For those who are new around here, on Thursdays I participate in the Rolling Victory Fast . It started out as stab at a certain Mom (whom I no longer mention) who stated she was going to fast until the troops were brought home. The fantastic guys at Tanker Brothers thought it would be fun to have a counter-fast. One that actually SUPPORTED the Troops and their mission.
And here it is rolling around… Our One Year Anniversary is just around the corner. While we continue the fast, the ‘other side’ abandoned their goals…
It is not always easy to pass when a pizza is delivered to the office or a box of donuts is sitting in the breakroom. However, the grumble in my stomach reminds me that 1/2 a world away, our brave men and women our fighting in the heat. My little twinges of hunger help keep me grounded. I am reminded of the sacrifices of many.
Today I am fasting for the 4-9 Cav. Actually, I always fast for this group… yet, I seldom say it on my dedication. Along with this fantastic group of Troopers, I am fasting for the 1st Cav Moms that I have been meeting via the internet.
One Mom in particular is working hard to make this deployment a tad bit more comfortable for our boys!
For battle-hardened, a soft touch of home
Soldier’s mother hopes to ship 500 pillows to his battalion in Iraq
By CATHY ZOLLO
U.S. Army soldiers in Baghdad spend up to 18 hours on patrol in dusty desert heat, facing gunfire and bombings at every turn.
At the end of a day like that, they could probably sleep on rocks, though Army issue beds and pillows await.
Deb Marquis of Sarasota says that is not good enough for her son, Pfc. Rick Marquis, and his fellow soldiers. She is hoping for a softer landing, one that will also send a message to those troops.
Working with local businesses, Marquis sent off her first shipment of what she hopes will be 500 pillows to the soldiers of the 1st Cavalry.
The idea for what she calls Operation Pillow struck her after she mailed her son a pillow and wondered about his buddies sleeping on Army issue.
Army pillows are better known for durability than comfort.
They are usually made of heavy cotton encasing a few handfuls of feathers that poke through the cotton to scratch soldiers’ faces and arms while they sleep.
A civilian pillow, fluffy, clean and free from those jabbing feathers offers more than just comfort.
“This is my small way of letting them know that there are people thinking of them,” Deb Marquis says.
A few days into the effort, she has rounded up 15 pillows and some cash for shipping.
But she is aiming a little higher.
She wants to deliver cushy civilian pillows to the 100 soldiers in Rick’s company and later on perhaps to the 500 in his 1st Cavalry battalion.
Marquis knows she will need help, so she has placed donation boxes in a few stores and is shooting e-mails to anyone willing to offer a bit of home to soldiers in a war zone.
The idea got rave reviews from Baghdad after word of Operation Pillow reached Rick’s platoon leader.
“He asked around to some of his guys,” Deb Marquis says. “They can’t wait to get those pillows.”
Her son being in harm’s way is not surprising to Deb Marquis. She says he has been single-minded about being a soldier since he was a little boy.
Rick Marquis, 23, had to fight to get into the Army after a foot injury sidelined him from the National Guard. But what doctors thought was a serious bone disease that would have kept him out turned out to be a bone spur.
It took a yearlong battle to get into the Army anyway, but by May, he was on his way to Iraq.
His mother spent days in tears over his departure, but she and her husband, Jon, are the kind of people who pray over meals in public. They pray for their son every day.
They take a lot of comfort from their faith, but they also get a small measure of comfort from sending him and his fellow soldiers a little bit of home.
“I’m a mom,” Deb Marquis says. “I like my kids to have the comforts of home. These guys are out there serving their country. … It helps to know they can put their heads down on something soft, something that they know is a show of support from us at home.”
Deb, we are happy to have you join us on the home front!