When Ann Johnson’s son Paul - a combat medic in the Army - was deployed to Iraq in 2004-2005, she wanted to make sure he had letters, snacks, and other things to make him and his unit more “comfortable,” if possible. Paul’s battalion of 3,600 was living in an airplane hangar in Habbinyah, a small town between Ramadi and Fallujah. For the first five months, the men ate only MREs (meals ready to eat).
“I learned that no matter how much I sent to Paul it was never enough because he would share everything with his unit. I spoke with friends, co-workers and church members for help. The more we sent the more everything was shared, first with Paul’s unit of seven, then with his platoon of 45; and then with his company of 175. Before Christmas of 2004, we had sent Paul three microwaves, an X-Box, DVD movies, books, magazines, hygiene products and tons of food,” said Johnson.