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Donations needed for overseas troops

August 21, 2013 - American troops are still serving overseas, and Crystal Cockerham of Clarkston is working to make sure they're taken care of.

"Anything we can do to help is great," said Cockerham, who is collecting supplies for troops in Afghanistan. "I want to do this until they come home."

Jack Jones, who is best friends with Cockerham's son Greg, is a soldier in the U.S. Army deployed overseas.

"He's like my second son he and my son were best friends since they were 4 years old," she said.

They both grew up in Clarkston and played on the same hockey team until he left for basic training last year, she said.

"When I first spoke to him about what supplies to send to him, I asked what he needed, and every time he responded, he said it's not just for him, it was always 'we,'" she said. "I wanted to do it for him, and he made me realize it's for all of them. He's very thankful and all of them are very appreciative of efforts to support them."

Donations can include travel-size hand sanitizer, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, tooth brushes, cotton swabs, cotton balls, baggies, disposable razors, lotion, sun screen, chap stick, baby wipes, gun oil, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, gum, protein supplements, peanut butter, trail mix, dried fruit, and phone cards, as well as letters of appreciation, poems, and collage cards to remind them of home.

Contributions of money are also needed to purchase supplies and pay for shipping.

"Thank you to all who have already donated, will donate and continue to donate to support the young men and women defending us," Cockerham said. "They love it. It's so hard for them to be so far away, without the things we take for granted."

A consultant with Young Living Essential Oils and a life coach, she started the campaign after talking to fellow members of Clarkston Coffee Club.

"Their support has been fantastic," she said. "It's a wonderful group of people. Everyone is really nice. If you need something, they always have advice."

A drop-off box is located in the Clarkston News office, 5 S. Main Street in downtown Clarkston. Donations can also be mailed to "Support the Troops," c/o Crystal Cockerham, P.O. Box 443, Clarkston, MI 48347.

For more information, call 248-941-5893.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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