I want duffel bags for Christmas…

I want duffel bags for Christmas…

I am sure most of you have seen the movie A Christmas Story, but if  you haven’t, please know that it is a cult classic about a young boy and his “journey” through the Christmas season and his quest for a single gift; the red rider bee-bee gun (you’ll shoot your eye out…).

The movie is set in the 1950’s and chronicles this young man’s strategy plan for ensuring Santa Claus brings him the gift he feels he needs and deserves.  In a critical scene, the main character, Ralphie, visits Santa and instead of articulating what he wants, he panics and forgets to ask for the toy that he has longed for.  His botched attempt quickly ends his visit on Santa’s knee and an “elf” grabs Ralphie, pulls him from the all mighty “knee” and sends him down a slide (surely ending his dream of receiving this toy).  But in a display of pure passion and perseverance, Ralphie musters the fight to climb back up the slide and makes his final request to Santa; successfully solidifying that he will receive the toy of choice!  How great was it being a “kid” at Christmas?

I want duffel bags for Christmas…

Flash forward to 2010 and things are bit different, aren’t they?  For those of us who are adults- we don’t sit on Santa’s knee and ask for the things we believe we want or need, in fact,  “we” get the requests now and “we” spend most of our time ensuring that the little ones in our lives get those requests, right?  Well I had an interesting experience and an even more interesting request this week and I wanted to share it with you.

I want duffel bags for Christmas…

I have a good friend who has been serving our country for 16 years.  He was a graduate of West Point and could have served his required 4 years (post-graduation) and moved on to a high paying job somewhere in the U.S., but instead he decided to continue serving.  This man has fought in Iraq and now he fights in Afghanistan.  This man has 4 beautiful children and an angel for a wife and as he is approaching another full year and a half away from his family, he reached out and made a request that I found humbling.  This friend of mine emailed me in search of duffel bags for Christmas.  Yes, duffel bags.  I’m sure all of our troops, at some point, wish for their friends, family and the comforts of “home”, but on this Christmas, a good friend of mine wants duffel bags?

I want duffel bags for Christmas…

The duffle bags he requested are sitting in Dearborn, Michigan and they are full of used fire-fighting equipment.  My friend’s battalion is partnered with an Afghan Army Fire Fighting Section and as you can imagine, this Afghani group doesn’t have the bunker gear or some of the necessities to do the job they are commissioned to do.  My friend is a Major in the Army and he has a reservist in his battalion who is from Dearborn, Michigan (which is where I’m from as well as my friend who made the request).  The Dearborn Fire Department has donated these 12 duffle bags of equipment and my friend could use some help in finding a group to help pay for the shipping to get these bags to Afghanistan.  Of all the things someone could wish for on Christmas my friend (and his troops) are wishing for something incredibly self-less and that put a whole bunch of things into perspective.  I don’t have all of the details of the cost or the logistics of the shipping yet, but I am going to get that information soon and will continue to help get that gear shipped to Afghanistan. If you would be willing to help, I know it would be appreciated.



I want duffel bags for Christmas…

I have been running around this season and at times, whined about the work load that I’m balancing (while others are off), attempting to make the holiday parties, stressing about the gifts that I’m giving and then it happened; this request for duffel bags.  Thanks Matt, your request has helped me realize how blessed I am to have people like you in my life and I will continue to do what I can to help with this project.  I hope if anyone else reading this has an idea about organizations, businesses or individuals who might be able to help contribute to shipping this equipment, please post to this article and I’ll find a way to connect with you.

What did you wish for this year?  I bet it wasn’t duffel bags!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!

2 thoughts on “I want duffel bags for Christmas…

  1. Trav,

    I’ve posted your blog to my Facebook account and asked friends to help. Let me know how I, personally, can help.

    Thanks for this story. Keep up the unselfishness.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family,


    • Joe! Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thanks for reading and more importantly, thanks for offering to help. I should hear from my friend in a few days and I’ll let you know what we need to do!

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