WOUNDED SOLDIER DONOR CAMPAIGN LETTER
The Rotary Club of Williamsburg Virginia is continuing for a third year to sponsor a project to fulfill a need brought to our attention in early 2005 by the wife of an Army officer, Tracie DeLuca. Tracie’s husband, Col Peter DeLuca, was assigned to the Green Zone in Baghdad, near the military’s very busy Combat Support Hospital (CSH). Col DeLuca knew that as wounded soldiers arrive with no more than the clothes on their back, which in most instances are cut off and destroyed due to blood and grime, they are immediately stabilized and treated for their wounds and prepared for movement to Germany or the US. In most instances this can be one to seven days. During that time the service members have nothing but the hospital gown and wool blankets and no personal items. The CSH is not staffed or authorized to stock personal items such as those listed below that we are sending to Iraq (see attached for a list of needed items).
When our Rotary’s Assistant District Governor heard from Tracie about the need that her husband mentioned to her, the Virginia district began coordinating the delivery of boxes of personal item kits to contacts in Iraq (such as Col DeLuca and his follow-on contact alternates). These contacts then coordinated distribution of the items to the wounded soldiers directly or they had the individual kits attached to the soldier’s gurney after they were stabilized.
This year the CSH that we are told needs support is not in the Baghdad area but rather is located in Balad, Iraq (about 40 miles north-west of Baghdad). The CDH in Balad has been receiving more than 80 percent of our wounded US. servicemen and women (note: their have been over 23,000 combat wounded military soldiers reported since the war began).
Our club has been asked to signup to sponsor at least one month by sending 100 kits to the CSH in Iraq. In supporting this task, our club committee members request help from local businesses, dentists, hotels, and wholesale organizations to donate items or sell them to us at a discount whenever possible. From past experience, for 100 kits, depends upon the amount of donations and discounts received we plan to collect at least $800-$1200 to cover our purchases and our mailing cost via APO to a NY address. This year, at least through March, our point of contact and distribution coordinator for all packages in Iraq is TSGT Ronald Holbeck, who is in 332nd EAMDS/CAS Force located near the Balad CSH. At present we are making shipment every other month. (This could change if the numbers of wounded increase.) The Williamsburg Rotary Club has agreed to handle the shipment needed for arrival in Iraq by August of this year.
We are asking local businesses and others being contacted to donate whatever they can to help with this very worthwhile project. We will also accept cash donations from individuals and companies, which will be used to cover postage and cost for products.
Our Club and Rotary Clubs throughout our District are committed to continue this work until the need goes away. We fully realize it may be a long-term commitment. We would truly appreciate your generosity as you consider how you can support our efforts to assist in this small way in meeting the needs of our wounded soldiers in this war zone of Iraq. Thank you in advance for your support and kindness. Our soldiers deserve our support in their time of need.
Thanks for your support, (GO TO NEXT PAGE FOR LIST OF DONATION ITEMS NEEDED - Wounded Soldier Project-Items Needed )
Frank E. Ferrante
Wounded Soldier Committee Chair