Operation CarePak 2, Christmas News

Operation CarePak founder Anne Marie Mattison received a copy of an email and two pictures from Chaplain Stroud, who is attached to the Florida National Guard unit we are supporting in Afghanistan.

“Our last shipment contained Christmas lights, so I think it would be meaningful for our OC2 volunteers to see how they are being put to use. It might also be meaningful for the SF community … to read Chaplain Stroud’s remarks,” Mattison wrote.

The chaplain, who is from Starke, says in part: “I am so excited about Christmas. We have been rocking out to Christmas music ever since we returned from our trip. Soldiers are coming into the chapel to give us decorations, rest, recuperate, escape, grab a cup of coffee, watch a TV show or movie, discuss problems, or just check on us. Being a chaplain is such a sweet blessing from God even in the hard times.

“We are planning a night of wrapping presents and writing cards to loved ones, a Worship Sing Night, Christmas Eve Service, Christmas Service.

“The guys are calling their lights ‘Winter Wonderland’ … There is giddiness around here as well as joy.

“All is going well over here, but don’t think for one split second we are not ready to come home and be with our families and loved ones.”