Viewpoint: 'A Touch of Home' event Aug. 4-5 in Cottage Grove will help local troops deployed overseasBeing a family member or friend of someone deployed brings mixed emotions. You are proud of them while hiding your fears for their safety. A Touch of Home can ease some of the concerns.
By: Linda Lehrke, South Washington County Bulletin
Dawn, a Cottage Grove mom, sent an email from her son while he was deployed. He wrote, “I received the A Touch of Home (ATOH) box yesterday, it was delightful. Sean ate my nut roll, I had to fight him for it and he won.”
Being a family member or friend of someone deployed brings mixed emotions. You are proud of them while hiding your fears for their safety. ATOH can ease some of the concerns as a mom writes, “Please add our son to the care package list. We enjoyed helping out before; it was a good feeling to send some love to someone we don’t even know and have them know we care about them.”
Parents, spouses and friends are encouraged to contact ATOH with their loved one’s information.
“My husband is deployed in Afghanistan. Mike, in the Air Force Security Forces, is leading 11 other men … I appreciate your ministry … God is in this; we are thankful for all prayers. He loves anything sweet, gum of all flavors, Gatorade, UFC magazines and news, men’s devotionals and anything on family marriage. Thank you very much for your support.”
And support is what we give:
-- Luke, in Kuwait, is a 19-year-old from Woodbury and loves to receive boxes.
-- I would like to add our very dear friend who is deployed for the next year and left behind his wife and two young children. I think it would truly mean the world to him and his family to know he is getting a touch of home.
-- Jeff was happy to hear he will be getting a box in time for his 21st birthday.
Here are some comments from troops who have received ATOH packages:
-- “There is NOT a chow hall on the base, love to receive any kind of food. Want to say thanks to everyone … a great feeling … baked goods were very, very yummy. I shared them with my squad.”
-- “Twice a week they sound mail call; that is the happiest time for every Marine and Sailor on this ship … thanks for all of the letters and packages you’ve sent to me over these last few months.”
-- “It is always good to hear from people back home, especially where you live.”
-- “About Teddy Bears, we’ll take them. We can get them out to the teams here in the Basra area and get them out to the kids.”
-- “I received the care package you sent with the pickle and pops intact.”
-- “Frequently your Christian notes were used by God to pick me up and bring me encouragement. Thank you so much.”
-- “Words can’t explain my gratitude towards what you guys do, means a lot to know that people haven’t forgotten about soldiers overseas.”
-- “Thank you for the wonderful packages. I can’t believe someone I don’t even know is sending me things and praying for me, that’s a God thing.”
-- “Heck yea, a care package would be nice. There are about 15 US soldiers stationed on this Afghan Border Patrol Police Academy and they all get care packages. It would be nice to get one too.”
Last but not least, an email from a soldier in Afghanistan: “You recently sent Jackson a package that didn’t arrive in time for his departure. My squadron from Georgia replaced the Minnesota unit, and we’re the recipients of your fine package. I made sure the guys got what was sent. Believe it or not, the AA batteries and homemade cool wraps went like wild fire. We are thankful for support groups back home that remember us. Wanted you to know the package was in good hands. I’m sure Jackson is glad to be home.”
To add a name or receive more information about ATOH and the fundraiser Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 4-5, at Von Hanson’s Meats in Cottage Grove, go to www.atouchofhome.us or www.crossroadschurch.cc/a-touch-of-home.
Lehrke is a Cottage Grove resident and an organizer of A Touch of Home, which sends care packages to local troops deployed overseas.