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December 21, 2012 3:50 pm

EDITORIAL: Away from home at the holidays

Written by Tessa Schweigert

Powell Troop Support provides gifts for locals who serve abroad

Instead of sharing this Christmas beside their loved ones, active-duty soldiers from the Powell area will spend the holiday on foreign soil thousands of miles from home. They can’t be in Wyoming, so generous residents have sent a part of Wyoming to them — in the form of letters, supplies and, of course, jerky.



Earlier this month, local volunteers sent special holiday packages to 12 soldiers serving in Afghanistan, filling boxes with supplies and gifts donated by local students, teachers, businesses and residents. Instead of giving each soldier a single package, they went above and beyond, shipping 190 boxes.

“That now beats the record of the amount of boxes per soldier we have ever sent from the giving of the school district,” wrote Bonny Rouse and Ann Ruward, leaders of Powell Troop Support.

One hundred and ninety boxes allow the 12 local soldiers to share the gifts with fellow troops. It’s fitting that overseas, Powell soldiers are known for generosity. That’s what this community exemplifies so often.

Imagine what other troops think when more than a dozen boxes arrive for one soldier. It means their hometown cares about them. It means fellow Americans haven’t forgotten their service overseas, even amid a difficult and unpopular war. It means we are proud of them.

“If it wasn’t for all of you, our soldiers would not have such a very Merry Christmas away from their loved ones and the security of homes,” Rouse and Ruward wrote about those who have volunteered or donated to the effort. “Each and every one is to be commended for your generous, giving hearts.”

Likewise, Rouse and Ruward are to be commended for organizing Powell Troop Support and keeping it going over the years.

To mail 190 packages, it cost $2,817. Between the local schools, businesses and private donations, a grand total of $3,146 was raised this year. That leaves $329 for postage for future packages.

There will be future shipments sent. The reality of this world is that military conflicts will continue to be fought, and young American men and women will be called upon to serve.

But for those from the Powell area, they will know this community is behind them. Especially when they can’t be home for Christmas.

1 Comment

  • Comment Link December 25, 2012 9:27 am posted by SFC Richard Brown, US Army

    I have always stood up for Powell since I have lived there and during my time in the military. I proudly fly the Wyoming flag no matter where in the world I am. It's because of this type of hometown atmoshpere and caring that I do it. I can tell you what my Soldiers thought when I got these boxes, "WOW, they really do care". So I thank each and every one of you involved in this project, hopefully my next trip home I can thank you personally.

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