CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan -- During the holiday season, little reminders of home in the form of care packages boost morale and spread holiday cheer to troops serving in austere environments such as Afghanistan’s Helmand province.
The Marines of Combat Logistics Battalion 3, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) are feeling the love from home as the mail truck rolls in daily with care packages filled with decorations, baked goods, gifts and more.
"We started receiving care packages in October," said Cpl. Vanessa Vallejo, postal non-commissioned officer in charge, CLB-3. "We have been getting around 100 every day since."
Most care packages are sent from the family and friends of the Marines in Afghanistan as well as non-profit organizations that collects goods and donations to send to service members.
Some of the care packages are also sent from former Marines who served in countries around the world that know first-hand just how much a care package from home means to the Marines in harm’s way.
"Even back then a care package was a huge morale booster," former Marine Donald Downer , who served in China and Korea, wrote in a letter he stuffed inside one of many care packages he sent to the Marines of CLB-3. "We then knew that the folks back home were 100% behind our mission."
The Marines of CLB-3 show their thanks in letters and video shout-outs that are sent back to those who sent their thanks in the form of a care package.
"I think I can speak on behalf of everyone who’s received a care package in our battalion when I say thank you," said Vallejo. "The holiday season wouldn’t be the same without the support from our families and friends."
During the holiday season the Marines of CLB-3 know that they have two things they can rely on to keep their spirits up, the family of Marines and sailors around them and the love from home.