The chocolate was for Christmas gift bags that the “TOP 3” organization was going to distribute to the troops that were stationed in Afghanistan.
The Live Oak County VFW Ladies Auxiliary asked the community to become involved, too. The following is an excerpt from a letter that was sent to the Ladies Auxiliary President Nancy Coquat from SMSgt Kimberlee Keller:
“WOW!! Thank you so much for responding to our request for chocolate. We received 21,000 pounds of chocolate from 825 individuals, businesses, churches, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, girl/boy scouts troops, etc. from across 38 states and Europe. . .we distributed 22,000 Christmas candy bags & stockings across Afghanistan. Everyone really came through for us. All told, 329 volunteers here at Bagram contributed 1,180 hours to spread the cheer you graciously sent during the holiday season.
Volunteers were comprised of the Army, Marines, Air Force & Navy. . .it was an incredible effort. Even troops transiting through Bagram awaiting flights to further deploy heard of the project and came to help out. . .taking chocolate to their locations.
For all those who contributed, this letter will not reach everyone, as it was a collective community effort for most. So please pass on our sincerest thanks to all. I’ll be redeploying back to my home unit at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois within a few weeks. I will pass along this year’s information to the new TOP 3 executive council for their continuity and any future projects they may need assistance with. Thank you for making this Christmas season so joyful and memorable for all of us. Warmest Regards, Kimberlee Keller, President, Bagram Airfield TOP 3”
Here in Live Oak County, there was a time span of only 14 days when the request was received and when the chocolate had to be in Bagram. Coquat reports that not only did the community respond with bags of chocolate, but individuals donated money to this effort. Eleven boxes of candy were shipped containing 95 pounds of chocolate. On behalf of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary, I would like to thank the people of Live Oak County whose contributions of candy and money made the drive so successful. We appreciate your continued support for the work that the Auxiliary does not only for the Veterans, but for our soldiers serving our great nation.