Support Our Troops continues to serve overseas heroes
November 14, 2019
WORLAND – The Support Our Troops program has been sending packages to soldiers overseas since April 2003.
This idea was started by Worland American Legion members Don Hall, Todd White, Jim Bailey and Herm Emmett. Each month the Legion members will receive a list of a select number of soldiers to send a care package to, which primarily includes members from the Big Horn Basin who have been deployed overseas.
These first packages were sent in response to troops entering Afghanistan in March 2003.
“On average over the years we send about 30 packages a month,” Hall said. “There have been years, especially around Christmas time when people give extra donations and ask specifically that they get there around Christmas, typically we have to send around two to three packages to each soldier.”
“Becky Lamb has been the one who has provided all of the organization for this,” Hall added.
According to Hall, most of the manpower that goes in to filling and shipping these boxes comes from the members of the Legion, along with a contingent from around the community that comes in each month to help the process the first Thursday of every month.
According to Hall and Lamb, one group that has particularly helped the Support Our Troops program based in Worland, has been the Big Horn Basin Riders based out of Thermopolis who have helped the program by providing their own donations of food and goods, along with doing fundraisers through their rides for the program.
FUTURE OF PROGRAM
Throughout the years, Lamb has been one of the catalysts of the program; however, due to unforeseen events that have happened in her life, she is deciding to take a step back, but still help the program however she can.
The officers at the Legion have formed a committee, to help take some of the responsibility off of Lamb’s shoulders by going out to get the supplies that are needed to fill the boxes each month.
One way that the program has been able to receive all of this support from the community, is actually through soldiers who have received the care packages themselves in war torn areas, and have since returned home to help send care packages to other soldiers.
Another way that the program has succeeded and hopes to succeed in the future is through the support from the community.
“Since the beginning, we have lived on donations from the community; individuals, clubs and organizations, and that is pretty remarkable to survive and prosper in a small town like this,” Hall said.
According to Hall, even though there will be a shift in responsibilities with the program, as long as there is man power to fill the boxes each month, the program will continue to send out boxes to soldiers fighting for freedom overseas.
It is an important moment as there are soldiers from around the Big Horn Basin who are stationed around the world, including Afghanistan and Kuwait.
“Of course, we are going to continue to do this and continue to support them as long as they are still overseas,” Lamb said.
Over the years, Lamb has become the face of the program, and even though she will be taking a step back, she will continue to help wherever she can.
“Becky has become the face of the organization over the years,” Hall said.
This has become known to the point where families who have soldiers leaving for deployment or coming home from overseas, they will call Lamb and tell her whether to add them to the list or take them off of the list.
However, it is not always that simple to get the addresses, and that is when Lamb receives a special call each month to receive the specific addresses to send it to the soldiers.
One of the main challenges that they face, is the price of all of the supplies and postage that it takes to get all of these packages overseas constantly.
The main goal however, is to give all of these soldiers overseas “something from home” and it shows them that somebody cared enough to ship out these packages just for the, Lamb and Hall said.
With this program going on for more than 16 years, it has shown the dedication of the veterans and the community that have helped send out these care packages to the men and women fighting on the front lines.
The Support Our Troops program meets on the first Thursday of every month, at the Worland American Legion at 6:30-7 p.m. to fill the boxes. Any non-perishable donations can be made at the Worland American Legion building at 129 South Seventh Street, as well as to Becky Lamb, and American Legion members.
Any monetary donations that are made to the Support Our Troops program will go toward either filling the boxes or for cost to ship them out. It is a non-profit organization.
Volunteers are welcome to help fill boxes on that Thursday, or donate at any time.