By Cheryl Petersen Contributing Writer
The Daily Star
---- — The American Legion Auxiliary in Delhi boxed up care packages to be mailed to those serving in the armed services. This batch of packages will be delivered to people originally from Delhi.
“The Auxiliary will meet again to prepare more care packages to be sent to soldiers from Delaware County and then any soldier,” said Lois Bender, coordinator and Auxiliary member.
“The challenge is getting correct addresses for the soldiers around the world,” Bender said. “Local families can provide reliable addresses.”
Some of the addresses are pit-stops. “One of the recipients, Samantha Brown, is on a ship in a confidential location,” Bender said. “John Wake, who recently went through training, will be joining that ship. Therefore the packages will be forwarded to them, hopefully.”
The Auxiliary members work hard to get dependable addresses for the armed forces members who they don’t know. “Last year, we sent packages directly to a Hospital in Afghanistan as a means,” Bender said.
Other Delhi recipients of this batch of care-packages are: First Class Petty Officer, Jessica Prindle who will receive a package in San Diego
“Sgt. Ian Merritt is also in California,” she added. “Armed force member Jacqueline Prindle is stationed in Japan. Wayne Smith is stationed in Hagatna, Guam. Kelly Mokay and Kyle O’Connell are stationed closer to home.”
“The soldiers request basic items,” Bender said. “Good shampoo, hand cream, books, puzzles, cards, deodorant, nail clippers, scrubbies, etc. Popcorn and hot chocolate are also favorites.”
All clothing was labeled by Auxiliary members. “Individual names were placed on the clothing so the items don’t get lost,” Bender said.
In the fall season, the Delhi Legion Auxiliary sends out notice to the community asking for donations.
“The contributions show the generosity of the community,” Bender said. “The Auxiliary gives those who donate over $100, Certificates of Appreciation.”
“The gratitude circulates,” said Bender. “The soldiers send us thank you notes. Last year, while reading one of the thank-you notes, I started crying. The soldier was so appreciative and talked about seeing his child.”
Another thank you note, from the Operating Enduring Freedom, HHC, 101st ESB RNCC, was framed and is hanging on the wall of Delhi Legion Post #190.
“I always sent thank-you notes to those who sent us care packages,” said Vicki Noble of Delhi. Noble said she remembers receiving care packages while she was stationed overseas.
“We’d all get so excited when anyone received a package,” Noble said. “Everything was shared. Just to open the package together gave us something to look forward to.”
In 1974, Noble joined the Marine Corps. After seven years, she transferred to the National Guard.
“I was deployed to Kuwait year 2006-2007,” Noble said. “When packages came from home, we never knew exactly what was in the package until we opened it, so it truly was like Christmas.”