March 21, 2011

Virginia Senate shows appreciation for deployed Soldiers

By Lt. Col. Tim Donnellan
29th Infantry Division Public Affairs

KABUL, Afghanistan — Members of Virginia’s State Senate and their staff recently sent care packages to Soldiers of the 29th Infantry Division currently stationed in Afghanistan. The gifts include “Virginia is for Lovers” t-shirts, Valentine’s cards, flags, letters, state memorabilia, toys for local children, toiletries, and snacks.

 

Members of Virginia’s State Senate and their staff recently sent care packages to Soldiers of the 29th Infantry Division currently stationed in Afghanistan. The gifts include “Virginia is for Lovers” t-shirts, Valentine’s cards, flags, letters, state memorabilia, toys for local children, toiletries, and snacks. (Courtesy photo)

“I really enjoy the calendars and information about Virginia.  These are great items to share with our Afghan counterparts.  They are interested in Virginia and learning about our home,” said Lt. Col. Todd Hubbard, Chief Operations Mentor to the National Military Command Center.

One of the unique gifts is the toys that were sent to Soldiers to give to the local children. The Soldiers pass children on the way to work everyday. The young Afghans sell scarves and hand-made bracelets to the passing Servicemembers. The children were very thankful for the gifts.

“The kids really seem to appreciate the toys and stuffed animals. It was very kind of the Senators and their staffs to send us things to remind us of Virginia. I keep a small Commonwealth of Virginia flag on my desk,” said Maj. Pat Bulger, Training Mentor to the National Military Command Center.

Bulger’s daughter, Virginia, works as a page in the State Senate and is responsible for putting this together.

“It was really great to get the Senate pages involved in a project for Soldiers in Afghanistan. It allowed me to share my page experience with my dad since he wasn’t able to see me in the General Assembly. The amount of work that the Senators and their staff did to get this done was awesome and was greater than any expectation I had for this.  It makes me so proud of everyone involved," said Virginia Bulger.

“I want to thank my family for helping put this together,” said Bulger.  “It is great to know that Virginians back home are supporting us.”

 

Capt. Fred Moore gives an Afghan girl one of the stuffed animals sent by the Virginia State Senate and staff.  (Photo by Lt. Col. Tim Donnellan, 29th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

The “Virginia is for Lovers” t-shirt was a big hit with the Soldiers.

“The shirt reminds me of Virginia and it is good to put something on other than government issued clothing.  Many thanks to all who made this possible,” said Capt.  Fred Moore,  Logistics Mentor to the National Military Command Center.

The 29th Infantry Division is made up of Soldiers from Maryland and Virginia. There are currently over 70 members of the 29th Infantry Division deployed in Afghanistan. Their duties include working as mentors, planners, and trainers for Afghanistan’s security forces. This is the first deployment of the 29th Infantry Division Headquarters to a combat zone since World War II.

The Soldiers plan to return to Virginia and Maryland in the fall of 2011.

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