As Veteran’s Day approaches, Maine Oxy asks that the public continue to support their efforts to help those who serve our country. Today, many veterans who were once M.O.S.T. care package recipients support Maine Oxy in their call to action.
“It’s just such a great program,” said veteran Robert Bussiere, Sergeant First Class from Lewiston,ME, who returned home from active duty this June. “Getting a care package is so nice. It’s nice that people back home, who aren’t your family or friends necessarily, are still thinking about you and supporting you,” he said.
Sergeant Daniel Smith of South Portland, ME, also a M.O.S.T. care package recipient who returned home this past May, echoes Bussiere’s feelings. “The great thing to me was that each care package was a touch of home. A reminder of where we came from,” said Smith. “It gave us encouragement to do our mission and come home and be safe,” he said.
With the program in operation for over 8 years, the M.O.S.T. care packages have touched the lives of countless service men and women. The program was launched in 2004, when Maine Oxy sent care packages to their own employees who served in active duty. Since then, the program has developed into a multi-state donation system, in which people can donate items and letters to Maine Oxy stores across New England. Maine Oxy then combines these gifts to make large care packages and ships them to troops overseas.
According to Sergeant Bussiere, he personally received 5 care packages from Maine Oxy over the period of a year when he served in Afghanistan. Each delivery was large enough to be shared between 10-20 fellow soldiers. His personal favorite care package gifts were hard candy, beef jerky, hand sanitizer and a thumb drive which helped him store photos throughout his time of service.
Sergeant Smith also described a consistent supply of care packages from Maine Oxy, the first of which he received last Thanksgiving while in Afghanistan. According to Smith, the most useful gifts from the care packages were socks, canned food, coffee and hot chocolate packets as well as hygiene products like soap bars and deodorant. His favorite gifts were the letters from people and a knitted hat someone made for him, which he still wears today.
Both Sergeant Smith and Bussiere encourage people to continue donating to the M.O.S.T. program. In Smith’s words, “My message to those who are thinking about donating is ‘Don’t ever think that a box will not be used. There’s always a soldier in need,’” he said.
Smith also expressed his gratitude explaining, “I am so thankful to all the people who contributed to the care packages. I’m thankful to the people who donated. I’m thankful to the people who collected it and packaged it, I’m thankful to the people who mailed them…the whole chain of people who helped is really amazing!”
If you would like to help troops like Sergeant Smith and Bussiere, please bring donations of the following to your nearest Maine Oxy location:
· Food (powdered drink mixes, nonperishable snacks, canned meats and pasta)
· Entertainment items (batteries, books/magazines, playing cards, pens, stationary)
· Supplies (wet wipes, eye drops, lip balm, toothpaste, feminine products, soap)
· Letters – a personal letter is the most powerful donation one person can make.
Currently, you can find donation boxes at all 13 Maine Oxy locations and at partner locations. For more information about drop box locations and specific items the troops need visit: http://www.maineoxy.com/
About Maine Oxy
Maine Oxy is New England’s leading supplier of welding supplies, industrial and specialty gases, and innovative industry solutions. Founded in 1929 in Auburn, Maine, the company originally provided service to home propane customers. Over the past 80 years, Maine Oxy has grown from its modest beginnings into a sales and manufacturing leader operating in 13 locations across New England. Maine Oxy is well known for its commitment to creating environment-