The main feature of the Troop Support Program is the provision of troop packages for those deployed in war zones, currently Afghanistan. The packages contain easily consumed foods, toiletries, writing and reading materials, clothing, etc. Our “Summit County Troops” are the loved ones of residents whether they be relatives or friends. Members of our mountain community contact us with their address details. We use the Summit Daily News to help us get the word out.
Having started sending parcels and goods to the troops in the early part of the century on a private basis, Walt Mueller, a former member of our Club, brought the Troop Support Program to Rotary in 2006. Since then it has continued to develop and thrive with the leadership of Alan and Elizabeth Wickert, though with the troop draw down in Iraq and Afghanistan the number of troops served has diminished. Over 1200 packages have been mailed.
Not only have the troop packages served to provide “a little bit of home”, but in Afghanistan they have helped to supplement poor rations, especially when supply lines were closed from Pakistan. The troops on our lists share the packages with their buddies, and this has helped to build relationships with other troops living close at hand. Our boxes were particularly helpful to one young patriot who was sent to replace a soldier who had died.