By Terre Duensing and Faye Marcantel, ALA Department of Calif., Unit 291
ALA Unit 291 in Newport Beach, Calif. organized two Troop Shipping events in June and November 2017. We shipped over 500 boxes to Blue Star troops, including K9, as well as sent supplies to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, and March Air Reserve Base Deployment Center in Riverside.
We were excited to receive the photo (below) of a gift from one of the Blue Star recipients from the June shipping event. The Special Operations Sgt. Ryan and his unit were so appreciative of the shipment, that he designed a shadow box which contains a photo of him carrying the US flag he carried during their mission, Operation Freedom Sentinel, a plaque describing the mission, and the flag he proudly carried every step of the way. He described how uplifting it was for all of them to receive some much-needed comfort items, cards, and letters of support - even their K9, Roy, loved his treats and toys. His grandmother attended our Troop Shipping event and personally packed five boxes and initialized them so Ryan would know his grandmother was a part of the process.
In December 2017, we shipped to five countries including two aircraft carriers. When the soldiers arrived back to their base from the carrier, they were met with protestors and hostility. The above photo shows them opening their boxes, reading holiday cards, opening stockings, and wearing the beanies made for them by Operation Beanies. They captioned the photo "Morale Boosted."
The last photo shows some of our packed boxes being readied for deployment from Newport Beach.
Both events were very successful, and we accomplished our mission - to provide some comfort items, send thoughts of thanks and encouragement, and give thanks to our servicemembers.