By David Fleet
The number of troops may be on the decline, but the need for support continues.
Louise Downs, president and founder of ‘The Desert Angel.org’ says the monthly box packing gatherings, over that past two decades will continue despite a recent announcement of the withdraw of all remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The President Biden adminstration reported the drawdown will be competed by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that prompted America’s involvement in its longest war.
“Desert Angels will always keep sending, honoring PFC Joseph A Miracle and the many that have sacrificed their lives,” said Downs.
“They are the ones we must never forget. Freedom is not free.”
On July 5, 2007, PFC Joseph Miracle was part of the 173rd Airborne. Miracle, then 22, sustained wounds from enemy small-arms fire and indirect fire in the Watapor Valley of Kunar Province, Afghanistan. While on patrol his unit came under fire. Miracle, a Brandon High School graduate, gave his life defending his unit and had been in Afghanistan only 35 days.
“Monthly we will mail the boxes to all that names we have,” said Downs. “If we run out of names we will take these boxes to our homeless veteran centers.”
According to news sources, some 2,500 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan, and as many as 1,000 more special operations forces are also reported to be in the country. There were more than 100,000 at the war’s peak in 2011.
Monthly we will continue to pack boxes and honor an American Hero who has made that sacrifice.
“This June we will collect and pack – Happy Birthday America Boxes – collecting snacks, nuts, birthday cards, anything patriotic,” she said. “We have some Michigan made red, white and blue caramel corn, Chapstick, sun block and neck coolers.”
Packing a Miracle Box is a ‘hands on’ experience we must teach our children, she added.
“America has always had troops deployed somewhere,” she said. “Desert Angels will always be there to support them in any way we .Miracle Quilts, a division of Desert Angels, meet monthly to sew quilts for our wounded veterans.
Currently, the United States has a unit stationed in IRAQ.
“The pilots there are in need of high protein snacks for long mission flights and drink enhancers with electrolytes,” she said. “Porch drop off 12178 Sharp Road, Linden or Oakland County Sportsman Club 4770 Waterford Rd. Clarkston.”
See: http://TheDesertAngel.org for more details.