Local supporters that sent care packages overseas receive flag plaque for their military support.
When stationed overseas, troops miss a lot of daily items – chocolate, pop, coffee, etc. – that non-military people might take for granted. That’s why gift packages are such an awesome welcome in a place like Afghanistan. Even the smallest reminders from home help more than people back in the U.S. know.
Air Force Lt. Col. Michelle Estes stopped by the Dignity Health Home Health center in California to express a deep gratitude for the care packages and postcards the employees and residents sent to the troops overseas. To show the troops’ appreciation, Estes presented the Dignity staff with a framed American flag that flew over her base in Kabul, Afghanistan. The flag plaque also included an official certificate that authenticated the time and place that Old Glory flew.
“For people you don’t know to send you packages and support touched us very deeply,” Estes said. She also mentioned that many of the snacks included in the packages where ones many of the soldiers had not seen in a very long time. Chocolate turned into an especially hot commodity! Estes was stationed with a 50-member coalition force that included soldiers from Belgium, Lithuania, and the Ukraine.
Michelle’s mother Karen also happens to be a member of the staff at the home health care agency. Karen believes this is her daughter’s proudest deployment. Her past tours include three in Iraq and two in Saudi Arabia. From all that back and forth, Estes knows how stressful returning home can be for many soldiers. She described the transition with, “There’s a lot of brown over there with the sand and the uniforms, so when you come back to the States there’s a tremendous burst of colors. But that’s America… That’s what you miss.”
Credit: Santa Maria Times