CAMP KOREAN VILLAGE, Iraq -- The plain, nondescript boxes came with labels directing them to troops in Iraq. Inside, the individually wrapped packages from school children carrying the kind words of holiday cheer along with a few comforts of home.
To the Marines and Sailors of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), the packages represent the best of holiday spirit while on deployment. The holiday greeting cards and small trinkets carried inside the small personalized bags are a welcome surprise for the Marines and Sailors here.
Lance Cpl. Gregory Grant, administration clerk, command element, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) said the care packages remind him that people at home care about the troops here. “It was nice, with little ones back home thinking about us,” he said.
In an operational environment, it is easy to forget that the holiday season is just around the corner. “For me right now, there really isn’t a holiday season. It is nice to know that others back home are enjoying it, and they’re thinking of us while they’re enjoying it. That’s good, it helps us out,” Grant added.
Petty Officer 3rd Class, Soohuen Ham, religious program specialist, command element, 15th MEU (SOC), said the care packages are welcome. “I really thank the school children for sending the packages. I feel like I’m home and I really appreciate their support,” he said.
To the Marines and Sailors here, the packages are more than just a reminder of the holiday season while in Iraq, Ham said. “Being out here, all I get is sand, so this is like receiving ten Christmas presents all at once,” he said