The following is written by Fred Doster, a volunteer at Military Missions.
DATELINE Long Bien, Vietnam, December
PFC Doster an MP with the 615th MP Company was assigned to the Main Gate for Long Bien from 7 AM to 7 PM. The main duty that day was to stop jeeps full of GI’s who wanted to get on base to see the Bob Hope show. It was a long day, and full of disappointment. Since I’d been in-country just 3 weeks I had yet to get any mail, let alone a package. I felt like my world was two worlds away.
DATELINE Lexington, KY, November 15,
I was given the opportunity to represent Military Missions on a call with the hosts of the Nashville, TN radio show “Ty, Kelly & Chuck” 97.3 NASH FM. They let me ramble with a brief recap of the Military Missions history, the fact we are all volunteers, and our packages go to deployed soldiers of all Military Branches. I was asked if I was a Vet, and replied, “Yes, and I even got to spend 2 Christmases in Vietnam. Too bad I wasn’t able to receive one of these neat boxes!!”.
The radio stations appeal was for listeners to send 100,000 Thank Yous to our troops, gathering them at the station. The listeners from across the country not only met the Challenge but exceeded it with 209,433 cards!!!
DATELINE Lexington, KY, January 16,
Jennie (my wife) & I volunteered to go to Military Missions to accept a FedEx package, and while waiting Jennie went in the back. She returned with a Box Package addressed to “Fred Doster, c/o Military Missions…..”. I opened it and it was full of neat stuff, just like the ones we send out. But, as in our boxes, there was a letter to me!! (Link below to view entire letter.)
When I read “I want you to accept this package as a small gesture of our complete understanding of spending Christmas abroad. I want to apologize on behalf of a grateful Nation as well.” I couldn’t hold my tears back, because it brought back my only bad memory of being in the Army. That was my return to civilian life, and my being scared of being spit at when arriving in Uniform at Syracuse, New York airport on December 30, 1970.
This gesture of a Veteran US Army Chaplain truly touched me. Pro Deo Et Patria. I wonder what Chief Fomby would think, or my partner Tex Sharp, or Hammons, Weimer, Peterson, Taylor, and the others!!
Yes, helping out at Military Missions is both fun and rewarding!
Fred Doster, Volunteer
Click HERE to view the letter Fred received.