Sup­port­ing our troops

Serve Daily - - EMPOWERING LIBERTY - By Thomas Hazen

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.

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