By Dave Rogers
---- — AMESBURY — About a month from now, more than 100 Marines serving overseas this Memorial Day will be receiving 12-by-12-inch boxes filled with deodorant, candy, sunscreen, beef jerky, playing cards and other comforts of home, courtesy of donors and volunteers who helped put the boxes together Saturday in Alicia Moore’s Madison Street house.
Moore’s son, 2nd Lt. Ryan Moore, is deployed with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit based at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The lifelong resident graduated from Amesbury High School and attended Norwich University in Vermont, the oldest private military college in the country. After graduation, he attended Officer Candidates School and was commissioned in May 2011.
Ryan Moore and his fellow Marines left Camp Lejeune aboard military transport ships in early March and sailed to the Arabian Sea. There the Marines will be a floating assault team waiting for orders from the Pentagon, according to his mother.
“We had a great time. Everybody here said it was the best Memorial Day they had because they did something that meant something. That’s what Memorial Day is all about,” Moore said.
The next step for Moore is scheduling a time with the Amesbury Post Office when she can deliver the boxes and ship them out for $15 each.
Shipping costs will be substantial, but thanks to the generosity of the community, which donated $2,400 to the fund she set up at The Provident Bank, Moore won’t have to pay a cent.
“The Provident Bank was instrumental,” Moore said.
In addition to the care packages, including 15 specifically tailored for female soldiers, large quantities of candy and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers will be shipped as well.
Care packages contain energy drinks, shaving cream in tubes, toothpaste and toothbrushes, travel-sized foot powder and body powder, liquid body wash, sunscreen, Q-Tips, individually wrapped candy, AA and AAA batteries, stationary and envelops, beef jerky, unscented wipes, playing cards, dice games, Rubik Cubes, cigars, snuff, Advil, Tylenol, Ziploc baggies, individually wrapped soft toilet paper and many other items.
Around the same time care packages arrive, soldiers will also be receiving letters and cards written by school children across the region.
Moore said she believes Marines will take photos of each other holding letters and then mail them back to the students along with notes of their own.
“I’m just overwhelmed by the response. The kids were great,” she said.
Drop-off locations were secured at Ben’s Men’s Uniforms on Main Street, City Hall, Vermette’s Market on Pond Street, Attentif’ Design on Main Street, Nor’East Architectural Antiques in South Hampton, RC Briggs Insurance Agency on Main Street and Amesbury Elementary School.
“I’m so thankful to everyone to making this happen. All I did was put it out there and donors made it happen,” Moore said.