JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – The members of the Johns Creek Veterans Association know what it is like to be overseas in a hostile place and wondering whether the folks back home remember them.
The JCVA is making sure that the soldiers of the 1st Battalion of the 41st Field Artillery stationed in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, at Forward Operations Base Apache know with certainty that yes, they are remembered and appreciated.
For the duration of their tour in Afghanistan, the Alpha Aces 1-41 FA out of Fort Stewart, Ga., have been adopted by the JCVA.
These vets, some going back to World War II, just want to let soldiers far from home know the job they are doing is also remembered, said JCVA member Buzz Boehm.
Boehm is a retired Marine lieutenant colonel, but in 1967 he was a rifle platoon leader in Vietnam.
“We didn’t get stuff like that when we were in Nam. Today, people understand what it does for morale to get something from home. We use lists from Americans Support Americans, a nonprofit group that helps get the items they recommend to the soldiers,” Boehm said.
Americans Support Americans is a grassroots organization that has sprouted chapters in every state, he said.
“These boxes make sure this generation doesn’t feel forgotten.”
And the project has been adopted by many others as well. The vets were joined by a number of other volunteers to ship out a CARE package for each member of the Alpha Aces. The money for the food and personal articles packed in each of the 73 boxes was collected by students at State Bridge Road Elementary and Taylor Road Middle schools.
In addition to a package for each of soldiers in the unit, the JCVA is sending a dozen boxes of G.I.-issue boot socks and T-shirts – the single most requested items – from donations from personnel at Johns Creek City Hall.
The CARE packages contain hand-wipes, instant soup mixes, candy, trail bars, cards or crossword books and other hard-to-get items in the desert.
There were about 20 volunteers boxing up articles to ship to the artillerymen in Kandahar. Viola Kronen said she wanted to help because her dad was a veteran of World War II and Korea.
John Timpe was a Navy man who sailed in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and the Pacific in World War II. He said he just wanted to make their duty overseas easier – if only just a little bit.
To find out how you can get involved contact the JCVA at JohnsCreekVets@gmail.com or call Robby Newton at: 678-512-3200.