Yesterday Rick and I had the privilege of volunteering for an organization called Our Troops Online. Grace Family Church in Lutz was having an outreach day and one of the outreaches was to this non-profit organization. Our Troops Online is a non-profit organization which supports our troops who are in harm’s way. Each day they send 69 pounds of “treats” to 250 addresses of remote military camps, hospitals and chaplains. The organization has no paid employees and no overhead–everything is donated –Americans are amazing!
When we pulled in, it honestly didn’t look like much, a small tan building with few windows or doors. I saw a few forklifts outside and cases loaded by the curb. So, we pulled up and Jim King came out to meet our gang of about 40 kids and adults and he said, “We just want to get stuff to the kids in war zones, whatever they ask for, we try to get them.”
He quickly gave us a tour of the building, which was loaded with STUFF to send to the troops. He told us that weekly Lance sends two tractor trailers filled with crackers, Starbucks has a monthly donation, as do Herrs, Stella Dora, Sweet Bay grocery stores, and many other companies. Most of those who donate, he told us, don’t want any publicity or tax credits, they just want to help our service men and women. They said they they get requests for microwaves, toaster ovens, coffee makers and most of all–refrigerators, and they send it all.
So, our job for the day was to load and unload. A group opened up boxes of energy bars to dump into crates so that they could be more easily loaded into zip-loc bags of treats. Rick worked in the dumping area while I loaded zip-loc bags. It didn’t seem like anything important. I thought maybe I’d be asked to write letters or send greetings, something I could put my mark on…but no, I just crammed as much STUFF into a gallon bag as I could.
As I filled the bags with cookies and crackers and candies, as well as toothbrushes and Ghiardelli chocolate, I thought about the troops that might be receiving them. I thought of the Marine who hadn’t showered for 2 months, I thought of Kate’s high school friends serving in Iraq, and young men from our church in Dover who have served overseas. I thought of Rick’s Marines from Quantico leading their troops through cities and passing out some of their candies to the children in Iraq or Afghanistan. And as I loaded and zipped I prayed for the young men and women who would receive these small tokens from a people who care.
As much as these warriors need toothpaste, coffee, and treats, they need to be prayed for even more. They need to be armed with the truth and to be aware of the spiritual battle they also fight. This conflict doesn’t only involve a war against radical Islamic terrorists, but it is the most spiritual of all the battles our country has ever been involved… because this battle is with the evil one himself. The theft of marital and family harmony, the death of inner peace because of PTSD/TBI, and the ultimate destruction of lives and families through suicide are all the work of the devil. That is why your support and prayers are critical in this battle.
Thank you for caring for us enough to read, pray and support us so we can be frontline warriors in this spiritual battlefield.