News: Comforts of home packaged, delivered
Story by Staff Sgt. Justin Weaver
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WILSON, Afghanistan — Everytime the whir of a helicopter is heard, Soldiers located here at Forward Operating Base Wilson hope it's the sound of the "mail bird" flying in some of the comforts of home.
Thanks to the combined efforts of one the Soldier's wife and several stateside businesses, Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment have received more than 250 packages addressed to "Any Soldier" since arriving to Afghanistan in June.
"Soldiers are the ones making sure that my family is safe, by keeping the fight elsewhere," said Makenzie Pidgeon, wife of SSG Jeremy Pidgeon. "They may not have the comforts of home; but they know that even though there is an economy with issues -- family members that pass while they are not home, children that are born -- and as life goes on, they are still cared about and not forgotten."
Although the packages may be small, it's the comforts of home contained within that help boost the morale of the troops receiving them.
"It's cool that random people send us stuff that we can use," said SGT Derek Strohl, 1-12 IN Personal Security Detachment, as he opened a package containing magazines, snacks, toiletries and games. "The support for us has been amazing."
Although Mrs. Pidgeon spearheaded the effort, she refuses to take all the credit for it.
"The Internet," she said. "It's amazing what you can find on it. If there is dedication and respect for those serving, than there is the time and effort put into locating different organizations to help them. These organizations cannot help, if they don't know and they don't know, unless people ask them."
And ask she did. Makenzie was able to solicit support for the Soldiers of 1-12 IN from more than 35 organizations and businesses.
"I always have a comfortable living arrangement," she said. "Soldiers don't. They don't have the comforts of home that a lot of people take for granted. They know that by getting these packages, they have people who know they don't have what they have 24/7."
Most deployed bases have a small post exchange where Soldiers can get some of the essentials they need. FOB Wilson has yet to get a PX here and it makes the packages that much more special for the Soldiers receiving them.
"We can't always get the things we need," said SGT Michael Razo, a Tracy, Calif. Native. "It's great to see that the support is there for us."
The following businesses have donated packages to the 1-12 IN:
Boatsie's Boxes, Inc.
Desert Angels, Inc.
The Hugs Project
Homefront Hugs USA
Operation Care and Comfort
Operation Troop Aid, Inc.
Tennessee Marine Family
Troop Care Package
A Million Thanks
Patriot Packs Inc.
Wear the Message, Inc.
Treat the Troops
Heroes for Heroes
Helping Our Troops
Operation Goody Bag
Letters from Home
Staten Island Project Homefront
Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc.
Operation a Bit of Home
Operation Care Packages
"Touch of Home" Support 4R Deployed Military, Inc.
SI Yellow Ribbon
USO Care Package
Socks for Troops
Operation from the Heart
Sock Monkey Ministries
Dog Tags for Kids