Sending their best

Published 3:23 am Wednesday, April 9, 2003

By By Paul Keane
What began as a simple mailing of one package has turned into a local outpouring of support for American troops fighting in the war with Iraq.
Atmore Ambulance Service, owned by Patricia and Merrill Still, saw the mother of a former employee, Sergeant Derrick Lawson, and learned she was mailing a care package to him. That got employees of the company to thinking, leading to the development of a plan to put together multiple care packages for military personnel serving in Iraq.
What they got in return was an outpouring of support, both from local businesses and individuals.
"Most businesses get a phone call asking for a donation and they have to think about it or get back with the person," Patricia Still said. "With this one, not one single business turned us down. Everyone we've contacted has been able to donate something to put in the packages, or they've donated money to help buy things or to pay for the shipping."
More than 100 one-gallon Ziplock bags had been filled with assorted items. Some bags carried candy and seasonings such as salt, pepper, mustard and ketchup packets, to be used to season the MRE's that troops eat while in the field. Other packages contained lip balm, moisturizer and even flea collars, as many soldiers have said they are having problems with the sand fleas.
The massive package will be sent to Segreant Lawson, who will then distribute it to his fellow soldiers.
Anyone wishing to donate to the cause can contact Atmore Ambulance Services located in the Western Auto building. To send a package to Sergeant Lawson, mail it to 77 Maint. Co. (wb35aa), 485 Csb 16csg 3 coscom, Unit 91799, APO, AE 09372-1799.
To send him an e-mail of support, send it to

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