We're not sure Ann Trail knew what she was getting into when she began crafting cross ribbons for an organization supporting the military, but then again, perhaps she did.
Beginning by crafting 9,300 cross ribbons for the Adopt-A-Chaplain program in 2009, Mrs. Trail soon recruited help in assembling and shipping hundreds of care packages to selected chaplains who distributed them to military personnel in Iraq and now Afghanistan.
Mrs. Trail knows how much a package from home can mean to someone deployed overseas, having sent many of her own to her husband, Dick Trail, a Gazette columnist and retired Air Force colonel.
She also knows because she's received heartfelt thanks from many of those who received the care packages, including this letter last year, from a chaplain in the 101st Airborne:
"On behalf of all of the soldiers from our battalion and others attached to us, we would like to personally thank you for the care packages that you sent.
"It is a true honor that we have such grateful Americans supporting our efforts here in Afghanistan and words cannot convey our appreciation. We believe that you and your volunteers are heroes for your efforts in reaching out to our soldiers a world away from home.
"Your contribution will not only lift the spirit but help the well-being of these men and women who sacrifice so much every day.
"For this we cannot thank you enough. May God continue to bless you, our Soldiers, and our great nation."
Like any good military wife, however, Mrs. Trail knows recruiting is key to success, and that's her emphasis right now.
If you can contribute gifts or cash to help cheer our troops in Afghanistan, please contact Mrs. Trail at her home at 201 West M, or call her at (308) 340-3578.
Donated items will be delivered to Chaplain Capt. Timothy Shepherd stationed at FBO Orgun-E, FBO Boris and COP Zerok, Afghanistan,
She asks that they be provided by Nov. 14, and each package costs $13.45 to ship, so cash donations are greatly appreciated.
Some suggested donations: ChapStick, deodorant for men, Body wash (not too fragrant), hand and foot warmers, razors, DVD movies (new or used), CD music, game books, crossword, search, Sudoku, etc., coffee mate (different flavors), coffee (different flavors), hot chocolate packets, hot cider packets, single drink mixes for water, mac & cheese (individual cups), Raman Noodles (individual cups), microwave popcorn, beef jerky (they love these!), power bars, granola bars, trail mix (individual packages, nuts (individual packages), chewing gum, candy (pre-wrapped, especially chocolate), sunflower seeds (different flavors).
And, a short note on a Christmas card is always so much appreciated by our soldiers.
We can't think of a better way to get in the Christmas spirit than by doing our part to make the holidays a little more pleasant for those far from home in a dangerous place.