Troops need support during holidays
Published 11:36 pm Wednesday, November 5, 2003
In a recent article in the Mobile Register, reporter George Werneth discussed the reserve units from south Alabama which have been activated and deployed to various regions in the Middle East.
The focus of the article was to highlight the ways you and I can send care packages to these men and women during the Christmas holidays and in so doing, send along a bit of support and cheer from back home.
I certainly think what George wrote about is important enough to repeat here.
You may have read to this point and are already thinking to yourself, "Now Jo, it's way too early to be thinking about Christmas. We're not even ready for Thanksgiving yet!"
However, with the logistics and difficulties inherent in sending letters and packages to military units stationed overseas, it is never too early to start.
The three units from south Alabama currently on active duty overseas are the 1165th Military Police Company from Fairhope and the 226th Area Support Unit and 161st Area Support Medical Battalion, both of Mobile.
As was reported, the items the men and women in these units would most like to receive are the small things that would make life in the desert a bit more pleasant and bring a few touches of home to their tents and barracks. The list of these items includes (but is certainly not limited to) CDs and personal CD players, disposable razors and shaving cream, disposable cameras, cards, books, magazines, batteries, phone cards and hometown newspapers.
One thing to keep in mind is the time frame involved for delivery of these packages by Christmas. The following deadlines to have items delivered to the post office are in place for the following types of mail delivery:
First-class and priority mail: December 4th;
Parcel airlift mail: November 26th;
Space available mail: November 13th; and,
Parcel post deliveries: November 13th.
The military also recommends that unless you know a specific soldier in one of these units, it would be nice to include a note to the commanding officer of each unit asking that the items in the packages be distributed among the troops, particularly those who may not be receiving much mail from their friends and families back home.
You can write to these three units at the following addresses:
1165th Military Police Company
CAPT Chris Butler
HHD 168th MP BN.
1165th MP Company
APO AE 09302-1322
226th Area Support Group
Sgt. Maj. Arthur Byrne
Camp Arifjan, Kuwait
APO AE 09366
161st Area Support Med. Bttln.
SFC William English or
HSC 161st ASMB
Camp Udairi, Kuwait
APO AE 09330
SFC George Riek
HQS, 161st ASMB
Camp Arifjan, Kuwait
APO AE 09366
Additionally, the 711th Signal Battalion from Grove Hill has been notified of a possible deployment to the Middle East within the next 95 days. A family readiness group is being organized and an address for this unit will be available once they have reached their overseas duty station.
For more information on delivering packages to our troops overseas, both in the Middle East and at points around the globe, I would encourage you to visit your local post office.
The men and women of our military, both active duty and reserve, are performing a vital service and are putting their lives on the line each day to defend liberty and freedom around the world. During the upcoming season of peace and goodwill, it is very important that we let those who cannot spend the holidays with their families know they are being supported by the people of the United States of America.