Teacher receives response for military care package
5 11 17
Twice per year, Joan Hartley’s food science classes at Carlinville High School, using ingredients donated by the Carlinville Elks, bake dozens of cookies to be sent to Macoupin County military personnel serving overseas as part of care packages sent by Macoupin Military Support Group. The group also sends four bigger “base” boxes to a larger contingent of U.S. troops stationed on an overseas base.
Recently, Hartley received a thank-you letter from one of the recipients of the care packages sent in April, a mechanical engineer named Jim working for Naval Facilities Command at Camp Lemmonier in Djibouti, a country in eastern Africa.
“On Thursday, the 27th of April, as I was coming into our building, I came upon a group of Naval Construction Battalion junior officers and sailors (the Sea-Bees, CBs) clustered around a postal box full of goodies,” the letter read. “I noticed the letterhead and saw it was from Carlinville High School in Illinois. I’m originally from Hillsboro, Illinois, and seeing something recognizable from so far away really got to me. I came back later and got a bag of sugar cookies (very good) and copied down your email address). Thank you all. I’m not sure how your box made it to us, but it had the camp postal code on it, so I guess you meant it for over here. It was a very nice break from a hot, dusty routine, and everybody appreciated it.”
The letter continued, “I’m just a plain civilian engineer that works for the Navy; I volunteered to come over for a year on temporary duty to work on construction and repair projects (I’m not the typical resident). Just 7,600 miles from home. Things in here where I stay are not too bad; the food is good, the work is interesting and challenging, and I have my own ‘box’ to sleep in (containerized living units, or CLUs. Just imagine a 7 foot by 20 foot truck box set up for 1, 2 or 3 people to live in). The camp itself is very small, around 1 square mile. But a lot of the CBs come and go to different places, so there is no telling where the things you sent in the box will end up.”
It ended, “Once again, thank you for thinking about us, you certainly made my day, and I know a lot of sailors had a good time digging through the box for little treasures.”