ICIO inmates send care packages to Marines in Afghanistan

ICIO inmates with the Christmas stockings the sent to Marines in Afghanistan
ICIO inmates with their care packages for Marines

OROFINO,January 30,2012 — Over the past year and a half, inmates at Idaho Correctional Institution-Orofino have quietly been showing their support for Marines in Afghanistan. The inmates have been sending the Marines care packages made up of items the inmates purchased with their own money through the prison’s commissary. One of the inmates got the idea for the effort from a television news report he saw broadcast in June of 2010. In the report, the mother of a Marine who had just died in Afghanistan said the best way to honor her son’s memory was to send care packages to his platoon. With ICIO Warden Terema Carlin’s permission, the inmate contacted the woman. She accepted his offer of help, and she agreed to facilitate the delivery of the packages to the Marines. The inmate initially hoped to raise enough money to assemble twenty care packages worth $2.00 each, and contain four items — instant noodles, pasta sauce, a drink mix and a bar of soap. But he says the response from the inmates was so strong he was able to increase the size of the packages from four items to ten. “It was truly amazing to see how many of the guys were willing to open their hearts and provide for our men and women in combat,” the inmate says. The inmates soon followed that shipment with another round of care packages to the Marines for Christmas 2010. In addition to food items, the inmates crocheted 149 hats for the Marines to give to Afghan children. In all, the inmates have sent a total of six care package shipments, each one larger than the last. “Each (shipment) has come with its own challenges from commissary not showing, being criticized for helping our soldiers, finding enough people to help, to trying to figure out how to pay to send them out,” the inmate says. “But at the end, God has brought everything together perfectly.” In addition to supporting the Marines, the inmate says the care packages have helped the inmates feel good about themselves. He says the mother of the Marine whose death sparked the effort sent him a letter in which she said, “You are all such wonderful men, so patriotic. Real Americans. None of us care why any of you are there (in prison) because you have shown us how to be better Americans and people.”

Story published: 01/30/2012
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