27 Nov 2017
- By Lori Lyn C. Lirio – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
OPERATION Homefront sent 112 care packages to island residents serving the military and deployed in various parts of the world, according to 8th CNMI Operation Homefront Support chairmen Brent Deleon Guerrero and Cody Ash.
Students from Marianas High School, Saipan Southern High School and Mt. Carmel School helped put the items in boxes on Saturday.
“This used to be an annual thing, but we stopped for two years because of Typhoon Soudelor. We brought it back. This is new to people again, and that is why the number this year is not that high,” Deleon Guerrero said.
He is hoping that next year they will be able to send more care packages. “It is all about getting the word out, familiarizing the people with this program again, because we haven’t had it for two years. We are basically reintroducing it.”
Each care package has “newspapers, magazines, canned goods and other items that military personnel request, things that are hard to find in the states,” he added.
In the past, they got a lot of good feedback from the military personnel who received the care packages. “Even though it is just dried mango and other local delicacies, it brought them back home.”
The CNMI Operation Homefront group thanked the companies that donated the money that paid for postage. The care packages will be sent to Germany, Alaska, the Middle East and other parts of the world where CNMI servicemembers are deployed.
“We thank everybody who helped us make this possible,” Deleon Guerrero said. “It is all about logistics and planning. You have to make sure that you coordinate it well because you don’t want to send care packages that the servicemembers won’t get,” Deleon Guerrero said.
“We want to the wish the CNMI military men and women Happy Holidays! This is our way of giving back to the troops and thanking them for the sacrifices they make for us.”
Around 50 high school students gathered at the multi-purpose center on Saturday morning to help prepare the care packages.
“This is also a way for them to earn extra credits,” Deleon Guerrero said.
“We also had elementary school students write letters to our military men and women,” he said, adding that servicemembers look forward to these letters because “children tend to write very sincere and genuine messages.”
To show appreciation to the students who helped them, Deleon Guerrero said they raffled off 20 tickets to “Love, Kennedy,” a movie about a teenager coping with Batten disease. The CNMI’s Yvonne Bennett appeared in the film.
CNMI Operation Homefront has sent out over 2,000 care packages during the past seven years.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/100389-operation-homefront-sends-out-112-care-packages-to-nmi-servicemembers