Kathleen Johnson of Goodwin’s Funeral Home said, “As soon as the war started in Iraq, I got with Herb Follis, the commander of the American Legion, to talk about sending packages to soldiers from Cadiz. He thought it was a great idea, so we started looking for local soldiers. We got with the schools to send out letters asking if anyone knew of a soldier and to get names and addresses.”
Over four years later, the war remains a reality, with troop levels increasing due to the “Surge” to combat an ongoing insurgency. The local effort to supply soldiers with creature comforts and bits of home continues to gain momentum.
Follis said, “We’re asking businesses and individuals to donate money for postage and items for the packages. We don’t send home baked goods, but we have found out the guys over there like beef jerky, new socks, hand towels, and they have to be brown or green- not white. They wear them around their necks and heads. We can only send unscented soap. We have to send hard candy, not soft or chocolates because they don’t do well with the heat.”
Johnson said that several regular contributors donate to the effort, including the Trigg County Democratic Women’s Organization, the Tourism Committee, the Trigg County Judge/Executive’s office and her employers at Goodwin’s Funeral Home.
“Postage for one box to go to Iraq is $9,” said Johnson. She said that the effort had moved away from sending shoeboxes due to the lower flat postage rate boxes now available from the Post Office.
Follis said that the American Legion often adopts a particular unit for gifts, but that to expedite the shipping process and send a personal gift to servicemen and women, they prefer person-to-person shipping.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.