Archive for Thursday, August 20, 2009

Veterans support soldiers with care packages

August 20, 2009

Basehor Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 11499 is teaming up with some community businesses to show support to U.S. military personnel overseas.

VFW Junior Vice Commander Phil Jenkins came up with the idea to send care packages to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan with a little help from people in the city. The U.S. Postal Service is offering a flat rate of $11.95 for priority mail parcels sent to men and women serving in these countries, Jenkins said.

“I was researching online one day about ways to support our troops, and I got this bright idea,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins, along with Quartermaster Ed Bush and Commander Fred Box, are setting up donation containers at the Basehor Post Office, Wolf Creek Marketplace, Casey’s General Store, First State Bank and Trust and Hair Mechanix Barber Shop, where customers can bring items to put in the VFW’s care packages.

“The key is to put these containers where people go a lot,” Jenkins said. “Casey’s and the market will be especially helpful because people can buy things right inside.”

Each container will be marked with a sign bearing the VFW’s logo, and people can donate just about anything except for canned goods and perishable items. Bush said razors, deodorant and soap were some good examples of products soldiers would appreciate.

“Socks and toothbrushes, things like that are great, too,” Bush said. “We would like to have items sent over to all the ladies and men serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

The VFW will ship packages as soon as enough goods have been donated to fill the boxes, and Jenkins says the operation will continue as long as possible.

“There’s not one time where troops need supplies and one time where they don’t,” Jenkins said. “They always need help.”

In conjunction with its plan to send packages overseas, the VFW is also trying to acquire the names of soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan who are from Basehor. A separate flier can be found at the same businesses asking patrons for names of Basehor troops and telling them to call the VFW with such information. If names are turned in, the VFW will send those men and women Christmas cards or additional care items.

Bush said the name hunt could also be a tool for the VFW to aid military families in Basehor.

“Say you’re husband is overseas, and you’re home alone with your kids,” Bush said. “If we knew who you were, we could come knock on your door, and ask if you need help with anything. Do you need your lawn mowed? Do you need your oil changed in your car? We want to be able to help the family members of our troops, too.”

If people would like to provide the name of a soldier, the VFW asks they call Box at (913) 208-5273, Jenkins at (913) 526-0080, Bush at (913) 645-8004 or Senior Vice Commander Bruce Adams at (913) 728-2045.

For additional information, contact the Basehor VFW at (913) 724-3481, or visit its Web site at vfw11499.org.

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