Fort Bragg volunteers pack Super Bowl care packages for Soldiers
February 4, 2010
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - With a baby due any day, Vicky Brautigam helped prepare Super Bowl care packages Wednesday to be sent to troops serving in Joint Task Force-Haiti.
An Army wife, Brautigam said that her husband, Capt. Christopher Brautigam has been in Haiti nearly three weeks, effectively making him one of the likely recipients of the care packages.
Christopher Brautigam serves as a public affairs officer with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.
More than 60 Soldiers, Airmen, Family Readiness Group members and United Service Organization of North Carolina volunteers assembled at Green Ramp, Pope Air Force Base, Wednesday to send Super Bowl care packages to the Soldiers downrange.
The packages included, but were not limited to, chips and salsa, Pepsi and Monster drinks, peanut butter crackers, apples and bananas.
Wal-Mart and the Army and Air Force Exchange Service donated some of the goods, said Sgt. Maj. Thomas Hall, XVIII Airborne Corps G4 office.
Vicky Brautigam said that sending the care packages would convey a good message to the troops.
"Every little bit helps; (it) lets you know that people are thinking about you," she said.
Meghan McCoy serves as a Family Readiness Program leader for HHC. She said she emailed about 20 Families requesting help with the packages. With 7-month-old daughter, Stella, strapped to her stomach, McCoy packed chips in assembly-line fashion and speculated about the Soldiers reaction to the packages.
"I think they'll be excited," McCoy said. "They're not MREs (Meals, Ready to Eat). It's something new to eat."
But, Pvt. Michael Norfleet II does not have to speculate. As a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Norfleet said he received care packages while deployed.
"I was happy to get something to break the monotony of the day-to-day," he said.
A member of the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd BCT, Norfleet said that Soldiers who are not currently assigned to Haiti get to enjoy their everyday comforts.
"We're right here with our cush life and they're deployed somewhere, sucking, and I hope this can help them feel closer to home," said Norfleet, a Baltimore native who has been in the Army 3A,A1/2 years.
Teamwork was essential to getting the Super Bowl care packages mission accomplished and to helping to bring comfort to the men and women in uniform who deployed on short notice, said John Falkenbury, USO of NC president.
The USO of NC has more than 700 volunteers who help take care of North Carolina servicemembers.
"It's the least that the USO of NC can do to help the Soldiers who are in uniform," said Falkenbury.
Teresa Sicinski, wife of Fort Bragg Garrison Commander Stephen Sicinski, helped assemble the care packages. A Soldier who had been assigned to Korea and Germany during her more than 20-year military career, Sicinski said the Soldiers would appreciate receiving the packages.
"It's like Christmas when you are opening a package because you have no idea what the person is sending," Sicinski said. "I know they are going to enjoy it."