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On the Cover
Marine Veterans Gather Various Items
To Send to Soldiers in Afghanistan
By Lou Hunsinger Jr.

The United States Marine Corps’ slogan is “Semper Fidelis,” or “Always Faithful,” well three local Marine veterans are keeping faith with the soldiers deployed in Afghanistan, by gathering and putting together “care packages” for them, containing such items as toiletries, books, non-perishable food, various comfort items and other “necessities” from home.
The men who perform this generous and heroic service for those in Afghanistan are: Mike Dunlap, Keith Miller and George Bitner.
The effort was started by the three veterans about 10 years ago
“We are members of Marine Corps League Detachment #388 and we made a motion at a meeting to do this to show support to our soldiers that we didn’t receive while we were in, and do not want them to receive the un-welcomed home we did,” Dunlap.
The three remember well the scorn that many veterans received coming back from the Vietnam War and they did not want to see that happen again and wanted to demonstrate a greater sense of appreciation to those soldiers that are now deployed, particularly in Afghanistan.
Dunlap said they advertise for donations, collect items and monetary donations, sort out donated items, pack the FPO/APO boxes, and send them to any soldier whose address they can obtain, from a local post office. It costs between $15 to $20 to send a box of these “goodies” to the soldiers.
“No money is involved except out of pocket for gas, Dunlap said. “We are all volunteers and are a Non-Profit organization. All monetary donations are given to and recorded by our Paymaster of the League. We don’t partner with any veterans or other organizations, we just get money from people and companies who see our advertisement and donate. We do it on our own.”
He said they only send to soldiers of any branch of service whose address they can receive from family or friends.
He was asked about what the feedback was from the soldiers and the units they send items to, he answered, “Outstanding. The soldiers we hear from say ‘it’s like Christmas’ every time they receive our boxes.”
Dunlap said the three vets hope the need to send the items “will end some day but until every soldier comes home from a hazardous area over-seas, we will continue to support them.”
Dunlap was asked what type of satisfaction they receive from being involved in a project of this type.
“The satisfaction we get is knowing the soldiers enjoyed our boxes and can use whatever we sent them, and knowing we are supporting and thanking them for all they do every day for our freedom,” Dunlap told Webb Weekly.
If you wish to be part of the effort to send packages to these soldiers, or if you want to provide addresses for any soldiers deployed in Afghanistan, you can contact Dulap at 34 Maple Street, Williamsport or call him at (570) 916-8372, or the Marine Corp League, Post Office Box 3245, Williamsport.



Veterans Memorial Park Memorial Day Ceremony Set

The Annual Memorial Day ceremony will be held at Lycoming County Veterans Memorial Park, West Fourth Street and Wahoo Drive, on Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. The event is co-sponsored by the Lycoming County Veterans Park Commission and the Lycoming County Veterans Council, Inc. The keynote speaker will be Chaplain (Major) Max Furman, United States Army. He is currently on duty with the 28th Division of the Pennsylvania National Guard. Chaplain Furman is the pastor in the United Methodist Church serving at the Antes Fort-Oriole Parish.
World War II veteran Ernie Eakin will sing the National Anthem and Suzanne Revak-Fedele will present other vocals. The rifle salute and Taps will be rendered by the Korean War Veterans of Lycoming County.
St. Matthews Lutheran Church, 2233 Lynn Street, Williamsport, PA, will sponsor a luncheon following the event.
Tents will be provided and the event will be held rain or shine.

 
 

 

 
 
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