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OPERATION HOLIDAY CHEER: Don't forget our soldiers



Published: Sun, November 3, 2013 @ 5:39 a.m.

Remember those who serve & have served

In response to our sixth annual Operation Holiday Cheer project, area residents sent us the following names and addresses of their active-duty or injured soldiers.

Now it’s your turn to get involved by sharing your holiday cheer with our troops who are serving in the military and won't be home for the holidays. It’s a perfect opportunity for adults as well as kids to send cards, letters or packages as a way to thank them for their sacrifices.

Parents and teachers are encouraged to help their children and students participate, and club members are urged to turn this opportunity into a group project. All who get involved are asked to send us pictures of their project, and we’ll post them online.

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photo

Ian Guthridge PSC 2 Box 1362 APO AP 96264 Local tie: Boardman

Ian Guthridge

PSC 2 Box 1362

APO AP 96264

Local tie: Boardman

photo

Michael J. Bayless 87th EN CO FOB Shank APO AE 09364 Local tie: Youngstown

Michael J. Bayless

87th EN CO FOB Airborne

APO AE 09364

Local tie: Youngstown

photo

Patrick Ryan Braham PRG 6-9 APO 09354-3305 Local tie: Lake Milton/Austintown

Patrick Ryan Braham

PRG 6-9

APO 09354-3305

Local tie: Lake Milton/Austintown

Nasher Algahim

380 ESFS / S30B

APO AE 09853

Local tie: Girard

photo

Jacob Kerrigan PRG 6-9, APO AE 09354

Jacob Kerrigan

PRG 6-9, APO AE 09354

Nathan R. Johnson

PRG 6-9

APO AE 09354-3005

Local tie: Leavittsburg. He will be 20 on Christmas Day.

Jason Campbell

PRG 6-9

APO AE 09354-3005

Local tie: Youngstown

photo

Samuel M. Sinz PRG 6-9 APO AE 09354-3005 Local tie: Coitsville

Samuel M. Sinz

PRG 6-9

APO AE 09354-3005

Local tie: Coitsville

photo

Erik J. Duran 7 EACCS JSTARS MEDICAL APO AE 09309 Local tie: Columbiana

Erik J. Duran

7 EACCS JSTARS MEDICAL

APO AE 09309

Local tie: Columbiana

Valerie Stearns

PRG 6-9

APO AE 09354-3005

photo

Marc D. Noday 760 EN CO/489 EN BN, Kandahar APO AE 09355 Local tie: Austintown

Marc D. Noday

760 EN CO/489 EN BN, Kandahar

APO AE 09355

Local tie: Austintown

photo

David C. Gabriel 371st SB, Camp Arifjan APO AE 09366 Local tie: Poland, Boardman

David C. Gabriel

371st SB, Camp Arifjan

APO AE 09366

Local tie: Poland, Boardman

photo

Patrick J. Spaulding PRG 6-9 APO AE 09354-3005 Local tie: Boardman, Youngstown

Patrick J. Spaulding

PRG 6-9

APO AE 09354-3005

Local tie: Boardman, Youngstown

Jessica Lewis

USS Nimitz CVN 68

Media Dept., FPO AP 96620-2820

photo

Kevin A. Williams HQ BTRY 12th Marines, Co. R PLTN HPLT, 3rd Marine Division Unit 36050 FPO AP 96602 Local tie: Hubbard

Kevin A. Williams

HQ BTRY 12th Marines, Co. R PLTN HPLT, 3rd Marine Division Unit 36050

FPO AP 96602

Local tie: Hubbard

photo

Kyle Wills HQ RC-South, OPS 3-1 LNO, 4ID APO AE 09355 Local tie: Poland

Kyle Wills

HQ RC-South, OPS

3-1 LNO, 4ID

APO AE 09355

Local tie: Poland

photo

Kyle Zahniser (left) and Brant PRG 6-9 APO AE 09354-3005

Good Friends from Hubbard

Kyle Zahniser

PRG 6-9

APO AE 09354-3005

Neil Brant

PRG 6-9

APO AE 09354-3005


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SHIPPING DETAILS

The U.S. Postal Service offers a free Priority Mail Flat Rate Box for sending packages to military personnel serving overseas. The box measures 12x12x5 1⁄2 inches, and postage is only $14.85, ($2 discount) when used to send to APO/FPO addresses. USPS also offers free package pickup from your home or office. To schedule pickup or for other pickup options, visit usps.com.

Packaging

There are things to keep in mind when sending packages overseas:

• Temperatures in the desert often exceed 100 degrees.

• The box should be strong.

• Cushion contents with plastic foam or bubble wrap to keep items from shifting. Fragile items should be double-boxed, with cushioning inside and between the boxes to absorb shock.

• Battery-powered items can get switched on during shipping. Remove batteries and wrap them separately.

• To seal the box, tape the opening and reinforce all seams with 2-inch-wide tape, using clear or brown packaging tape, reinforced packing tape or paper tape. Do not use cord, string or twine.

Addressing

• Print on one side only with the recipient’s address in the lower right portion.

• Use the soldier’s full name.

• The Department of Defense canceled the “Any Service Member” program, so mail must be addressed to someone specific.

• Be sure to include a return address.

• Cover the address with clear tape to protect against moisture.

Send by

To ensure delivery of your cards, letters and packages by Dec. 25 to military • APO/FPO/ addresses overseas, the USPS recommends the following deadlines for mailing:

• APO/FPO AE Zip Codes 090-092 and 094-098; AA 340; and AP 962-966: Express Mail by Dec. 17. First-Class Mail (cards and letters) and Priority Mail by Dec. 10. Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL) by Dec. 3. Space Available Mail (SAM) by Nov. 26. Parcel Post by Nov. 12.

• APO/FPO AE Zip Code 093: Express Mail not available. First- Class Mail (cards and letters), Priority Mail and Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL) by Dec. 3. Space Available Mail (SAM) by Nov. 26. The deadline for all parcel post packages is Nov. 12.

Remember

Every country has customs regulations regarding incoming mail. Before sending a letter or package to one of our troops overseas, visit www.usps.com/ supportingourtroops/mailing restrictions.htm, contact your local post office or phone the Military Postal Service Agency at 800-810-6098.

Source: usps.com


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GIFT IDEAS

The two items most requested by soldiers are baby wipes and phone cards (international cards are the best value). Other items that are favorites of our troops are:

Food/Snacks

• Beef jerky, Slim Jims

• Cereal, instant oatmeal, Pop Tarts

• Chewing gum, hard candy

• Coffee, tea bags, hot cocoa packets, drink mixes

• Cookies, crackers, chips, microwave popcorn, pretzels, nuts (remove from can and seal in plastic bag to save space)

• Dried fruits, trail mixes, granola, cereal bars

• Peanut butter

• Powdered creamer, sugar, sweetener

•Soups (dried or canned)

Personal

• Aspirin and Tylenol (sealed)

• Baby powder, foot powder

• Band-Aids, Neosporin

• Combs, brushes

• Deodorant

• Eye drops, saline, nasal spray

• Hand and body lotions, face moisturizers

• Shaving gel, razors

• Soap, hand sanitizer, shampoo, conditioner

• Sunscreen, lip balm with sunscreen, bug repellent

• Toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, mouthwash

• Towels, washcloths

Miscellaneous

• Batteries (mostly AA and AAA), rechargeable batteries with a charger

• CDs, DVDs, iTunes gift cards

• Clothesline, clothespins

• Flat twin sheets

• Flip flops

• Games, cards, video games

• Gym shorts, cotton socks, underwear

• Magazines, books

• Paper, pens, stamps

• Sunglasses

Don't send

• Pork or pork products

• Anything that can melt

• Homemade baked goods (military rule for soldiers’ safety)

• Aerosol cans or glass containers

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FREE PHONE CALLS | For your soldier

• VFW Operation Uplink provides Free Calls Days, which are 24-hour periods when all calls made from any of the more than 450 MWR (SPAWAR) Internet Cafes in Afghanistan or Kuwait and other Middle East locations are free for active-duty service members.

• The Free Call Days program provides service members a morale boosting and vital connection with family and friends while eliminating the financial burden many can’t afford.

• At least three scheduled dates are provided each month and run midnight to midnight based on Eastern Standard Time.

Visit www.vfw.org/NMS for the current schedule.

• For those service members who don’t have access to the cafes or are stationed outside of Afghanistan/Kuwait, provide the unit’s contact information and Operation Uplink will see that they’re taken care of through other available options.


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