On the Home Front

By Marjorie Foerster Eddington

Since the holidays are slowly creeping up on us, we started thinking about what that experience would be like for our men and women stationed in Iraq. While most of us will be enjoying our holiday celebrations in the comfort of our own homes or visiting with family and friends, our troops will still be in Iraq trying to complete their mission.

Matadors on the Home Front would like to send packages of holiday cards to our troops stationed in Iraq so they may share some holiday greetings with their friends and loved ones waiting for them at home.

This is the most recent project that this high school club, Matadors on the Home Front, is sponsoring. (Matadors = school mascot.) The club members and anyone who wants to come and help will write in these cards and will send them to troops in time for Christmas and the holidays. What an amazing gift!

Over the past year or so, this club has been making a difference in the lives of individual soldiers stationed in Iraq. They have adopted different units to whom they have been sending letters and care packages. Near the close of one group's tour of duty, the commander of the regiment they had adopted wrote back to the teacher, Maria Carter-Giannini, who started this club, expressing his gratitude. He wrote:

Hello! It is good to hear from you guys. We have been so busy. We are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel for this deployment.… We have thoroughly enjoyed all the packages from you and your students. I am so thankful for the effort that you guys put forth in supporting my troop. Since you have begun this program it has been incredible. You guys have far exceeded my expectations. As you can already tell we are winding down and ready to return to our families….This has been the hardest tour that I have been on. It is incredible the difference we truly are making over here. I have to go for now but I will write soon.

As some troops come home, other troops go back over to Iraq. And Matadors on the Home Front supports the new troops. They send out flyers to all the teachers to read to their students; they post flyers around campus; they announce their projects on the daily bulletin. They want everyone to be able to make a difference in the lives of the men and women who are away from their families and all the comforts that we take for granted. Here is more information from a flyer that explains how students, teachers, and staff can participate in making a difference:

Want to know what's REALLY going on in Iraq? Hear it directly from American soldiers!....WE need pen pals to correspond with our soldiers who are so far from home. This is a program that puts politics aside and shows soldiers that we care. Even if you don't support the war, that doesn't mean you can't brighten up a soldier's day or even month! Many soldiers don't receive letters or packages regularly and some not even at all! This program pairs you up with a soldier who is not receiving mail and sets up a pen pal program. The most sought after items are letters. The feeling they get when they hear their name at mail call is incredible! Everything you need for your letter will be provided. Just bring your caring thoughts to send overseas.

If you're not the writing kind, we will also be putting care packages together. These are the following items the soldiers, themselves, have said they need/want. Monetary donations would also be appreciated to offset the shipping charges.


  • Athletes Foot powder
  • Socks (white, black, or green)
  • T-Shirts (white, green or black)
  • DVDs (new or used)
  • CDs (new or used)
  • Beef Jerky
  • Protein Bars
  • Non-Perishable Snacks Candy (small individually wrapped)
  • Gum
  • Play Station Games (new or used)
  • Game Boy Games (new or used)
  • Toothpaste and Tooth Brushes
  • Deodorant (Solids)
  • Shower Gel (small containers)
  • Microwavable Foods (cakes, cup-a-soup, noodles, & POPCORN!)
  • Disposable Razors
  • Lip Balm with SPF
  • Sunscreen/Bug spray
  • Nuts
  • Powder Drink Mixes, sweetened
  • Coffee, Teas, Hot Chocolate
  • Any Books
  • Writing Materials
  • Otter Pops
  • Tuna
  • Hand Sanitizers/Baby Wipes
  • Magazines/Playing cards, anything to pass the time

The loving and unselfish work of high school students has deeply touched and benefited the daily lives of those who are willing to give up their own lives for others. We thank them, and we thank our troops!

You, too, can start a Home Front project at your school or contribute to Matadors on the Home Front. Here are ways to start supporting the individuals who support us:

  • You can contact the organization America Supporting Americans (www.asa-usa.org), which is what Ms. Carter-Giannini did for Matadors on the Home Front to find out which soldiers need support.
  • You can contact a local military unit and find out which regiment, division, troops over in Iraq could use your support.
  • You can also contact Ms. Carter-Giannini at maria_carter-giannini@fuhsd.org.