Family members and military supporters from the general public have a new place to drop off corresponsodence for fighting men and women overseas.
Royal Canadian Air Force Association Wing 424 will be accepting letters and parcels from family who have loved ones overseas. In addition, others locally (like schools and young people) who wish to send care packages to anonymous service members overseas can drop them off too at Wing 424 as part of a new partnership between the vets group and the Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC).
Packages will be accepted between 2 and 4 p.m daily.
"We are deeply honoured to be able to provide this service for our brave men and women in the armed forces," said Ray Summers, president of Wing 424. "Being away from your loved ones is difficult and the air force wing is pleased to be able to help families stay in touch."
Nicole Bergeron, family separation and reunion co-ordinator for the MFRC, said morale boosts are common among soldiers and members of the navy who received gifts from home while serving overseas.
"Anyone wishing to send something to a member of the forces that is serving overseas simply has to drop it off at the wing and we will see that it gets to its destination," she said.
There are specific requirements, especially those concerning weight and size, that have to be adhered to. Those requirements can be found at www.familyforce.ca.
Bergeron said about 1,000 Canadian forces members are stationed overseas, according to the latest numbers she could recall. And she added there are a handful of local families who are supported through MFRC as they continue to keep in touch with their loved ones who have been deployed.
"When they (soldiers) see other people receiving packages...it's a morale booster. It's like a touch of home," she said.
Mark MacDonald, second vice-president at Wing 424 said announcing the program's new Cornwall partnership now will help people get ready for the looming holiday season.
It typically takes from three to four weeks, sometimes longer, for packages from Canada to make it to their destination in the field.