for help. At the moment she is stationed in Kuwait but many of her team members have been sent to other countries. She has a team of about 85 soldiers who are stationed in Syria, Iraq and Jordan and their living conditions there are pretty poor (I've been told this is actually for their safety but it's still difficult). Some of them only get showers once or twice a week. For meals they are eating mostly MREs (meals ready to eat) with an occasional hot meal. These Soldiers are the movers and shakers getting dirty and making the mission happen. They are living in tents and are sleeping on cots. My cousin and many others are so grateful and want them to know they are being thought of and recognized for what they are doing, especially during the holiday season while they are away from home.
So here's where you come in! I'll be collecting items and sending my cousin and her team care packages and would really appreciate any items you are able to contribute. Here are the types of items which my cousin said would be best to send:
- Christmas Stockings (for all the goodies!)
- Beef Sticks (individually wrapped or wrapped in small quantity as there is no access to refrigeration)
- Fruit Snacks
- Granola Bars
- Trail Mix
- Dried Fruit and Nuts
- Flavored Drink Packets
- Toothpaste & Toothbrushes, Deodorant and Feminine Hygiene Products
- Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds
- Small packs of baby wipes (30 or 40 count)
- Small Hand Sanitizers
- Pens, Notebooks, and envelopes
- Monetary Donations - any monetary donation that is made will go towards shipping as it costs about $18 per box to ship
**no microwave meals please as they don't have access to a microwave.
In order to get it shipped asap we're hoping to have everything collected by Friday, December 15th. You can drop off all donated items here at our station 12100 W Howard Avenue, Greenfield, WI 53228. We are open 8am-5pm Monday through Friday.
THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for anything you can do! Words cannot express how much this will mean to them.
Here are some photos from their send off ceremony on October 1st and photos from their mission overseas. Click here to read the article which features my cousin.
Update - I added photos from us prepping the stockings and some from the soldiers who got their stockings!