Posted by: Kath Usitalo | November 11, 2010

Baby Wipes And Our Future Veterans

Volunteers in Montana assemble boxes of goodies for our troops in Afghanistan

Bigfork, Montana, is a long way from the Great Lakes State and even further from Afghanistan, where my nephew Kevin is serving in the Army. But I thought Veterans Day would be a good opportunity to share a story and perhaps inspire you to help our future military vets.

Thanks to connections made by my college friend Marcia (who lived in Montana for a while but has moved back to Michigan) a dedicated group of volunteers in “The Treasure State” assembled and shipped to Kevin and his platoon gift boxes filled with items that may seem mundane to us but are treasured by those serving in that remote post: baby wipes, candy, magazines, jerky, shoe insoles.

Where the gift boxes are headed

This annual Christmas/Holiday Gift Drive is a project of the Soldiers Memorial Fund established by Major General Paul Vallely (Ret) and Muffin Vallely to honor the memory of their son, Private First Class Scott Paul Vallely, who died in 2004 while in Basic Airborne training.

The Soldiers Memorial Fund accepts donations and relies on volunteers to complete its mission of thanking and remembering members of the Armed Services serving in combat areas.

Marcia, whose son Mike is serving in the Army, sent me a link to the slideshow of the folks in Montana assembling the very boxes that are en route to Kevin and his buddies. Ain’t technology grand?

If you’d like to help our active military through this program, please check out
and contribute to defray the cost of the Christmas/Holiday Gift Drive.

A donation of any amount is appreciated.

As we cannot even begin to imagine, a soldier needs a lot of baby wipes in all that heat and sand.

My Veterans Day related posts:

Sunday Snapshot, November 7, 2010

Michigan’s Own Military Museum, November 10, 2009



  1. Our 6th graders here organize something similar every year – we usually have at least one unit from the UP deployed at any one time and all the goodies go to them. Whether or not we agree with the war, it’s up to us to support them and to thank them for their service! Good for you for putting this out there, Kath!

  2. The volunteers from “The Treasure State” are truly a treasure for doing what they do to let our troops know people care. Marcia is too for making the connections come together. Bill and I are grateful and we know Kevin and his platoon will feel the same. I hope your readers will visit the Soldiers Memorial Fund and consider giving. God Bless our Troops!

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