Chuck and Teri Palmer put a lot of effort into making sure that soldiers across the world get a package from home.
And it takes a lot of work – a lot of organizing and a lot of networking and a lot of hoping to make sure that the things that are most requested are in abundance and available.
But on Tuesday, the people at home made sure that they got a special package of their own to honor Cpl. Charles Palmer II – their son, and the first serviceman from the Manteca area killed since the War on Terror began.
Shortly before the Manteca City Council conducted its official business on Tuesday night, city staffers called up the Palmers to present them with a Fallen Soldier Memorabilia Box – beautifully hand-carved by woodworking artist David Bouillez – as a memento for their tireless effort through their foundation they formed to honor their fallen son.
The box, however, wasn’t what brought Chuck Palmer to tears.
“You’re so loved and respected and appreciated by the employees of this city,” said one of the administrators of the Memory Box Foundation. “That probably means more to us than the box. I don’t know how to thank you guys anymore – the city of Manteca has really gotten behind us and we’re only successful because of the City of Manteca so I want to say thank you.”
Municipal employees paid for the manufacturing of the box, and the group was able to make a small donation with what was left over for the next big troop packing event.
Just two weeks ago the Palmer packing event, though a partnership with the City of Manteca and Doctor’s Hospital of Manteca, was able to generate enough donations and raise enough money to send 400 packages out to troops stationed overseas in harm’s way.
For their efforts, they’ve been lauded by politicians and pacifists alike – those who recognize that if a young man or woman is going to be spending time away from their families in protection of the United States, they should get a little slice of home sent to them as a reminder that they’re not alone in what they’re doing.
The wooden box has an inscription with Cpl. Charles Palmer II’s name adorning the front, and on the lid a soldier is kneeling next to a battle cross while a Presidential eagle holding arrows in its talons sits right below a sobering inscription:
“All Gave Some. Some Gave All.”
“It’ll never be big enough to hold all of the memories of our son, nor will it be big enough to hold all of the kindness and compassion that this community has shown us,” Teri Palmer said. “Thank you for this. We’re proud to call Manteca our hometown, and we want them to come and visit us here.”
The Memory Box keepsake is part of the Memory Box Project – a non-profit organization that strives to pay proper tribute to the fallen – can be found online atwww.memoryboxproject.org.