Friday, 18 November 2011

Operation Squaddie.

It's almost Christmas time and I'm sure you've all started your Christmas shopping. I know I have. In fact, it's almost finished... apart from still worrying about what to get my mother. She's the hardest person to buy for in the world. But back to the point: What would it hurt to pick up a little extra something? A packet of wet wipes. A bottle of shampoo. An extra packet of sweets when they're on special offer. And really, how much would it hurt to put those things in a little box and send them to someone whose job is to make sure you can sleep safely in your bed at night?

Adopt a British Squaddie is an organisation that gives members of the public an opportunity to help lift spirits and make life a little more bearable for our Armed Forces service men and women in Afghanistan. Their aim is to raise the morale of troops on tour and to let them know that they are cared about. They do it by sending shoebox packages, letters and little treats to deployed troops and, you know what? The best thing is that it's free. You don't need to pay for the postage. That's covered by the British Forces postal service.

All you need to do is find a shoebox (or buy one from the post office, like I did), spend as little as £5 filling it with deodorant, sweets, blueys, pens - anything you think you'd like to receive if you were stuck thousands of miles from home with sand some place uncomfortable. I'm sure you all spend more than £5 on yourself every week and can't even account for it. Do something special for someone working their arse off in a hot country for your safety. Even if you don't agree with the cause, agree with the fact that they're working away from their families and risk their lives every day. The least you can do is give them a wet wipe or two.

This was the care package I sent to my Private. Wipes, deodorant stick, disposable razors, tissues, hand cream, Vaseline, sweets, chocolate, pens, paper, envelopes, Blueys, toothpaste and other little nick-nacks.

When you sign up to Adopt a Squaddie, they email you the name and address of your 'adopted' soldier. I got mine within the hour. You then put your care package together and, as long as it doesn't weigh more than 2kg, you can send it for free at your local post office (making sure you've attached a Customs label). Et voila - a soldier somewhere in the world has something nice to take their mind off the horrible job they're doing to make a living. I hope mine enjoys it when he receives it.

They're not as picky as your mother. They're grateful for anything you take the time to send. So make someone else's day and skip your Chai Latte for a better cause. :)

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