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Cowell students sending care packages overseas

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Volunteer William Moreno of the Cpl Palmer II Memorial Support Troops Program, with white beard, works with volunteer Joshua Cowell students on Patriot’s Day filling care packages for American sol...


POSTED September 11, 2013 10:27 p.m.

Sixty care packages are winging their way via the U.S. Postal Service to American service men and women at various corners of the world.

The 12x12x5-inch boxes were packed by Tuesday morning by volunteers with the Cpl. Palmer II Memorial Troop Support Program and students of Joshua Cowell School where the goods were packed in portable Room 33. This is the second year in a row the elementary school and the non-profit organization joined hands in this project to commemorate September 11, also known as Patriot’s Day, and to remember America’s soldiers who are protecting their country and freedom.

The various goodies that went into the boxes were brought to the school by the students as part of the day’s observance. The items included all kinds of toiletries, non-perishable goods such as jerky or dried meat, Ramen, gums, instant oatmeal, and packaged condiments, as well as printed materials such as paperback books. Bags of these donations from the students were collected and gathered together during the early morning patriotic program held in the school courtyard.

“It’s totally awesome,” said eighth grader Allyson Roberts, one of the student volunteers who took part in packing the packages.

On hand to oversee the students were about half a dozen volunteers who have been helping the Troop Support Program for years. Among them was Marine Corps veteran William Moreno of Manteca who served during the Vietnam War, and Teri Palmer. Palmer and husband Chuck, who was unable to be at the packing party at Cowell School, are the couple who started the Troops Support Program which was born out of a personal tragedy, when their son Cpl. Charles O. Palmer II was killed in action in Iraq on May 5, 2007. They turned their tragedy into an “opportunity to minister to other troops.”

“We need all the help we can get. Every little bit helps,” Moreno, who is a friend and neighbor of the Palmers, said as he helped the volunteers fill the boxes with goodies. He has been volunteering for this cause for the last six years.

Teri Palmer said she and her husband are grateful for all the help from various individuals and organizations in the community, including the students and staff at Joshua Cowell School.

“There’s no way Chuck and I can do this,” she said, not only in the getting all the boxes packed but in the mailing of the packages as well.

The boxes that they are using are called flat-rate boxes, with each box requiring a postage of $14.85 regardless of the weight.

“So we try and pack each box as full as possible,” she explained.

With the number of care packages they are sending overseas, Teri Palmer said there is no way they can send all of the boxes without the donations from generous people in the community.

“We just shipped 59 boxes yesterday which cost almost $900 to mail,” she said.

Anyone who knows a soldier serving oversees may give their names to Charles and Teri Palmer and a care package will be sent to them. Those who would like to help in the effort, or would like to donate money to mail the packages, can contact the Palmers at (209) 23-3088 or by e-mail at or

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