Welcome to our Blog &
thanks for supporting our troops!
At every packing party at our Connecticut Branch, we go around the room and introduce ourselves. One of the things we mention is how we first became involved.
How did we hear about G2TT?
Why did we get involved?
What motivated us to help and continue to help?
Why have many of us stayed on - some of us working up to 50 hours/week as UNPAID volunteers since 2002!
I'm posting this blog, asking each of you to write back and let everyone now how you became involved and what the experience means to YOU as a volunteer or donor.
I WILL GO FIRST ...
Back in 2002, my husband (a Sergeant in the Marine Corps) received his deployment orders for OIF. I was a nervous wreck. Our son was only 10 years old. My husband is a U.S. Marine Reservist, so we didn't live on a base or even close to where he drills. We didn't know ANYONE who was going through what we were and it was frightening.
I wanted to send care packages to my husband and his unit, but he wanted me to find the guys on the front lines who needed the packages more than he did.
Our family had some friends who were already deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. One girlfriend of mine was on a NAVY SHIP that was transporting thousands of Marines and Soldiers to Iraq. She became my first Point of Contact and put me in touch with Navy Chaplains on other ships and pretty soon, I had more than 15,000 troops to send packages to!
(above, my dear friend Sandy Edgley and many shipmates: Sailors and Marines who lined up to get items from our care package.)
I decided to get our community involved - my son's elementary school, community choir, neighbors, sports team, church friends, relatives - anyone who would listen to this "crazy, frantic wife who missed her husband" who had a vision to let every deployed troop in harm's way know America truly loves him or her.
People used to pack boxes with my son and me several times a week after work in my tiny 800 SQF home's basement.
(Volunteers in my tiny basement.)
Word spread quickly about what we were doing and pretty soon people from around the nation were calling me to find out how they could help my efforts ...
(Volunteers at the post office.)
We packed boxes and spent hours at our local post office mailing hundreds of boxes. People on line behind us were NOT happy!
But we grew ....
and grew ....
and grew ...
and grew ...
I gave weekly speeches and presentations to promote my "program". And after a few months, I saw I had a great support network comprised of loving, dedicated, patriotic citizens from around the globe.
We sent THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of boxes from my little home to our deployed troops in combat. Thank you letters from those troops poured in! And I received other letters from new troops requesting assistance. So we kept sending boxes.
WHY do I stay on?
For starters, our troops deserve our utmost support for the selfless sacrifices they make for us. But it's more than that for me ...
Perhaps it's the letters - the troops very own words of gratitude ...
or maybe it's the support of our generous donors and volunteers ...
or the fact that my family and I received so much support and my husband came back okay, so we need to "pay it forward" ...
(with US Congressman, Chris Shays)
But I think it's a combination of all of the above and I will continue my efforts to support our deployed and wounded troops until there is no longer a need.
SO ... how and why did you get involved?