America Supports You: Boxes of Support Boost ‘Adopted’ Units
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2008 Support by the boxful from a New York home-front group is keeping servicemembers’ spirits high as they serve overseas.
“Being so far away from home, we want our daughter, son-in-law, and the 450 soldiers in their unit and other units to know that we love them, and think about them every day,” said Sylvester Henry, president of Adopt A Unit US. “Our objective is to provide the (servicemembers) with an abundance of support and comfort in order to encourage strength and optimism (while) bringing them as close to home as possible.”
Helping servicemembers feel close to home can be tricky, but Henry and his wife, Cassandra, work to make each of the care packages they send special. The boxes are filled with each unit’s requests with items that mostly are donated by the community.
A recent effort saw 100 boxes head overseas to boost servicemembers’ morale.
“We were informed that they were so thankful and grateful to the community for sending so many things that they missed from home and hadn’t seen in such a long time,” Henry said.
In addition to care packages, Adopt A Unit US conducts a letter-writing campaign. Called the “Happy Day” campaign, the group asks that people write a “warm and uplifting” letter to a servicemember, so he or she can have something positive in their day, Henry said.
Adopt A Unit US is a new supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program that connects citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad.
The group hopes to expand by having a community in every city across the country adopt a unit, Henry said, adding he hopes the affiliation with America Supports You will help.
“We believe the networking and support of each other will benefit us all by allowing us to expand out beyond our immediate circle of influence,” he said. “Our organization feels that aligning ourselves with a respected group such as America Supports You will definitely increase our exposure throughout this nation, helping to (gain) a great deal of support for our troops.”