Sergeant Audie Murphy members visit Poland, deliver gifts
December 28, 2012
VILSECK, Germany (Dec. 28, 2012) -- Staff Sgt. Costoney Morgan and Staff Sgt. Matthew Cooper didn't speak Polish when they visited Lwowek Slaski, Poland, in mid-December while giving gifts to the needy because their gestures carried more significance than any spoken word.
The two newly inducted Sergeant Audie Murphy Club members, who are assigned to Bavaria Medical Department Activity, traveled with Paige Hall, a fifth-grade school teacher at Vilseck Elementary School, to deliver presents to orphans.
"I don't think the families of those we visited knew we were Soldiers; they just knew we were Americans," Morgan said, who has served seven years in the Army. "Overall, it was a humbling experience; it really made me appreciate what creature comforts we have here. They had just the bare necessities.
Morgan and Cooper, who spent about a month gathering donations, organized the toys so they could distribute them to the appropriately aged children by gender, Morgan said, who is from Oceanside, Calif. The two also visited people in the city's housing project to give children gifts and adults food and furniture.
"The (Sergeant) Audie Murphy Club is a lot about giving back and volunteering," explained Cooper, who is from Mesquite, Texas.
The part of the city they visited lacked wealth and infrastructure, Cooper said, who has served 10 years in the Army.
"It's amazing what these kids go through every day," Cooper said.
The children at the orphanage and adults in the Section 8 housing had tears of joy when they came in with the presents, they said.
"You want to make sure they have a Christmas kind of like what your kids would have," Cooper said, who has three children. "We brought in gifts, but the mom couldn't afford gifts."
The mom had asked Cooper not to show the children the presents he brought so she could give the children the gifts on Christmas day, he said.