11/04/12 — Project sets goal to send holiday care packages to soldiers in Afghanistan

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Project sets goal to send holiday care packages to soldiers in Afghanistan

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on November 4, 2012 1:50 AM

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Army Spc. Justin Garrison is serving in Afghanistan.

Their offerings were simple -- boxed noodles, baby wipes, hand sanitizer and beef jerky.

But when a young soldier and members of his platoon received them a few days ago somewhere near Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan, those goods meant more than the men and women who ensured they received them could have imagined.

They meant that people back in the country they signed up to defend still care -- that they haven't forgotten the sacrifices that have been, and are still being made, across the world.

They boosted morale -- putting smiles on the faces of young men and women who have experienced more hardship in the past few months than most Americans face in a lifetime.

So when Spc. Justin Garrison had the time, he sent Wayne County Veterans and Patriots Coalition President Bill Graham a message.

"Bill, I want to thank you and your veterans for the kindness you have shown my (platoon). This message would be sent in a letter, but I don't have those options right now," the 24-year-old wrote. "The care packages came in yesterday. There are many smiling soldiers right now. Did you know ramen noodles and baby wipes are like gold here? I will never forget your gift to us. ... Many thanks from many soldiers here in Afghanistan. God Bless you all."

Graham and other members of the Coalition were touched by the soldier's response.

So they vowed to continue "Project We Care," an effort that will see more care packages sent to troops serving in Afghanistan until the war there comes to an end.

The American Legion Post 11 Headquarters, located just past the Wayne County Fairgrounds, will be the collection point for the donations Graham and his comrades hope will come flooding in once their neighbors hear about their desire to uplift some of the nation's combat troops.

The items, listed below, can be dropped off at the facility Monday through Saturday after 3 p.m. until Dec. 3 -- the deadline was set to ensure the care packages arrive overseas by Christmas.

Those interested in more information about the men and women who will be on the receiving end of this next offering -- and those who want to help offset the $29 per box shipping costs -- are asked to contact Graham at 919-394-2200.

Items on the troops' wish list include:

* White socks

* Baby wipes

* Ramen Noodle varieties

* Lance Nabs varieties

* Coffee in filter packs

* Coffee creamer packs

* Sugar packs

* Cocoa packs

* Beef jerky

* Slim Jims

* Sunflower seeds

* Peanuts

* Sealed tuna packs with crackers

* Disposable razors

* Shave foam

* Deodorants

* Toothbrushes

* Toothpaste

* Mouth wash

* Unscented body lotion

* Soap

* Hand sanitizer

* Cigarettes

* Cigars

* Skoal

* Puzzle books

* Writing pads

* Envelopes

* Pens