Explore with George: Packages From Home

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- You've stepped up for soldiers and sent in lots of items to be sent to our men and women overseas in packages from home. Before the boxes head out though, they have to be packed up.

WWAY's George Elliott stopped by the National Guard Armory today to meet with the people doing just that.

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Over the years, I've spent a fair amount of time in Afghanistan as a civilian. I would, often, visit a military base to grab a cold shower, hot meal, updated intel and supplies (replacement clothing, ammo, food supplies, etc). At every U.S. base that I visited I would be invited to a storage area where there would be dozens and dozens of boxes containing "packages from home". The military personel would beg me to take whatever I wanted so that there would be less for them to burn. Every base would have a HUGH "burn pit" (large enough to put a couple of pick up trucks in) that they utilized to burn their trash (there is no Waste Management in Afghanistan). I was told, and a couple of times I witnessed, the burning of dozens of unopened boxes that contained "packages from home" because the packages contained items that were of no use, or because there was such a hugh quantity being sent from HUNDREDS of organizations in every state in America. Of course it makes the senders feel good to be doing "something" for the soldiers but, in reality, that is where the "good" intentions end because of the man hours wasted in having to deal with handling, and eventual destruction of the unread letters and unused items being shipped to the other side of the world.

Wilmington Observer