Written by Devon Boen
It is easy to overlook the little things when thinking about the soldiers currently deployed to a foreign country while serving in the military.
Each day, most people have access to the most basic essential and entertainment items and don’t give them a second thought, but this is not the reality for those overseas.
Ron Conrad, the executive director for Headstart Family Service out of Miles City, is aware of the sacrifices soldiers make and it hit close to home for him because his nephew is currently deployed in Afghanistan.
Conrad decided to use his ties to Action for Eastern Montana to help out his nephew and others. AFEM is an organization aimed at improving communities in a variety of ways. Recently, with the help and coordination of Conrad, AFEM has been collecting donations and sending large care packages to Afghanistan filled with useful and fun items.
Conrad said they’ve received several generous donations in the short time they’ve been collecting. One story that stood out to him was when a motorcycle group called “Abate” was in line to buy $500 worth of items to donate when another person in the store asked them what they were going to do with all the purchases. When they explained the cause, the other person decided to match their donation, and wrote them a check for $500.
These types of acts have kept the donations rolling in and Conrad said they’ve already sent out three separate packages to the troops and have enough money now to do another.
A report released by Action for Eastern Montana says troops enjoy candy, small snacks, powdered drinks, toiletries, over the counter pain relievers and homemade gifts among many others.
Conrad was unsure how long the donation process would continue, but hasn’t halted it in any regard since donations continue to come in for the troops. He hopes Christmas time could translate into an influx of helpful gifts and items to get the deployed men and women through the holiday season.
People can donate items as well as money since shipping overseas can be quite expensive. Those interested in donating can contact Action for Eastern Montana at 406-377-3564.