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79 boxes heading to troops
A recent troop care box packing effort. - photo by Bulletin file photo

Care packages for troops stationed overseas were delivered this week.

Approximately 40 volunteers gathered at the American Legion Hall on Sunday for the Charles Palmer Memorial Troop Packing, compiling 79 packages – each stuffed with small comforts of home.

The packages, which included personal hygiene products and small items of leisure, were slated for delivery on Tuesday, according to Chuck and Teri Palmer, parents of the slain Mantecan Marine who helped orchestrate the event.

The number of volunteers and packages nearly doubled the totals from the last event in the fall, according to Legion Judge Advocate and former Commander Penny Winston.

Among the many volunteers were the East Union JROTC and the parents Palmer, whose son, Marine Cpl. Charles Palmer, was killed during combat operations in Iraq in 2007.

“There were so many volunteers, you just basically got out of the way of others,” Winston quipped. “It was nice to have that kind of turnout.

“This time, it seemed people got it. They brought stuff down and we had tons of help. That was a blessing.”

The packages featured a variety items, including: soaps, shampoos and lotions; granola bars and other non-perishable food items; books, magazines and envelopes; toilet paper; and games.

Items that were too large for the packages were reserved for community events later in the year. Winston said East Union’s JROTC arrived with two barrels of donated items.

The American Legion has participated in the troop packing event for the last three years, and though the number of volunteers and packages has wavered, Winston said the message has not.

“They want nothing more than to be home and we give that to them. We give them a piece of home,” she said. “Even though it’s miscellaneous little things, this is stuff they can use. It lets them know they’re not forgotten.”

The next troop packing event is scheduled for April. 

If you’d like to make a donation or volunteer your time, visit the American Legion Hall at 220 East Yosemite Avenue or

The website is hosted by Chuck and Teri Palmer.