Supporting our troops
The generosity of those in our community never ceases to amaze me! Four days ago, my wife approached me with a disturbing but all too real story of 200 men and women of the Marine Corps and 250 men and women of the U.S. Army deployed to Iraq in our country’s latest effort to halt the progress of the terror group ISIS. One of these young men, Gavin Wood of Hurst, Texas, graduated boot camp with our son and is now serving on the front lines in this fight.
Our troops have been provided with the “Three B’s — Bullets, Beans and Bandages,” but not those things that we take for granted every day such as baby powder, ChapStick, shaving cream, razors, toothpaste, baby wipes, etc.
In an effort to lift the spirits of these special men and women, our family decided to see just how many donations we could collect in a three-hour period by simply standing in front of a store and handing out a list of needed items. The response was truly inspiring. Maceys in Spanish Fork readily allowed us to conduct our experiment. People from every walk of life and every age willingly and joyfully donated. Many of those who donated were from military families past and present and shared stories of sacrifice and devotion that warmed our hearts. Others simply wanted to show their appreciation of our military.
Today these brave souls are living in the open desert and don’t yet have tents or showers. Meanwhile, we sit in our air-conditioned homes complaining that our Wi-Fi isn’t fast enough. Really? Who are we kidding?
Perhaps we as a people and a nation should remember who to thank for our national language not being German or Japanese or Russian. Freedom isn’t free and the many thousands of our brothers and sisters lying beneath white marble crosses are a silent witness to that fact.
The next time you see an “old-timer” wearing a ball cap that mentions a forgotten war or perhaps a young man or woman wearing a uniform or sporting a “high and tight,” take the time to thank them for their sacrifice. They’re the ones who raised their arm to the square and swore an oath to protect and defend this great land. They’re the ones who wrote a blank check to our government for their lives. Regardless of your particular views on the endless wars we seem to be engaged in, it’s our obligation - no, our privilege - to support such men and women.
The Hazen Family: Tom, Lesa, Connor (LCpl USMC) and Faith
Update: June 22, 2015 - 24 boxes (over 250 pounds) of supplies were shipped to Iraq. We also received more than $300 in donations which paid for the shipping. Thanks to everyone that contributed to this drive. Our plan is to send care packages each time a Marine from our son’s graduating class is deployed. If anyone is interested in contributing to future care packages, please call us at 801-423-2580. We will be happy to contact you when the next drive starts.