By Joanne Romano
NORWALK, Conn. – The stockings are hung by the chimney with care and the citizens of Norwalk have made sure their gifts will be there!
Once again you came through in a huge way! Today over 60 cartons are being shipped to Afghanistan in time for Christmas! They will be delivered to two local soldiers and their platoons thanks to the never ending generosity and help of Fran DiMeglio and Northrop Grumman, who have graciously taken over the cost of shipping, and thanks to so many of you from Norwalk and Westport, who although times are tight for everyone still brought so many wonderful gifts, food, cards, decorations for Hanukkah and Christmas, treats and foodstuff as well as essentials like shampoo, feet and hand warmers, toiletries, coffee, tea etc.
You have no idea how much our soldiers appreciate all of your donations and you have no idea how much I appreciate all of you supporting a cause so near and dear to my heart.
The letters and certificates of appreciation I have received over the years are some of my most prized possessions because they come from men and women who deserve so much more! But one that stays with me at all times is a phone call I got two years ago late one night, one I almost didn’t answer. It was the voice of a soldier in Afghanistan who wanted to thank me personally, he wanted to tell me how it made him feel that people he didn’t know actually sent so many wonderful things … he somehow got my phone number and we have been e-mail pen pals ever since; he’s going back in February and asked that I still keep in touch. So you see, your kindness to them is greatly appreciated.
I want to personally thank each and every one of you as well as The American Legion for allowing me a room to store everything, the ladies at the Legion for helping me pack the cartons and all my Facebook friends who came out in droves to make sure our service men and women have a little bit of home this holiday season and to the generosity of the numerous veterans and patrons of the American Legion, who added cash donations so I could shop for more items to assure we sent plenty.
Thank you above all to our troops and their families for their time and dedication to all of us and may I say Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Prosperous New Year to all!
Joanne T. Romano