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Remember our military men and women
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Dear Editor,
The Great Bend Military Moms remind everyone to remember our military men and women who won’t be able to spend this joyous season with their loved ones. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers, and the families who so desperately miss them – with that empty chair at the table ... the children who hope to speak with their parent, brother, or sister by telephone or Internet ... if at all. These brave men and women sacrifice so much by choosing to serve our country, and fight for freedom around our world. Always be thankful for your freedom, and those who are willing to protect it!
GB Military Moms organization began in November of 2003.  As we start our 11th year – more than 4,650 boxes have been purchased, packed and shipped. To all who have contributed, thank you so much! The wonderful support this community has given has made this project possible. Please know that the names of all contributors are added to a letter of appreciation included with each box. Financial donations have come from individuals, families, memorials, schools, clubs, scouts, service organizations, and some stores and businesses. Every dollar donated is used for purchasing the contents and for shipping charges, about $50 per box.
I’d also like to say “thank you” to Water’s True Value, P & S Security and Gambino’s Pizza of Great Bend, for sponsoring the wonderful Veterans Day celebration this year. More than $2,500 was donated and shared by Kansas Honor Flights, Wounded Warrior Project, and GB Military Moms. Awesome way to honor our Veterans, and Brian Harris at True Value did a great job planning the events – I can’t wait to see next year’s celebration!
We already shipped many Christmas boxes this year – but packed extra so if you know of someone currently serving in the Iraq, Afghanistan or Northern Africa areas, please get their military address to me. We will send them boxes loaded with snacks, candy, drink mixes, beef jerky, nuts, books, CDs, DVDs, games, toys, batteries, personal care items along with lots of love and support from back home. We don’t care where they’re from – they all deserve to know they are loved and appreciated. We want to send them great “stuff,” but also put a smile on their faces. We also send extra boxes to chaplains, and to a USO post, so they can distribute the items to those soldiers who don’t receive mail from home. It is heartbreaking to hear that, so we do our best to send enough to be shared and enjoyed with them as well.
Also, a special request: We are needing more financial donations because we now have addresses for several soldiers who are serving in tiny FOBs (forward operating bases) – and we try to send them extra basic necessities more often, about every other month – and when we can, we include enough for all 15-20 serving at each FOB. Winters in the Afghanistan mountains are particularly rough with actual temps reaching more than -20, and wind chill factors that are frightening. We ship extra hunting socks, head/neck hoods, hand and foot warmers, and high quality protein foods to them along with the basics. Most of those on FOBs live in tents. Please add them to your prayers, as well. It is hard to even imagine ...
Addresses and donations can be mailed to:  Great Bend Military Moms  P.O. Box 432  Great Bend, KS  67530.
For more information, you can contact me by calling 620-792-2838.  Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season filled with love!
Until they are all home ...

Leslie (Halbower) Barrett