In April of 2006, when 2 Care Packages that my husband Herb and I had mailed to our son Eric in Iraq were returned to us as undeliverable, it was a harsh reminder that our son was gone. Only days earlier we had received that dreaded knock on our door by 2 U.S. Marines, coming to tell us that our son was killed in Iraq.
Now, as we stood there just staring at the packages, we knew we had to do SOMETHING. My husband, Herb, suggested that even though Eric could no longer use the items we had so lovingly packed for him in those Care Packages, his fellow Marines would most certainly have need for them. So we opened up the packages, removed our notes to Eric and other personal items related only to him, and repackaged and sent them on to the Chaplain of Eric’s Unit at Al Asad, Iraq. Thus began the L.Cpl. Eric A. Palmisano Care Package Project.
Since that time, my husband Herb and I have mailed out almost 3,200 Care Packages to Soldiers and Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan, all with donations from our community, our friends, and our church.
In addition to the cost of the items we pack in each Care Package, an additional $16.75 must be set aside for each package for shipping. When the project first began in late April 2006, the shipping cost was $8.50 per box, and it has since increased to $16.75.
When the Care Package Project began, we were shipping out at least 4 boxes every week, and even though that remains our goal, some weeks it is less.
My husband and I understand how tough our economy is now, and what a challenge it is to simply pay our everyday bills - much less make donations for many worthy causes in our area and world-wide. That is why I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their generosity and support for our Troops. We have received many thank you letters and notes from the Troops and have them saved in two very large notebooks for anyone who would like to read them.
Our son, L.Cpl. Eric A. Palmisano, was an amazing young man. He was only 27 years old when he was killed, and his whole life was waiting for him upon his return from Iraq, including his fiancé Claire. Eric had only been in the Marine Corps for 13 months, including boot camp training, and had been in Iraq for only 2 months. During that time he became a proud, exemplary Marine, and he followed in the proud tradition of a family of Marines, with his grandfather, his uncle and his cousin having been Marines before him.
Once again, we want to thank everyone for their donations and their support. We would like to remind everyone that there are donation cans set out in various retail locations throughout Iron Mountain, Kingsford and Florence, along with business cards with our contact information and brochures detailing the Care Package Project, including items needed for the care packages. Your tax deductible donations go a very long way toward bringing smiles and support from home to many soldiers serving our country overseas.
The LCpl. Eric Palmisano Care Package Project is
a 501(c)(3) Non Profit Charitable Corporation
Your donations are now tax deductible!