With an eye on showing appreciation and thanks for U.S. troops stationed overseas, the Republican Women of St. Charles Parish (RWSC) organization hosted a donation drive and have shipped gift boxes to the soldiers for the holiday season.
The group has “adopted” the Louisiana National Guard’s 239th Military Police Company out of Carville, which began a one-year long deployment to Kuwait on May 17. There are 152 soldiers in the unit, thus the RWSC has prepared 152 gift boxes as result of the drive.
The project is named Operation Sergeant Santa.
Carol Levy, a member of the RWSC, said the idea was inspired by a Kenner police officer and National Guard member who was not able to go to Kuwait with his command unit.
“We asked how he would feel about us adopting a command and putting together a bunch of gift boxes to send to Kuwait, and he thought that would be awesome,” Levy said. “He brought it up to the group and they were in.
“We want them to know they are loved and appreciated.”
Some items included are necessities like sunblock, socks, underwear, flip-flops, lip balm and powder; snacks like chips, salsa, nuts, cookies and beef jerky; and games like playing cards or crossword puzzles.
“A thank you card, a letter of appreciation, it can be as simple as that,” Levy said.
Others who have donated include Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser as well as the Hahnville High School wrestling team, the latter pledging 152 bags of Zaps potato chips.
For Levy, whose grandfather was an Army veteran and father a veteran of the Marines, the country’s armed forces have always carried heightened meaning for her.
“We still live in the best country in the world, no matter what people think these days,” Levy said. “The only reason we have the freedoms we have is because of our service members overseas and locally. So, even if it’s just a small little token from a small little parish in Louisiana, it’s so they know they are appreciated and that we know our freedom comes at a price, and that the price has not gone unnoticed.