While our nation turns its thoughts away from war, a local group is raising the morale of service men and women by means of the United States Postal Service.
When the United States went to war with Afghanistan and Iraq in 2003, Servicepersons’ Care Package Committee was formed to bring hope to the troops by sending local troops boxes stuffed with goodies and hygiene products.
“I just woke up one day and decided I had to do something,” said Nancy Etheredge, Chairman of Servicepersons’ Care Package Committee. “It is so much more than you see on TV.”
With a mission to send packages to troops who were either from Walker County, or those who family was from Walker County, Servicepersons’ Care Package Committee sends a box to the troops every holiday or roughly every two months.
“We try to send out boxes for every celebrated holiday,” said Etheredge. “For Easter we send the troops camouflage baskets and eggs. For Halloween we might send them a basket filled with candies and maybe a few fun gifts.”
The committee has seen first hand how quickly Americans have forgotten the troops abroad.
“People are getting a little more apathetic now,” said Etheredge. “When we first started people gave and gave, and now a large majority of them are mad and refuse to see the war for what it is.”
The total to send one box from Texas to Iraq/Afghanistan is roughly $8.10. The hope that comes to the troops when they open their specially made package is priceless.
“We have had a soldier come back to give us a slideshow and tell us how special it was to receive a box,” said Etheredge. “He told us all about how his group had set up a town and a government system and got it running smoothly.” Items that are put in the box and can be donated include the following: peanuts, candy, Trail mix, Fruit roll-ups, sunflower seeds, cookies, Pop Tarts, M&M’s, Starbursts, Skittles, popcorn, chocolates (in the winter time), small packages of unscented baby wipes and small toys to be given to the Iraqi children. (Please note that items are not allowed in the packages with any sort of alcohol.)
For more information, contact Serviceperson’s Care Package Committee, P.O. Box 785, Huntsville, TX, 77342-0785. By email: [email protected] By phone: 291-3672.