From a vet:
By the way, in case you are wondering, I can indeed remember my first care package. I received it just over 36 years ago from my sister........had a hot plate in it. I think I had mentioned to her a couple of times that myself and my three friends really wanted one, because of the limited hours (and selection) at the chow hall. At the time I was stationed at the NATO Base in Reykavik, Iceland and had about 10 months of a 12 month tour to do.
So my sister responded to my request and I received the hot plate. Me and the guys were so excited we went out and bought $50 worth of hot plate food......canned stew, canned beans, hotdogs, and even chicken! Fifty bucks may not seem like too much, but in 1976 fifty dollars was a week and a halfs pay for a seaman apprentice, and all of us were seaman apprentices. So we were loaded up.
Anyway, we decided that our first meal should be a great one, so we got the chicken out and started cooking it. Everybody got their favorite part and stuck it in a frying pan with some oil and waited.
After 5 minutes we thought it looked done and Gerry, who would later become the President of the BSFCI, took a bite of his piece. Well, it wasn't done - but, according to Gerry the first quarter inch was great and he saw no reason why we couldn't eat the first layer of chicken and then eat beans while the next layer of chicken cooked. This kind of thinking is what propelled Gerry into leadership positions.
The meal was touch and go, but within an hour or so we were able to cook the chicken and eat our beans cowboy style. Gerry was a big fan of John Wayne and was well prepared to meet life's challenges.
That night the four of us eventually found ourselves in various positions in the head. Mine was prone, which I felt gave me a little more dignity than John and Doug who sat in complaint. Poor Gerry, he lay in a fetal position for the duration, and never really said much. But he later remarked that the little tiles of 3-quarter inch square on the bathroom floor felt nice and thought maybe he would like to have a throw rug of sorts made out of tile. Always thinking.
Gerry too later remarked he didn't think the way we cooked the chicken would have caused all that, but suspicions had gathered and we swore off poultry. Nonetheless, we none held it against him and I continue to hold him in high regard.
I still have the card that announced the arrival of the care package and have attached it for you to see. Obviously the card and the package meant something, as I still have that card to remember. Though I'll never forget.
And I think I can say, without reservation, that John Roberts, Doug Neumann, and Gerry Martin will never forget my first care package either.
Recalling the Care Packages, this one in particular, I received while in the service. I am reminded that you don't really receive a care package........everyone you serve with share in the care package. Certainly you get first dibs on its content, but even that is restrained. Because the truth is, you want to share your good fortune with your friends, not store up credits against their friendship.