4-Way Troop Support by Lisa Miller

The Rotary Club of Pismo Beach / Five Cites
Lisa Miller, Third Place
Grade 5,  Ocean View Elementary School
Teacher: Mr. Copley

For many years, my family and I have supported our troops by sending care packages to soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. These care packages support the ideas of the 4-Way Test.

There are many opinions about whether it is right or wrong that people get sent to fight for our country. However, it is the truth that our soldiers need our support and they appreciate everything we send to them, so, every once in a while, we put together boxes full of toiletries or food. For example, the soldiers like to receive sunflower seeds, Otter Pops, Cracker Jack and jerky. Other things they like to get are shampoo, conditioner, razors and deodorant. Something you might not expect that they like getting are the extra Beanie Babies that people have. The soldiers like to get them because they give them to the children around them who are going through hard times too.

It might be hard to decide how it would be fair to evenly disperse these packages. First, I go on the computer to a website called Any Soldier and find the name of a soldier who hasn’t gotten very many packages sent to his or her unit. After they get the package, they evenly divide it up between the members of their unit to make it fair. The receiver of the package knows if someone doesn’t get very much from home, so he or she might give them something extra to make them feel appreciated and closer to home.

When I send packages, I feel that I have done something to help others and bring me closer to them. For me, it builds goodwill because I am helping someone through hard times and telling them that people do care about what they are doing for our country. The soldier who receives the package also spreads goodwill to his or her roommates by sharing with them. The soldiers can also send goodwill by donating the Beanie Babies, gum and candy to the children of Afghanistan and Iraq. Sending care packages also builds good friendships between the soldiers and me. Soldiers send thank you notes back to my brother and me because they appreciate us sending the things they need.

This project is beneficial to all concerned. It benefits the soldiers because they receive a gift from someone who cares about them. All the generous things I put in the package aren’t the things they like to get the most. The most important thing for the soldiers is when I write a letter telling who I am, what I like to do, and how much I appreciate them. The letters help them remember those at home who love and care about them. Doing this benefits me because I learn how hard the soldiers are fighting for me and my country. It reminds me that they don’t have everything that I have and that they are giving up their lives and sacrificing for me and other Americans.

These care packages make a big difference and take a small amount of time to do. They help me practice all the parts in the 4-Way test and make a big difference in my life and the soldiers’ lives too.

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