NB Politicus

Supporting Our Troops: Care Package Donations For Marine Corps Needed Through December 21st

Posted in Military, veterans by nbpoliticus on December 14, 2014

Braithreachas, Inc. and the Marine Corps Family Foundation are seeking for donations of care package items and are raising funds to offset the cost of shipping the care packages to deployed military. The campaign, Operation Santa Care Package, is an annual holiday season effort,

“This year we are way behind collecting items for the care packages,” said Marjorie Hackett-Wallace, founder of the non-profit organization Braithreachas Inc. “We need snacks, personal care items and things like puzzle books and playing cards, items that distract the guys from where they are” said Hackett-Wallace.

Troops levels may have been scaled back but thousands of US Marines and military are still deployed in Afghanistan. (from www.militarytimes.com)

Troops levels may have been scaled back but thousands of US Marines and military are still deployed in Afghanistan. (from http://www.militarytimes.com)

“A lot of people think that the US doesn’t have any military deployed, they think that the guys will be home with their families. The US still has 10,000 military deployed to just Afghanistan that won’t be home with their families. We have 860 guys that we will send a care package to.” Said Hackett-Wallace. “It’s not too late to help out. We will be packing boxes until December 21. We need snacks like Mac & Cheese, cookies, granola bars and personal care items like shaving cream, toothbrushes and soap. We also need help packing boxes and getting those care packages to the post office.”

The holiday care package drive began in 2008 when Braithreachas Inc. founder, Marjorie Hackett-Wallace’s son, Sergeant Ryan Hackett USMC was deployed to Rawah, Iraq and has continued due to Sergeant Hackett’s insistence that these items are most needed by our military. “These snacks help remind these guys of home and why they are out there” said Sergeant Hackett “they can’t go down to the local store and pick up what they need and most forward operating bases don’t have a PX or a commissary.”

Last year the group shipped more than 8,000 pounds of snacks and personal care items to active duty military deployed to Afghanistan. With the cost to ship these packages ever increasing, the group is seeking monetary donations, as well as supplies. Each care package costs $15.90 to ship.

Donations may be sent or dropped off at 103 Elbridge Road, New Britain, CT 06052 up to December 21st. The campaign is also seeking volunteers to help pack the care packages and transport them to the post office. Boxes will be packed for shipment to Afghanistan right up to December 23. For more information, people may contact Marjorie & Craig at 860-224-7635 or 860-280-6686 or by email at mhackett@snet.net.

Veteran’s Day: "They Didn’t Give Their Lives. Their Lives Were Taken From Them."

Posted in Iraq War, veterans by nbpoliticus on November 10, 2009

New Britain’s tradition of honoring veterans of all wars occurs twice a year on Memorial Day (the real one not the Monday national holiday) and on Veteran’s Day this month.

On Wednesday there will be a full round of remembrances put on by the Parks and Recreation Commission.

With soldiers’ deaths being recorded almost daily in Afghanistan and Iraq. we are reminded that men and women are dying in service of their country. Two days a year are not enough for honoring those who served and those who died. That there is no citizen army (e.g. a draft) shows that the strains of getting in harm’s way are falling on those in uniform who are being sent and re-sent into action. And it tends to obscure the toll being taken on military families.

Whenever these days come up to remember veterans I always recall the remembrance of Andy Rooney, the rumpled CBS commentator, on 60 minutes when he said he thinks of his friends lost in war every day:

No official day to remember is adequate for something like that. It’s too formal. It gets to be just another day on the calendar. No one would know from Memorial Day that Richie M., who was shot through the forehead coming onto Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, wore different color socks on each foot because he thought it brought him good luck.

No one would remember on Memorial Day that Eddie G. had promised to marry Julie W. the day after he got home from the war, but didn’t marry Julie because he never came home from the war. Eddie was shot dead on an un-American desert island, Iwo Jima.

For too many Americans, Memorial Day has become just another day off. There’s only so much time any of us can spend remembering those we loved who have died, but the men, boys really, who died in our wars deserve at least a few moments of reflection during which we consider what they did for us.

They died.

We use the phrase “gave their lives,” but they didn’t give their lives. Their lives were taken from them.

There is more bravery at war than in peace, and it seems wrong that we have so often saved this virtue to use for our least noble activity – war. The goal of war is to cause death to other people.

Because I was in the Army during World War II, I have more to remember on Memorial Day than most of you. I had good friends who were killed.

Charley Wood wrote poetry in high school. He was killed when his Piper Cub was shot down while he was flying as a spotter for the artillery.

Bob O’Connor went down in flames in his B-17.

Obie Slingerland and I were best friends and co-captains of our high school football team. Obie was killed on the deck of the Saratoga when a bomb that hadn?t dropped exploded as he landed.

I won’t think of them anymore tomorrow, Memorial Day, than I think of them any other day of my life.

Remembering doesn’t do the remembered any good, of course. It’s for ourselves, the living. I wish we could dedicate Memorial Day, not to the memory of those who have died at war, but to the idea of saving the lives of the young people who are going to die in the future if we don’t find some new way – some new religion maybe – that takes war out of our lives.

That would be a Memorial Day worth celebrating.

from CBS broadcast 60 Minutes, May 29, 2005 by Andy Rooney