Bringing Christmas to soldiers in July

By Frank Muller, president Brookings-Harbor Red Shirts June 10, 2009 05:00 am

Each year, during the hottest month of the year, the Brookings-Harbor Red Shirts have celebrated “Christmas in July” with our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and again this year we will be sending over 125 packages to our soldiers airmen serving in harm’s way.

We will mail these packages from the Brookings post office on June 19, so they reach our soldiers by or on July 4, so they can celebrate Independence Day and Christmas together.

The temperature in Iraq and Afghanistan usually hits 120 degrees or more this time of year and it’s a very challenging environment. So it’s our way of trying to boost morale in our troops and to also say thank you to them.

We are sending lots of games, footballs, soccer balls, water guns, Texas hold ’em games, dart boards with darts, dominoes, military phone cards, writing materials, magazines and books, and anything that will help relieve the tension and daily routine. We are also sending lots of coffee, goodies and snacks along with hygiene items that are requested.

This year we are especially fortunate to have enlisted the talents of Brookings-Harbor High School, Kristy Kleespies’ leadership class, and also Azalea Middle School, Mrs. Chew’s class, to write letters and wonderful cards to our soldiers. Nothing makes a soldier feel better than a letter from home, especially a letter from a student. So I want to thank all those students and their teachers who took the time and cared enough to share a bit about themselves and their town with our soldiers.

Brookings and Harbor are on the map with the soldiers over there; we have heard that firsthand. Also, special thanks go out to Breanne and Ali, from BHHS. (Hope I spelled your names correctly.) These young ladies went out on their own in town and made a video, interviewing people at work, people shopping, young children, business people at a fair, and a group of students, all talking about what freedom is and thanking the troops for what they do. If I could give these young ladies a grade it would be an A plus for citizenship, initiative and understanding. Breanne made 30 copies of this CD for the troops. Thank you both from the Brookings-Harbor Red Shirts and from our troops; we could not have said thank you better than your video does.

You will see your local members of the Red Shirts throughout town, having hotdog sales, working in our information booth, and doing whatever we can to keep our mission going. We enjoy our freedom because our soldiers volunteer to put themselves in harm’s way. Let’s continue to pray for their safety and their timely return home to their families.

Thank you citizens and students of Brookings and Harbor, Oregon, for your continued support; without all of you, none of this would be possible.

If you know of a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan, please e-mail us so we can support that soldier: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it For more information visit www.brookings-harbor-redshirts.org.