The Holiday Season

Unfortunately, many deployed Marines and other service members have to spend the holiday season overseas, away from their family and friends. Luckily, they have a great support network, which continues to find new ways to make the holidays as good as they can be while they are deployed.

This year, the Marines and sailors of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) were sent hundreds of recordable storybook editions of ‘The Night Before Christmas’. It allowed them to record themselves reading the poem and send it home to their loved ones.

Master Sgt. Fred Dircksen, the officer in charge of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense for 3rd MAW (Fwd) said, “I think the book was the only thing I sent home this year, and they loved it. I think the best part, for them, was just hearing my voice. The support system out here has come a long way [in the last decade]. It really makes you realize how much everyone means to you.”

In addition, service members throughout Afghanistan received care packages from different programs such as AnyMarine. These packages contained treats, essentials, and letters of support and cheer from American citizens.

Sgt. Julianna Sharp, the training non-commissioned officer in charge for Marine Wing Support Squadron 3, 3rd MAW (Fwd) said, “During the holidays, we were able to collect around 30 boxes containing food, hand warmers, socks and things of that nature for Marines in more remote locations, who don’t have the luxury of receiving mail every few days like we do here.”

Many of the service members here will return home this spring due to the changeover between the I and II Marine Expeditionary Force, but the efforts and support received by troops overseas is still much needed to boost their morale and spirits during the time they need it the most.

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