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DAR project patriot: Helping those who serve and protect

Feb. 01, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

The Kanawha Valley Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution will honor our military with a Project Patriot display at the Charleston Town Center Mall from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9.

This is the sixth year that the chapter has sponsored this "Give Your Hearts to our Troops" project to promote the objectives of Project Patriot.

"Our military deserves to be shown our appreciation not only on holidays, but every day! We invite everyone to stop by our display and write a note or make a Valentine that we will send to our troops," stated Chapter Regent Carol Linger.

The DAR Project Patriot Committee is the official Daughters of the American Revolution committee that supports America's service personnel in current conflicts. The motto of the committee is "Helping Those Who Serve and Protect." At the national level, DAR support is focused on two groups: women serving in the military and the wounded military personnel at three locations: the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, Wounded Transitional Brigade in Bethesda, Maryland, and Wounded Warrior and Family Support Center in San Antonio, Texas. In addition, phone cards are provided to chaplains in Afghanistan and at Camp Atterbury, Edinburgh, Indiana, a 1A Mobilization Training Center for deploying troops.

Individual members and chapters are encouraged to support the men and women serving in conflicts abroad in any way appropriate. Kanawha Valley Chapter members send care packages to relatives of chapter members, adopt Units serving in Afghanistan, support local military families, help with welcome home parties and have collected several thousand dollars to send to the National Society so that requested items can be purchased less expensively in bulk.

At the Kanawha Valley Chapter display at the Charleston Town Center Mall, members will be collecting items listed, monetary donations to purchase requested items, and thank you notes for the following military facilities:

Chaplain's Closet at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany. When our active duty military are severely injured, they are sent by medevac to Landstuhl, Germany. These soldiers arrive at Landstuhl with essentially nothing. Landstuhl Regional Medical Center is the largest American hospital outside of the United States. The DAR Project Patriot Committee coordinates with the Landstuhl Chaplains' Office to identify needed clothing items, and phone cards with the DAR logo, which are given to the chaplains for distribution to wounded service personnel. These items, requested for the Chaplain's Closet, are purchased and donated through the National Society, due to the generosity of DAR members.

Warrior Transitional Brigade at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The families stay at the Fisher Houses for long periods of time while patients are there for treatments in the medical center. Later some patients go through the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICof E) for four weeks. This is for traumatic brain injury and PTSD. These patients need specialized evaluation. We will be accepting donations of the following items for Walter Reed: travel size pillows, travel size pillow cases, word search and crossword puzzle book, pens/pencils, coloring books and crayons, puzzles (500 pieces or more, unopened), models (all levels: cars, planes, military vehicles, etc.). All items must be new and unopened.

Camp Atterbury, Edinburgh, Indiana, a 1A Mobilization Training Center for deploying service members from the Army and Air National Guard, Active and Reserve Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. At the Town Center display personal care items, card games, batteries, as well as X Box 360 games and recently released movies for the base USO will be welcomed.

Thank you cards to give to our troops serving in the Middle East and veterans in hospitals, nursing homes, veterans homes and elsewhere for the tremendous sacrifice they have made for our freedom. We encourage schools, church youth groups and Boy and Girl Scout groups to write notes of appreciation and make Valentines and bring them to the DAR display at Town Center Mall.

Local Homeless Veterans: Backpacks, hand warmers, flashlights, gloves, underwear, socks, knit hats (toboggans), small blankets, cleansing wipes, small notebooks, snacks -- crackers, cookies, beef jerky, etc., gift cards for fast food restaurants.

Although the War for Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan is winding down, we still have hundreds of American military personnel who have been wounded physically and mentally and thousands who are actively serving our country abroad or preparing in this country to be ready to serve when needed to protect our freedom. We owe them our support and appreciation. Stop by the Kanawha Valley Chapter DAR exhibit at the Town Center Mall on Saturday, Feb. 9, and show your support with a small donation or just a thank you note.

Shirley M. Gilkeson is Past Vice President General NSDAR and Honorary Regent Kanawha Valley Chapter. She can be reached at SGilkeson@aol.com.