Herald Journal Columns
June 7, 2004 Herald Journal
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A wish list for troops; why not adopt a soldier?


I am sure that everyone reading this column knows at least one person who is deployed right now.

I think the hoopla of soldiers being deployed has passed and it has become old hat now.

Let’s not slide into complacency and let our own lives eclipse those who are working on our behalf, far away.

Yes I know that we’re all overly busy and our schedules are monstrous, particularly for parents.

But won’t you take a moment to track down just ONE soldier, to write him or her a short letter?

Surely there is time for one soldier. You can do that.

Why not have your kids “adopt” a soldier? Have them make pictures or write something to them.

It would be good for your kids because you can give them a lesson in citizenship, and good for the soldier, too.

How do you find a soldier if you don’t have one? A good place to start would be contacting the local American Legion for a soldier’s address.

Just pull out last week’s newspaper and pick out any names that are familiar to you associated with the Legion.

Also, any family members of those deployed would be happy to help you.

Let’s not forget the working soldier!

On that note, I’d like to add a splendid “wish list” for troops stationed overseas compiled by the Community Bank of Winsted:

Wish list for troops

GIFTS THAT ARE PRACTICAL and NECESSARY: razors, deodorant, toothpaste, soft toothbrushes (there are some available with paste or small sample-sized toothpaste with a short handle toothbrush), moisturizing soap, shampoo, leave-in hair conditioner, lip balm and lip balm with sunscreen, any kind of pre-moistened hand or body wipes (Baby or Face Wipes: best if individually wrapped), sunscreen, no-water needed hand sanitizer, Puffs Plus, feminine hygiene products, moisturizing body wash, moisturizing eye drops (best are the small plastic vials that are one use type…tear off top, use and throw away), nasal spray, top quality hand cream, Eucerin, citrus air fresheners, bug repellent, foot powder, underwear, socks, bandannas.

SNACKS: Instant foods that need only water like Ragu Express, Kraft Easy Mac, soup cups, pasta cups, flavored oatmeal, instant flavored coffees, creamers, hot cocoas, teas (Nestle Butterfinger Hot Cocoa, Folgers instant flavored coffee), sugar free Koolaid (the boxes that have several individual packs inside), snacks that can take the tough journey overseas – if you can't throw it across the room, don't mail it!!! (Beef jerky, granola bars, tuna kits, gum, mints, M&Ms, marshmallows, licorice, jellybeans [note candy/cookies/snacks best if individually wrapped], sunflower seeds, nuts), Seasonings in plastic containers, such as garlic powder, SeasonAll, Italian seasonings, hot sauce, dried onion.

JUST FOR FUN AND STRESS RELIEF: Clean cartoons and joke books, mystery novels, games, decks of cards (like Uno) new/used paperbacks, disposable cameras with flash, AA & D batteries, blank cards, pens, small notebooks, music CDs, car and sports magazines, VHS and DVD movies (war, western, action movies), hand held video games.

FIRST AID: Migraine meds, Pepto Bismol tablets, no-water Excedrin, flexible cloth bandages, blister care, shoe insoles, cotton balls and swabs.

Trial sizes, samples and hotel freebies are welcome.

REMEMBER: no pork, no breakables, no combustibles, no perishables, and no products containing alcohol.

NOTE: Many soldiers are using very hard water which causes their skin to flake and hair to break. Therefore, moisturizing soap and serious dry skin products are in “big” demand, as well as leave-in hair conditioners.

Twitchell made a parting comment that is worth repeating:

“These freedoms we enjoy have always been costly, however, too many people do not really realize or want to think about those costs.

Just as Christ gave his all, salvation is free, but it was not cheap. God Bless and I will say a prayer for you and your family,” he said.

What’s all the

folding about?

I received the following information from Wright County Commissioner Dick Mattson.

It is reprinted from the Nov./Dec. 2002 newsletter of the New Hampshire Legionnaire.

Do you know that at military funerals, the 21-gun salute stands for the sum of the numbers in the year 1776?

Have you ever noticed the honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the American flag 13 times?

The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.

The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.

The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.

The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.

The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong.”

The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.

The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day.

The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it is has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made the country great has been molded.

The 10th fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.

The 11th fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies in their eyes the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The 12th fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represent an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

After the 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our nations motto, In God We Trust.

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.

There are some traditions and ways of doing things which have deep meaning.

In the future, you’ll see flags folded and now you will know why.

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