by Dr. Cheryl Malick, DMD
squeals of excitement, the Malick-Beltran children eagerly opened a
large envelope from U.S. Army Captain Sam Almquist, who has since been
promoted to Major. The children, Jade (4), Todd (6) and Brad (7)
regularly sent care packages to “Captain Sam” throughout his recent,
nine month deployment in Afghanistan, and to other soldiers over the
past eighteen months. Their uncle, First Lieutenant Derek P. Wimmer, who
serves with 3rd Brigade, 1st Armor Division, 1-41 sending a Infantry,
and the local family have endeavored to teach the children ways to
acknowledge military servicemen, women and veterans.
With soldier wish lists, care package guidelines, and boxes in little
hands, the children have ventured to the grocery store, created
artwork, cartoons, holiday cards, and decorated mailing boxes in an
effort to make the soldiers laugh. They’ve painted “Welcome Home” and
“Thank You” signs their uncle posted in Captain Sam’s front yard on his
return to Fort Bliss, Texas.
“In our platoon, you guys are famous”, Captain Sam’s letter reads.
“Your support brought lots of smiles, motivation, and surprises with
each package. It is hard to explain to people how nice it is to get mail
from home as a little reminder of normalcy.
small gift of gratitude is included with a photo of those you
inspired.” With awe the siblings studied the platoon’s photo and
delighted over the striking red, white and gold 8th Squadron, 1st
Cavalry Regiment’s recognition coin. Captain Sam explained the coin is a
military tradition and sign of gratitude. The next day Jade, Todd and
Brad brought the treasures to their classes to share their experiences
with fellow students and teachers.
They are also expecting their uncle to deploy again later this year.
The Malick-Beltran’s next “mission” is to prepare care packages now for
Veteran’s Day, since they know delivery takes up to six weeks