This week’s activity was particularly special to me. Something I have not shared with this group yet is that I am a Navy Veteran who served 6 years and went on 5 deployments. During the time I was out to sea I would get rather lonely, regardless of all the people I was surrounded by. When you’re marooned on a ship you don’t get the opportunity to have the comforts of home around you. Something simple like a candy bar, or just some non-Navy stocked toothpaste would mean the world to me to get from my relatives.
I didn’t receive any care packages on my first deployment, but during my second one we were asked if we wanted to sign up for packages. I signed up for them and I did not regret them. Once on a deployment we, as a crew, received care packages from people who signed up through the USO care package program. These were total strangers who signed up for the program and just wanted to help. We were sent a variety of amenities, but we got a personal card from everyone who contributed to the program. Seeing the generosity of total strangers is what really made me feel like I was doing something meaningful while I was out there, regardless of how I felt about the war.
That being said, I am packing my package and deciding who to send it to. I focused more on utility rather than art in this case, as that is what I would desire more often. My wife and I went to color me mine to make bowls for the packages, and we have a few personal cups and artwork that I had made to toss in there as well. I hope the bowls turn out well and whomever we decide to send them to enjoys them the same way that I enjoyed the packages I got on deployment.