By Mary O’KEEFE
The holidays can be a lonely time for many but for those serving in the military overseas it is especially so. Often times service personnel are in places that do not look anything like home and they are without family.
Members of American Legion 288, with support from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1614, know what it is like to be far from home during the holidays. They know what it means to get a package from home. To help other military personnel get through the holidays, they reached out to the community and the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce to collect goods to send to those overseas. The call for donations resulted with 25 care packages being sent to a local serviceman and his troop.
Stephen Beck is in the U.S. Air Force serving in the Middle East. This is a Christmas of firsts for Beck, his first as a married man and his first being deployed. His wife Aimee was contacted by Mike Baldwin, American Legion Post 288 adjutant, who offered to adopt Beck’s unit for the holidays. This is the first time Post 288 has attempted to adopt a unit and the members wanted the military person to be local. Both Beck and his wife are graduates of Crescenta Valley High School.
The veterans collected candy, cookies and supplies from local businesses, individuals, veterans and students. They filled 25 boxes and shipped them off, with the support of the CV Chamber of Commerce, to Beck who will distribute them to the men and women he serves with.
In addition to the “goodies” there were letters from students in the boxes. Prior to sending out the boxes, veterans also enclosed Amazon cards for everyone in Beck’s direct unit. The cards have already been received and, according to Aimee, the unit members have already started using them to purchase books for their e-readers.
Beck is grateful to the community for its support and honored that veterans from the American Legion Post 288 and VFW Post 1614 would adopt his unit.
“We really appreciate the thoughts and care that went into making these packages,” Beck said. “They really brightened up the mood of the whole squadron.”