For most of us, having regular access to things like lotion, dental floss and snacks is something we take for granted.
For the men and women serving with the military overseas, however, these typical items can be something of a luxury.
The staffs at Bittles & Hurt and Hopkins-Rector funeral homes, both in Greencastle, recently launched the Supporting Our Troops with a Little Piece of Home program to help provide deployed military personnel with some of the comforts they may not be able to obtain easily.
Specially made 8-inch by 8-inch cardboard boxes and lists of recommended items are available at both funeral homes. The idea is that individuals will pick up the boxes, fill them with items from the list and return them to the funeral home to be shipped to Iraq, Afghanistan or any number of other locations where American military personnel are stationed.
"It's something we're doing as a community service," said Scott Herrick, funeral home general manager. "A lot of people from our National Guard here are deployed, and we just want to make sure they know they're not forgotten."
Items that can be sent in the boxes include packaged nuts, protein or granola bars, bottled sports drinks, pain reliever, shampoo, newspaper clippings, word puzzle books, magazines and Nerf toys. The complete list has dozens of ideas for things that can be put in the boxes.
If an individual would like a box sent to a certain serviceman or woman, staff members at the funeral homes will see it gets done.
"We don't want to put a timeline on this," Herrick said. "We' re going to see how it goes. If it's doing well, we will probably continue doing it indefinitely."
There are currently more than 250,000 American men and women serving in 130 countries. Many of them are in remote locations with less-than-hospitable conditions.
For more information on the program, call 653-6511.