Troops get care packages - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Troops get care packages

May 29, 2007

Bainbridge-- As the National Guard unit based in Bainbridge prepares for a tour in Iraq, the community prepares to show them their support.   The 1230th transportation company is finishing up training in Indiana and will soon head overseas.  

Ben Richard runs a postal store with his wife Kim now, but for six years Richard was a marine. He wanted to help those fighting the war and thought of a way he could.  "We're going to collect donations for hygiene and food and cash for shipping, so when they got there we could give them packages," says Richard. 

The main ingredients going into each care package will hopefully be of great use to the soldiers in the situations they'll be in overseas.  "You got men out there, women out there that are going 30 days without being able to shower so, the next best thing is to be able to have the hygiene products," Richard says.

"You gotta remember that the unit that we're dealing with is a transportation company which means they're out on the road a lot," explains Melissa Dalton, the Family Assistance Center Coordinator for the 1230th.

It's quiet now at the National Guard Armory in Bainbridge, but less than two months ago the place was filled with friends and family members wanting to say goodbye to the nearly 200 soldiers getting ready to deploy.

Support for these men and women originally sparked the idea to get the care packages together. But Richard says he'd love to do it for anyone in the military.   He says, "a lot of stuff goes to Iraq, but you have a lot of people in Afghanistan that don't receive anything."

And the community working together gets a lot more packages over there.  "Someone might not be able to send a whole care package on their own but if they could contribute even one small item, that would help to be able to create a larger package that we could send in support of the troops," comments Dalton.

"There's a lot of people that don't have family that is over there, that don't get anything so you know, the guy next to you opens something up. . .it makes it rough," says Richard.

With some small gifts from home, and a big show of support, hopefully the troops won't feel quite so far away while they're fighting the war.

After their final training, troops from the 1230th will spend a few days at home before they ship out to Iraq for fifteen to eighteen months.

 

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