Monday, 13 January 2020 20:19

VFW Auxiliary ties ribbon, collects supplies for troops

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VFW Post 4203 Auxiliary member Donny Sweat staples a yellow ribbon to the oak tree in front of Veterans Memorial Park on Sunday. VFW Post 4203 Auxiliary member Donny Sweat staples a yellow ribbon to the oak tree in front of Veterans Memorial Park on Sunday. William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Taking a cue from the 1973 hit by Tony Orlando and Dawn, members of the VFW Post 4203 Auxiliary on Sunday tied a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree. 

The tree in question sits at the front of Veterans Memorial Park.

The ribbon, donated by Hillside Florist, is in recognition of all the local troops — including those in the National Guard  — currently deployed.

But the organization is doing a more than just a symbolic gesture of support: they’ll soon be sending out care packages to the men and women overseas.

The group has, in the past, adopted a specific unit stationed at one place, but the local National Guard troops are “scattered,” according to Auxiliary President Robin Roberts.

The adopted unit for 2019 was U.S. Army 204th Clearance Company stationed at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. The Auxiliary also sent packages to local troops deployed to Japan and South Korea.

Last week, the Auxiliary post a list of requested items planned for the packages and in just a few days collected several boxes of supplies including hygiene products, books and snacks.

The requested items are: 

  • granola bars/protein bars/energy bars, 
  • beef jerky, trail mix
  • microwavable food (popcorn, ramen noodles)
  • peanut butter/jelly
  • jello/pudding cups
  • tuna and chicken in pouches
  • chips and pretzels in a hard container, snack crackers, hard candy, fruit snacks, gum, store-bought cookies and dried fruit, cereal bars, instant oatmeal
  • drink mixes, instant coffee, tea bags, protein powder
  • hot sauce, seasoning packets, salt and pepper packets, seasoning salt, travel-size condiments
  • toiletries/personal hygiene - travel-size shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste/toothbrush and mouthwash, deodorant, body wash, lotion, washcloths, razors, shaving cream, feminine products, hairbrush, comb, bobby pins, hair ties, foot/body powder, cleaning wipes
  • nail kits (clippers, files), eyeglasses kits
  • sunscreen/insect repellent
  • batteries
  • frisbees, footballs and sports equipment
  • crosswords/Sudoku puzzles
  • playing cards/dice
  • activities to share
  • small First Aid kit
  • antibacterial ointment, rubbing alcohol, petroleum jelly
  • travel-size medicines (pain, cold meds), multi-vitamins, anti-histamines, ace bandages, mentholated chest rub, nasal spray, chapstick

Members plan to go shopping this weekend in Fayetteville for more items. 

To pay for it all, the Auxiliary is using money raised during the 2019 Rockin’ for Veterans Concert held in September as well as monetary donations.

Supplies can be dropped off at the Rockingham VFW Post on River Road, with Roberts at Hudson Brothers Deli, with Denita Cauley at Maness Tire or with Richard Robinson at Double Vision.

The boxes will be packed for shipping the first weekend in February.