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.

--Chet Howard

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.

Thank you

From the mother of a Marine in Iraq .

My son told me how wonderful the care packages were that they received and wanted me to tell everyone thank you. He told me every time he receives something he shares it with the others, they all do.

He said that one guy got a female care package and everyone was giving him a hard time. My son said this Marine got some really nice smelling lotion and everyone really likes it, so every time he goes to sleep they steal it from him.' I told my son I was really sorry about the mistake, and if he wanted I would send the Marine another package. 

My son said they had to go on a mission and this Marine wanted the Chap-Stick and lotion for the trip. He grabbed a bunch of the items from his care package and got in the Humvee. As luck would have it he grabbed the tampons too, and my son said everyone was teasing him.'

He said things went well for a while, then the convoy was ambushed and a Marine was shot. He said the wound was pretty clean, but it was deep. He said they were administering first aid but couldn't get the bleeding to slow down, and someone said, 'Hey! Use Marine's tampons!' My son said they put the tampon in the wound. At this point my son profoundly told Me, 'Mom, did you know that tampons expand?' ('Well....yeah!')

They successfully slowed the bleeding until the guy got better medical attention. When they went to check on him later, the surgeon told them, 'You guys saved his life. If you hadn't stopped that bleeding he would have bled to death.' My Son said, 'Mom, the tampons sent by mistake saved a Marine's life.'

At this point I asked him, 'Well, what did you do with the rest of the tampons?' 

He said, 'Oh, we divided them up and we all have them in our flak jackets, and I kept two for our first aid kit.'

I am absolutely amazed by the ingenuity of our Marines. I can't believe that something that started out as a mistake then turned into a joke, ended up saving someone's life. My sister said she doesn't believe in mistakes. She believes God had a plan all along. She believes that 'female care package' was sent to Marine to save a life.

Either way, our efforts have boosted the morale of many Marines, provided much needed items for our troops, AND saved the life of a Marine! God bless every one of you for your efforts and hard work, and God bless our Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force and all our military service personnel.
What they really like!

I talked with an active duty serviceman over the weekend!  He was stationed in Afghanistan for 2 tours of duty.  I asked him what was the most appreciated item they received.  He stated that they thought all of it was wonderful, thoughtful and appreciated.  However, the one most coveted item received was a roll of Charmin!

He said that they also put the pictures and letters up on their bunks and it makes them feel proud and recognized.

His platoon and all appreciate the support from the community.

In Memory of Sgt. Mateo
All, Thank you very much for your support. It is very much appreciated by all of our soldiers over here. 
Happy New Year!   Lane Reeder, 2LT, EN, 642nd ESC, CoIST OIC