Dec. 4, 2013 -- The holidays are a time for families to enjoy the season together. For most deployed service members, the holidays are a time spent away from family and friends.
Employees with Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point’s Naval Air Systems Command spent more than half a year preparing to brighten the spirits of Marines and Sailors deployed overseas this holiday season.
In the first Boxes for the Brave program, 19 engineers with the activities team of NAVAIR boxed and shipped more than 60 care packages and 200 holiday cards to Cherry Point Marines and Sailors deployed in Afghanistan.
“Because the troops are unable to be with their families at this time of year, I hope that by sending these boxes, it is a way of bringing the holidays to them,” said Megan Goold, a chemist with NAVAIR. “It’s a small way to say thank you for their dedication and service. Because of them we are allowed to celebrate with our families.”
The team collected a variety of useful comfort items, such as beef jerky, dry soup and toiletries. The team also sent entertainment luxuries like games, books and portable music players to help entertain deployed service members.
The civilian employees of NAVAIR provide critical systems training support to Marines at Cherry Point. During the holiday season, the team at NAVAIR enjoys providing support to service members far from home. On delivery day, the NAVAIR team recalled their progress since the drive began in March.
“It was an extremely humbling experience that completely reset the way I think about work and what I’ve been through this year,” said Meghan Goering, the activities team leader and an engineer with NAVAIR. “What we do for them, for the men and women who serve us, is worth it.”
The NAVAIR team received quick feedback from several benefactors in Afghanistan. Capt. Darnell Billups, the Marine Wing Communications Squadron 28 detachment commander, offered praise and thanks to the NAVAIR volunteers and their generosity.
“I would just like to thank you for the care packages you sent to my Marines,” said Billups in an e-mail. “The items were all well received and greatly appreciated – you have positively impacted our mission here by improving morale. I really can’t thank you enough.”