‘Adopt a Platoon’ Still Thrives After 10 Years

By Jamie Findlater
Special to American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 28, 2008 – Ida Hagg knows all about care packages; in fact, after 10 years of sending them out, she’s pretty much an expert.”The troops appreciate beef jerky, sunflower seeds, movies, DVDs,” she said. “In the outlying areas, they appreciate receiving baby wipes and socks and hygiene products — and all this is topped off with tons of cookies.”Hagg first realized the importance of care packages when her own son was deployed to the Balkans, she explained during an “ASY Live” BlogTalkRadio interview. The online radio program is an extension of the Defense Department’s America Supports You program, which connects citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home or abroad.”In every letter he would send, he would talk about how nine out of 10 of his buddies did not receive regular mail,” Hagg said.Since 1998, her organization, “Adopt a Platoon,” has been sending out thousands of care packages to let U.S. troops know they care. In fact, she said, the group sends out about 30,000 pieces of mail and care packages a month.”It is my experience,” Hagg said, “that Americans want to support the troops, but unless they have a deployed servicemember — a spouse or a son or daughter in the military — … they don’t know how. … For this reason, we rely greatly on our ‘platoon moms and dads.’”The group also works closely with combat hospitals and gets word from chaplains who tell them what items the troops need the most.

SFC Jordan GSE Platoon

I just wanted to send you a sincere thank you for the packages that were sent from AdoptaPlatoon and your supporters. My troops and I enjoyed the thoughtfulness of the packages. It is nice to have the support from home. This is my second tour to Iraq. For some of my troops it is there…

Alpha Company 302

Again, I just want to say thanks for all your support of the troops this past year…. I have just met my replacements, and I told them about how much support and encouragement you were for all of us and they would love to join up as well. The care packages and letters of encouragement…

HHC, 64th BSB S1, HRS NCO

We would like to say a very heartfelt and warm “Thank you” to all of our supporters who have made this deployment so much more bearable, and for boosting the morale of hundreds of our Soldiers throughout the Battalion. We will never forget the love and the care that we have been shown with the…

Volunteer Support Mother Elizabeth Jespersen

Volunteer Support Mother Elizabeth Jespersen received a beautiful letter of grateful thanks from U.S. Marines deployed to Iraq. Elizabeth states, “Our family wishes for the New Year would be that families everywhere would be united in the face of all the turmoil in the world today. I wanted to share with you a letter we…