Aroostook County – What started as a personal desire to honor a parent has grown, with the help of coworkers, to a new mission on a broader scale.
“I wanted to find a way to pay tribute to my father on Memorial Day,” said Pam McClung, whose late father served in the armed services. “What better way to honor him than to send letters to his grandson, who is serving in the Air Force and currently stationed in Afghanistan.”
She shared her thoughts with her colleagues in TAMC’s Quality Management, Risk Management and Infection Prevention departments, and they joined in a campaign of writing letters of encouragement and support to McClung’s nephew, John Crabtree.
Courtney Lovely, manager of Quality Management Services, then raised the idea of preparing a box of supplies and goodies for Crabtree to share with his squadron. Once again the staff of all three departments quickly were on board. Together, they collected a wide range of items to help ease the hardship of these men and women serving overseas.
“Within the first two days, we needed to get a much larger box,” said Lovely. “It was awesome and a real example of these individuals and how thoughtful they are. I’m blessed to have this team and work so closely with the others.”
This sentiment was echoed by McClung, who explained that she and her co-workers not only had fun with this project, but gained a real sense of accomplishment and fulfillment by helping her nephew and his peers.
“They are doing so much for us, we felt this is some small way we can repay that. We wanted to try to make things a little more comfortable for them, and to let them know that people at home are thinking of them and appreciating what they are doing,” said McClung
Included were practical items that are in demand, such as toothbrushes and paste, shaving supplies, hand sanitizers and wet wipes, medicated powder, tissues and lip balm. Goodies such as candy, gum, beef jerky, puzzle books, local newspapers, and even a couple of Nerf footballs added to the mix.
Crabtree’s box safely arrived in Afghanistan last week and has been distributed among the 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.
Not only would the team from Quality Management, Risk Management and Infection Prevention like to continue this effort and do it for others who have family stationed overseas, but they challenge other teams at TAMC and in the community to do so as well.
“It would be neat to see us impact many places and different branches of service,” said McClung. “Most all of us know someone who is serving somewhere outside of the country. This is a terrific way to show our support.”