Treats are packed at the UAB Lung Health Center to go with the very practical items included in the care packages for U.S. troops stationed in Iraq. Also included in each care package is a note wishing them well and thanking them for their service.

U.S. military personnel serving in Iraq are receiving care packages from the staff of the Lung Health Center again this holiday season.

Joan Mangan, Ph.D., assistant professor with the Lung Health Center and Jimmy Gann, a pharmacist with Caremark RX, Inc., of Birmingham, have coordinated the effort with help from U.S. Army Maj. Addison Burgess, the staff chaplain currently stationed in Iraq with the 3rd Sustainment Brigade and Forward Operating Base - Q West.

“We raised a little more than $1,000 to purchase items that groups of soldiers can share — such as new books and magazines, sterile water capsules to flush eyes, hard candy, gum, and foot powder — plus a few items to raffle while the soldiers enjoy their holiday meal,” Mangan said.

“We also bought items to create individual care packages filled with a variety of goodies and practical items for 48 soldiers.”

Each care package contains baby wipes, antimicrobial hand wipes, moisturizing hand lotion, popcorn, assorted candies, a magnetized picture frame, granola bars, nuts, crackers, disposable razors, small bags of cookies, packets of drink mix for water bottles, mouthwash pocket sheets and blank note cards to write home.

Also included in each care package is a note wishing them well and expressing thanks for service to America and its military. Gann said Chaplain Burgess will pass these care packages around to troops who might not receive much from home or are feeling down-hearted during the holiday season.

“These packages are a small way to show our appreciation for the sacrifices these men and women make as they serve our country.” Major Kathy Fox and Chaplain Robin Pizanti with the 45th Sustainment Brigade, who distributed the care packages sent last year, sent notes of appreciation.

“Both told us how much those packages bolstered the spirits of many of the soldiers,” Mangan said. “We hope these packages will do the same.”