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Simple items provide taste of home to soldiers in Afghanistan

A U.S. Army battalion in Afghanistan will soon have a few comforts from home, thanks to the generosity of the Catawba College community. The community is participating in a service project, spearheaded by the Office of Student Affairs, with the first shipment of collected items mailed July 24.
According to Dean of Students Dan Sullivan, the soldiers are in the 159th Air Support Battalion, 563d Trans Platoon, part of the 101st Airborne Division stationed at Fort Campbell Kentucky. The battalion is currently serving at Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul, Afghanistan.
Members of the battalion are well-supplied with toiletries and basic need items, but are really lacking “junk food,” including candy, gum and magazines.”
As the soldiers’ stay in Afghanistan continues, the care packages and letters from home have almost stopped, Sullivan said, adding that one of the soldiers wrote: “It is easy to forget how much these simple pleasures are missed when stationed in such remote areas.”
Requested items include Tootsie Rolls, Skittles, Starbursts, gum, mints, candy products, beef jerky, crossword puzzle books, magazines and notes or letters of encouragement.
Sullivan said he hopes this service project can be an ongoing one that will continue after the students return to campus next month.
Sullivan said the project provides a nice tie-in with this year’s common summer reading, “In the Hot Zone” by Kevin Sites. This book, required reading for all first-year students, details journalist Sites’ travels through 20 distinct world conflicts from 2005-2006, during which time he was the war correspondent for Yahoo.com.
Members of the Salisbury-Rowan community are encouraged to participate in this service project.
Items to be donated may be dropped off in the Student Affairs Offices, located in the Cannon Student Center on campus, or call for more information at 704-637-4410.

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