|Students at the Shamal Peran School anxiously awaiting the handout of pens that were specially shipped all the way|
over to Afghanistan from the good folks at Bedford Federal Savings Bank
While it'd be foolish for me to attempt to personally mention each and every thoughtful soul that has taken the time to send members of the 3-19th ADT a reminder of home; I would be remisce in my duties as a grateful recipient of countless packages if I failed to at least highlight a few.
|A few of the literally 500+ boxes of |
Girl Scout Cookies sent to the 3-19th ADT
|Some of the 430 packages of popcorn sent by |
MSM Trucking and Weaver Popcorn
Another group that I've grown quite close to through this deployment is that of "Teddy Bears for the Troops", started by a young girl named Faith in Lafayette, Indiana. Ironically, Faith and I actually met back in 2008 when I paid her a visit in Lafayette to present her with Lt. Governor Skillman's Hoosier Rising Star award. It's funny how things work out, immediately after hearing that I was going to be a part of a deploying unit, the packages started to flow in from Faith and her group. I believe Faith has now sent over five large boxes, filled with her signature stuffed animal and a note from a student, for us to pass out across FOB Salerno. As you can see in the photos, a few have even made their way into the hands of locals. While many of our men won't admit that they still sleep with their teddy bears, I'll gladly concede that the personalized bear Faith sent over sleeps within an arms reach each and every night.
|A Deserving Home|
It appears that the John Jay Center in Portland was looking to upgrade their computer systems, fortunately for my friends here they were thoughtful enough to seek a new home for their old computers rather than scrap them as so many of us might have done. After a few days of coordination with the folks back in Indiana, four laptops made the two week journey over here to Afghanistan.
As I brought the men in to our office to present them with their new computers, they didn't have the slightest idea as to why they had been summoned to the ADT compound. In their typical innocence, even after sitting down at each of the computers we had laid out for them, they still didn't assume that the computers were theirs for the taking. As we informed them that the computers had been sent from Indiana all the way over here for them, instant shouts of joy ensued. The picture below shows their reaction much better than any words could describe...
|Genuine Gratitude - the group of Ugandan men's reaction upon hearing that the computers were theirs to keep|