News: Operation Comfort, Care: Volunteers ready
Story by Lance Cpl. Charles Clark
IWAKUNI, Japan - Marine Corps Family Team Building is scheduled to conduct Operation Comfort and Care in front of the Marine Corps Exchange and Commissary Nov. 18 - 19.
Operation Comfort and Care gives station residents an opportunity to send care packages to forward-deployed service members supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Station residents are asked to donate anything they are able to for service members deployed abroad.
“This is great for the community,” said Keeya O. Charleston, Marine Aircraft Group 12 family readiness officer. “Residents come together
as a team to help our deployed troops. It does not matter what branch of service they are in because the families here have friends or family members serving in the Army or the Air Force.”
If station residents have addresses of nonstation forward-deployed service members, MCFTB encourages them to bring those addresses to the Operation Comfort and Care drop-off sites to ensure those troops get care packages.
“We are all a band-of-brothers and sisters,” Angela L. Calderon, MCFTB readiness and deployment support trainer, said. “Those of us here who are not in the military are still away from our families back home. We know what it is like to be deployed from loved ones for a long time.”
Community volunteers are encouraged to help out with collecting and packing the supplies residents drop off.
“We really need the support of the station community to help our service members fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Calderon said.
Letters of appreciation will be given, and volunteer hours will be marked for all volunteers who want to help.
“I am just one person,” Calderon said. “My office has just a few people in it, but we have this big idea. Big ideas need big support.”
MCFTB has a list of helpful supplies deployed service members may need.
“Anything you need here, they need there,” Calderon said. “Canned food, toiletries and even skivvy shirts and shorts would be great to send. They might not have washing machines readily available where they are at, so extra clothing would be a big help for them.”
The care packages were planned to be early Christmas presents for the service members. A Christmas theme has been added among the usual needed supplies.
“We have a [naughty and nice list] for the service members who have not gotten into trouble,” Calderon said. “We want them to get games or puzzle books. Anything that will help pass the time and keep them smiling until they get home to their families.”
To volunteer, have nonstation service members receive care packages or for more information, call Calderon at 253-3754.