THINKING OF YOU: John Moffitt, Murray Travis and Raymond Heath packing boxes of goodies to send to troops in Afghanistan for Christmas.
THINKING OF YOU: John Moffitt, Murray Travis and Raymond Heath packing boxes of goodies to send to troops in Afghanistan for Christmas. Amani Vassiliou

Bringing Christmas to troops

SOLDIERS serving in Afghanistan will enjoy some home comforts this Christmas thanks to the dedication of the Chinchilla RSL Sub-branch.

Last Friday, members came together to pack 14boxes of goodies and essentials intended to be dispatched to troops on deployment.

John Moffitt said hopes were high the boxes would emulate the feeling many members experienced when they themselves were serving in wars away from home.

"Bill Belcher and I were both Vietnam vets and we got things like this when we were up in Vietnam,” MrMoffitt said.

"I remember the Salvation Army gave us boxes just like this, and there was a little Christmas cake in it.

"It was fantastic, everybody commented on how wonderful they were.”

While these packs don't contain Christmas cakes, they are filled with comforts that would warm any Australian's heart.

From socks to shavers, Vegemite and biscuits, the packs have been carefully crafted from goodies generously donated by RSL members, Drakes Chinchilla and Woolworths.

"We made sure they each had lip balms because we know it's hot and dry over there,” Mr Moffitt said.

"There are probably 300-400 troops still over there training and we wish them all a safe journey home next year.

"We truly hope to see them in the new year.”

This sentiment was echoed by sub-branch president Bill Belcher, who said it was a small act of Christmas compassion.

"These packages will not make up for the fact that these people are away from family and friends at Christmas, but at least we hope they know how appreciated they are,” MrBelcher said.

"The Chinchilla RSL Sub-branch wish the troops all the best for Christmas and the new year and wish them a safe return next year.”

The packages will journey to Sydney before being dispatched from Richmond on a plane overseas.

Last year the Department of Defence was overwhelmed by more than 40 tonnes (20,000 care packages) for about 2400 deployed personnel.

For those wishing to express their support for troops away from their loved ones on Christmas Day, there are various avenues possible.

For more information, visit www.defence.gov.au/ Events/SupportTheTroops/.


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