BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Pope John Paul II once said that "As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live."

As a nation at war a lot is asked of Soldiers. One of the most difficult things Soldiers are asked to do is to leave their families for up to a year, so Soldiers often rely upon their families and strangers to send them care packages to bring them joy in these trying times.

U.S. Army Pfc. Cody Smith, an intelligence analyst with Headquarters Support Company, Task Force Mountain Eagle, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, and his family have decided to contribute to Operation Enduring Freedom in their own way.

Smith and his family send care packages to the Soldiers of Task Force Mountain Eagle who are located at various forward operating bases and combat outposts in eastern Afghanistan. Smith's family, which has contributed to this endeavor, consists of his parents Richard and Vickie Smith, sister Carly Smith, brother Colin Smith, and his fiancAfAe Kendra Martinez - all hailing from York, Penn.

The Smith family has sent more than 30 packages to Soldiers in the outlying FOBs and COPs. Although many churches and organizations send packages to individual companies, platoons or sections throughout the task force under the Adopt-a-Platoon program, Smith and his family are separate. Instead of adopting a platoon, they've adopted the entire battalion.

"We want to send things to the Soldiers because they are away from their families and friends for the holidays and we also miss them," Vickie said. "It makes us feel like we are spreading good cheer and bringing a piece of home to all of (the Soldiers)... It makes us feel like we are sharing Christmas around the world."

Smith and his squad leader U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Randie Lewis, a senior intelligence analyst with HHC, TF Mountain Eagle, have spent many hours putting together and sending care packages.
"It is a pleasure to assist my Soldier and his family to bring joy to the Soldiers of the unit," said Lewis, a Watertown, N.Y., native.

"I couldn't have done this without my mom, brother, sister, dad, fiancAfAe, and my mother's friend, Darlene," Smith said. "They have sent me over 30 packages and they all contain things for the Soldiers. They are the ones who made this possible... They took their money and all the donations of items and sent them to me so that I can give them to whoever needs them. I did this because I had the supplies and the time to package the boxes up and send them out with the help of Staff Sgt. Lewis."