Residents across the country remembered Sept. 11 through public service efforts. Locally volunteers took time out to pack boxes to send to troops deployed to combat zones.
The boxes are put together by a Packages to War committee of the American Legion Auxiliary.
“We are grateful for the support from the community from private citizens and corporations, as well as the Local Union 241 and the employees of HollyFrontier Refinery,” said Judith Haffner, committee co-chair. “If it wasn’t for them we couldn’t do this for our soldiers.”
Among those helping package boxes Wednesday were Haffner, Committee Co-Chair Ada Soyez, Vietnam veteran Gary Soyez and Gary Smith, with Union 241. Not able to attend that day was past Auxiliary president Pat Durnil.
“For the past several years we just happen to be packaging care packages on Sept. 11,” Haffner said. “Our day of service has always been oriented to supporting troops.”
The boxes include a variety of items from socks and soap to snacks. These boxes also included a letter from youth Makayla Chabot, who wrote a letter to all of the troops and included a lucky penny for each one.
One of the soldier’s who was going to receive a box had a wife who will be having a baby in a couple of months. In his box, they included a bonnet and pink candy and balloons to pass out since he will not be home in time for the birth of his daughter.
“We like to keep a couple of boxes on hand so if we get a name that guy is taken care of immediately,” said Ada.
In all, they sent 14 packages in this round, but they are gearing up for their Christmas packages, which will total at least 60.
In preparation for Christmas, they are asking for names of deployed troops. They ask people to send the name and APO/AE address of Butler County military men and women currently serving in the active combat zones to: “Packages to War,” American Legion Auxiliary, 1801 W. Central Ave., El Dorado, KS 67042. Those submitting names should include their name and phone number so they can verify the military address. They will start shipping Christmas boxes in October to some of the more remote locations.
Also, those wishing to donate items or money can contact Haffner at 322-0722 or Ada at 321-0699.