I just packed and sealed my first-ever care package to a United States soldier. I’ve been peripherally aware of organizations that collect cards and gifts for soldiers during holidays and other times of the year, but I must confess – it’s just been too easy to continue on my merry way and not become involved.
Well, things aren’t so easy to ignore when they hit a bit closer to home.
See, this is my sister Chris:
and this is the man she loves:
His name is Keith and his is a Navy Commander currently stationed in Kuwait.
It has been a long, difficult road for Chris and Keith to finally be in each other’s lives, and nearly as soon as that happened, he was called back into active duty and sent to the Middle East through February.
They are blessed to talk frequently over the phone, and I know both are working hard to keep their spirits up while they are apart. Keith can’t always tell Chris where’s he’s about to go or what he’s about to do, so my sister is left to just hope that he is kept safe.
And now, I’m standing with her, hoping with her.
When she mentioned a care package she had sent to him, it made me realize that I could send a package, too, to show my support to both my sister and the man she loves (though, honestly, I’ve never even met him. but I know my sister, and she doesn’t suffer fools.)
I wandered store aisles wondering just what you send to a soldier anyway. Between my sister’s suggestions and some helpful websites online, I ended up with an interesting mish-mash: beef jerkey, oreos, trail mix, pop tarts, kleenex, mints, gum, a word puzzle book, a nerf basketball and hoop, a whoopie cushion (you know…just in case), magazines, and some personal pictures.
He has instructions to let my sister know if there’s anything he doesn’t like or can’t use, and we’ll skip it the next time around. We definitely plan on sending more care packages his way, because now I know the importance of news from home, and now I understand through my sister what it’s like to have your heart half a world away.