Thousands of miles away from home, soldiers in Iraq are away from many of the things that we consider the most common conveniences. That's why Red Cross officials are joining military wives in asking for donations. Some of the items needed include: baby wipes, soap, tissue, toothpaste, and small snacks.
Some things that are needed that are often not thought about include: feminine products, eye wash, lip balm, small games for the soldiers to use during leisure time, and even get this, flea spray and flea collars for the soldiers to wear on their boots.
"The bugs are terrible over there. They're dealing with all these fleas and ticks and all of these other kind of spiders and things that are in the sand."
Theresa McKee's husband, Sam, is a member of the 185th National Guard Aviation unit, which was deployed in January. Although the military provides essentials for the soldiers, she says much more is needed.
"It takes them a while to get things. It's faster for us to ship it from home. They have limited supplies that they can give out and when it runs out, who's left out doesn't get anything."
Because many people just can't afford to send such care packages, the Red Cross is now spearheading an effort to collect and ship the items to local troops.
"We hope to be collecting for the next three weeks, and then we will send it on," says Cheri Barry with the local American Red Cross. If we have abundance, then this next month we'll send it on until people quit giving. So, we are just excited about it."
All donated items can be dropped off at the local Red Cross office at 1711 24th Avenue from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call (601) 485-5151.