Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Marine Corps League Auxiliary sends care packages from the heart to troops

NEW PORT RICHEY — These women share a powerful bond: The men in their lives were Marines, many of whom served in Vietnam. Even all these years later, they remember what it feels like to have a loved one thousands of miles away in a war zone.

So the members of the Marine Corps League Auxiliary Holiday Unit 130 gather once a month to send off care packages to members of the military stationed overseas — many of whom they don't even know.

"I just felt like I really need do so something," said Kitty Golden, who was the mastermind of the first care package delivery in 2007.

Her husband, Roger, who is the commandant for the Marine Corps League Detachment 567, served two tours in Vietnam. He told her how much he enjoyed receiving care packages from his family, but that he noticed others in his unit never received anything.

It was then that she thought of sending care packages to troops serving abroad now. The first funds were compiled after selling Valentine cut-outs for $2. After about $280 came together, Golden said she went to the store and bought things like cheese, crackers, tuna, toothbrushes and combs and shipped away only five boxes.

Karen Musial, senior vice president of the auxiliary, said it is hard to rack up the money for the shipping and buying of supplies, but they somehow manage to make it happen.

"People have just been very supportive of our cause," she said. The torch to run the care package activity was handed to her about two years ago. The team presented Musial in April with the first "Auxiliary Member of the Year" award for her hard work and dedication to the project.

The members, who can only be a part of the auxiliary if they are married or related by blood to a Marine, not only reach out to the members of the military in harm's way, but they are also involved with activities at the James Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa and the Baldomero Lopez State Veterans Nursing Home in Land O'Lakes. They assist the Marine Corps League with the Toys for Tots Program and The Operation Little Angel program, among other local charities.

But the care packages are a monthly effort. About a dozen women spend a few hours packing about 10 12- by 12-inch U.S. Postal Service boxes that ship overseas for $12.95 apiece.

Donations from the community helped keep the deliveries going. But Musial said she wishes they could send more.

Each box is addressed to a Marine or soldier whose name appears on a website of an organization supporting overseas troops. Most recipients are men, but occasionally the group picks a woman's name or receives a special request for women's items.

The ladies go shopping at places like Dollar General and buy everything from coffee, beef jerky, peanut butter to all sorts of hygiene products.

Every box shipped now includes a Marine Corps flag along with a special note thanking them for their service.

Musial said the most expensive, but among the most needed products, is masking tape. Many soldiers are living in desert areas, so they often wrap their wrists and ankles in tape so the sand doesn't make its way underneath their uniforms.

Evelyn Joppa, president of the auxiliary, said it feels so nice when they hear back from a soldier or Marine saying how thankful they are for what they are doing. They often e-mail the group and attach pictures of them opening the care packages, or even write a letter.

"But we can't thank them enough for protecting us," Joppa said. "We will continue doing this for as long as we can."

Jacqueline Baylon can be reached at or at (727) 869-6247.

.Fast facts

Helping the troops

If you would like to help, send donations to:

Marine Corps League Auxiliary Unit #130

Attention: Karen Musial

P.O. Box 906

Elfers, FL 34680

Marine Corps League Auxiliary sends care packages from the heart to troops 05/28/11 [Last modified: Saturday, May 28, 2011 1:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  2. Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band dies at age 69

    Music & Concerts

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Music legend Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel the Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock, died Saturday, a publicist said. He was 69.

    This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo shows Gregg Allman performs at the Americana Music Association awards show in Nashville, Tenn. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, a publicist said the musician, the singer for The Allman Brothers Band, has died. (AP Photo/Joe Howell, File)
  3. Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, a former senator, dies at 85


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jim Bunning, a former Hall of Fame pitcher who went on to serve in Congress, has died. He was 85.

    In this June 21, 1964 file photo, Jim Bunning of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches a perfect game against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium in New York.  The Phillies beat the Mets, 6-0.  Bunning retired all 27 batters who faced him in the first game of a doubleheader to become the first pitcher in 42 years with a perfect game in regular season play.   (AP Photo/File)
  4. Trump to decide next week whether to quit Paris climate agreement


    TAORMINA, Italy —President Donald Trump declined to endorse the Paris climate accords on Saturday, saying he would decide in the coming days whether the United States would pull out of the 195-nation agreement.

    President Donald Trump, right, arrives to a G7 session with outreach countries in Taormina, Italy, on Saturday. Climate and trade were sticking points at the two-day summit in Taormina, Sicily. (AP Photo/Salvatore Cavalli)
  5. Gregg Allman, iconic Southern rocker from Florida's Allman Brothers Band, dies at 69


    The end can come quickly for those who live fast and live hard, who create worlds with their talent and sometimes come close to throwing them away.