A little bit of history…..Adopt A Service Person was started over 10 years ago. When I retired from teaching and became active in MOAA, I was present at a MOAA meeting in DC where we each put together a box to send to a deployed person. Our project was thus born, and soon our Central Ohio Department was sending monthly boxes. Friends, churches, and strangers were giving me names of family members and neighbors who were deployed in harm’s way. Most of my names today come from a source in South Carolina, and all are verified.
At least 2 boxes go out a month, and the postage is $18.75 for each box. The boxes are filled with items that are requested and are usually sent to chaplains. The chief request in the food line is for high protein bars. That means at least 10 grams of protein. Packages of nuts, coffee, hot cereal, and beef jerky also are requested. Toiletries, books, puzzles, and all sorts of holiday decorations are also sent. What they especially like are drawings and notes from children to hang on walls.
I’ve gotten requests for plastic containers because of rodent problems, blankets because of cold nights, and insect repellant because of mosquitoes and bugs. Many of these requests come from troops in very remote areas and they have no access to Exchanges.
Sometimes I get an email telling me of their gratitude. One was from an air mechanic who spent at least 15 hours working on the planes and ate the nut packages we sent for his lunch and dinner. Another note came from a Chaplain who took the protein bars to remote locations in Iraq. One Chaplain requested cigars for his weekly Bible study. Every reply I get, speaks of the feeling that the troops are not forgotten. Emails tell of “ just doing our part”, “keeping American safe”, and “we are proud to serve”.
I hope we continue to do this….as the saying goes, “till they all come home.”
Dorothy Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org