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Care Packages From College Democrats

Sidnie Davis ’08 met Max [last name withheld at Davis’ request] last summer while working in Washington, D.C., as a lobbyist. Max had recently returned home after serving a 15-month tour of duty in Iraq with the U.S. Army.

A college student before he joined the army, Max had been looking forward to re-enrolling and resuming his life as a student after his stint in Iraq. But two months before receiving his honorable discharge from the service, his platoon was ordered to return to Iraq for another 15-month tour. He was disheartened, Davis recalled.

Beginning last fall, Davis, who is president of the Smith College Democrats, led the organization in a project to deliver occasional gift packages to Max’s troop, to provide them with much-needed items while helping to bolster their spirits.

“Our intent is to help some great guys who are all about our age and who are selflessly serving our country,” said Davis. “No matter what someone thinks about the war, stories like Max’s are the epitome of patriotism and citizenship.”

About once a month, the Smith Democrats pack a box full of supplies such as ChapStick, Purell sanitizer, sunscreen and assorted goodies for Max’s platoon of about 50 soldiers.

“We send them things that are normally holiday-themed,” she said. “They all got stockings for Christmas, and Halloween bags. We also send supplies that they request. We decorate everything, even the box, and always include letters as well.”

Before meeting Max, Davis had planned to organize the project to send supplies to an anonymous platoon in Iraq, she said. After hearing his story, however, she felt fortunate to have a direct connection to someone in Iraq. “This project is very dear to my heart,” she said, “probably my favorite thing that I do as president of Smith Democrats besides campaigning.” 

Though as a group, the Smith Democrats stand collectively against the Iraq War, they recognize that those serving, such as Max, are performing a selfless duty for the sake of their country.

“We feel more inspired to work to end the war responsibly because we now know stories like Max’s,” she said.

The care packages are always appreciated by the soldier’s platoon, reported Davis. After receiving the first box, he wrote back to Davis:

“Thank you so much for the box: the guys loved it. That ChapStick was amazing (so much better than the regular stuff) and the cream pies were a nice touch as well. We don’t use much sunscreen, actually, what with our helmet, gloves, and full body kit, but thank you all the same. You are the only people who have sent us something so far and I just wanted to say it means a lot.”
3/29/08   By Eric Sean Weld
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