Sisters cHl and pAl have teamed up for years to host a Christmas party for children, complete with a visit from the Jolly Elf himself but with a charitable mission to it. It has been our pleasure to attend knowing we were helping ASK (Childhood Cancer Foundation), Goochland Free Clinic, Freedom House, and individual private families at risk. This year they have chosen to support a U.S. Marine unit stationed in Afghanistan. Working through an organization called Any Soldier, the sisters connected with a hospital corpsman representing a company from Southern California. She writes,
We are at a base that has buildings and electricity with the same outlets that we have in the United States. We live in shelters with 2 or more Marines in each room, and it can get very cold at night whether we are in our racks or at work. The guys are required to have a clean shave 7 days a week, and the girls are required to wear their hair heavily gelled and in a bun. We have laundry service and no other access to washing machines. We have a microwave, coffee makers, and one small fridge, and we have some shelves we could keep food in. The Marines love to snack on anything that is ready to eat and could be carried [in] their packs. There are very small stores nearby that do not have many good products such as wool socks, watches, multi-tools, aftershave, cologne and perfume, extra strong hair gel, female products such as maxi pads or plastic applicator tampons, or really any of the comforts you would have at home. The Marines all love lifting weights, writing letters home, listening to music, and playing Spades during their down time. We have country boys and city boys, and even a Marine from Hawaii that plays the ukelele. One thing we all have in common is we will all have to spend many holidays missing our families and far away from home.