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Group ‘adopts soldiers’ for care packages

As another Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, there are Americans who will not be able to enjoy the holidays with family and friends.

These men and women are serving their country overseas, placing themselves in harm’s way, on duty for long, often hazardous hours, with few of the comforts of home.

Put yourself in their place. Wouldn’t it be great to get a care package from “back home?”

Tom Duncan of Daybreak Farms wanted to do just that. He and wife Julie have a son, Dan, who is currently serving with the Army’s 4th Platoon, Delta Company in northeastern Afghanistan.

“We started sending Dan care packages a while back, and he told us some of the guys never got anything. That got me to thinking,” Duncan explained.

Duncan said he started talking to others about the situation, and soon had a group of churches, school groups and individuals wanting to adopt a soldier (s) overseas.

There are 100 soldiers at Dan’s post, Camp Blessing, “and we want to see the whole camp adopted, so nobody gets left out,” Duncan said.

He said the group of volunteers is currently trying to send 20-25 boxes a week as the holidays approach.

Items like phone cards, CDs, socks, toiletry items, pre-packaged snacks (no homemade treats allowed) and even small toys are all welcome.

“The soldiers like to give little stuffed animals and other toys to the local children. It’s a way to promote goodwill with the local people.” Duncan said.

The group is looking for any church/school/civic groups along with individuals who would be interesting in adopting a soldier overseas to send a care package.

“Also, anyone who wants to add a soldier to our list, just let us know,” Duncan said.

Those who would like to prepare a care box can complete their own with guidance from www.anysoldier.com. However, Duncan said he is happy to do the shopping for the items, utilizing resources that allow him to buy in bulk and spread donated dollars further.

“I spent $600 this week. We’ll be able to prepare probably 30 or more boxes for that,” he explained.

Monetary donations for Troop Care Boxes can be made at Pioneer Electric and First Lowndes Bank in Greenville. It costs an estimated $35 to $45 a box, including shipping.

“Dan told me when the fellows do get a package, they have big smiles on their faces,” Duncan said.

For more information or to add a soldier to the care package list, contact Tom Duncan at 334-382-7161.