Logo image
shop now

"The hero is the one who gives his life as well as the ones who remain
behind to carry on his memory and duties."

CMDCM (FMF) Chris Aldis
Command Master Chief
2d Marine Division (FWD)

From the Front

Want to write to a member of the
armed forces?
Download stationery here. Children? Color a Hero Card!


Fundraising Ideas

Letter from overseas

There's nothing like a care package from home when you're half a world away living in less than ideal conditions, especially when it is unexpected. Hundreds of soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors in Iraq and Afghanistan have written heartfelt letters of thanks to the volunteers of Operation Shoebox New Jersey for their care and compassion, likening the arrival of the OPSHBX NJ care packages to opening gifts on Christmas day.

Recent Letters

08.12.13 Salkowski 07.11.11 Rebecca
07.31.13 Cunningham 07.07.11 Stroud
01.12.13 Martin 07.06.11 Barnes
06.04.12 Reed 07.04.11 Amon
06.03.12 Harper 07.06.11 Barnes
05.21.12 Mahoney 07.03.11 US Army Corps of Engineers
05.21.12 Puppolo 07.03.11 US Army Corps of Engineers (Photo)
05.01.12 Thibault 07.11 Withrow
06.04.12 Reed 07.11 Black Widows
04.08.12 Puetz 07.11 Hangar Rats
03.23.12 Stahl 06.25.11 Green
03.17.12 Hoenge 06.21.11 Munoz
03.12.12 Steiner 06.17.11 Smith
03.11.12 Gonzales 06.03.11 Champaco
01.02.12 Choi 06.16.11 Grella
12.24.11 Fowler 06.15.11 Starsiak
12.20.11 Mangan 06.09.11 Cooley
12.15.11 Christie 06.07.11 Fowler
12.11.11 Livesay 06.07.11 Michel
11.30.11 Schulz 06.05.11 Wheeler
11.29.11 Prutch 06.01.11 Montalvo
10.06.11 Andon 06.01.11 Santosuosso
10.09.11 Clete 05.31.11 Shumans
09.27.11 Barnes 05.30.11 Kopp
09.19.11 Prutch 05.21.11 Sais
09.12.11 CJSOTF-A 05.23.11 OConnor
09.03.11 Cindy 05.19.11 USF-I ITAM Army
09.03.11 David 05.07.11 Rivera
09.03.11 Gabe 05.02.11 Lustig
09.03.11 Marissa 04.27.11 Huereco
09.03.11 Patrick
08.03.11 Craig Joint Theatre Hospital
07.19.11 Edwards
07.19.11 Lynch
07.17.11 Somjen
07.14.11 Allan
07.12.11 Conine
07.12.11 Cortes  

To Chubb and the Working Parent Network – Thanks so much for the shoeboxes! They arrived earlier this week, and we distributed them to everyone around our compound. Read More

Rod, Operation Shoebox New Jersey packages are a big hit with our Marines and Sailors in 2d Marine Division (Forward) here in Helmand Province.
Read More

We got those boxes yesterday and today with the help of our operations department we got all the shoe boxes to the flight line and they are heading out to the most needy soldiers. Read More


July 7, 2011: 2d Combat Engineer Battalion, Afghanistan
Mr. Rod Hirsch,    
I am SgtMaj Stroud with 2d Combat Engineer Battalion currently deployed to Afghanistan.   I want to thank you for your support.   I want to tell you a little bit about what my unit is responsible for here in Afghanistan.  We are up front on the ground searching for IED’s.  That is the greatest threat we have here.  This place is not safe and it’s very dangerous.  The summer is here and it is HOT and DUSTY.  I have done three tours to IRAQ and its worse here than IRAQ.  I have 845 Marines and Sailors in 39 areas here in country.  Our casualty rate  is significant due to the nature of our mission.  We clear the way for the infantry patrols and all vehicle movement.   It’s a tough job and it takes a special individual to accomplish this task.  My Marines and Sailors do it every day.  I love them all very much!  It hurts when I see them get injured and some of them have lost their legs and arms and this is a very significant emotional event for us and their families.  We are “MARINES” and that is what we sacrifice daily for our families and country.  We are a special breed.  We are very grateful for your support and we thank you for your unswerving dedication to supporting all the service members serving our grateful nation.  Most of my Marines and Sailors do not have internet or the ability to send letters.  Most of them live in fighting holes and use baby wipes to keep clean.  They are living in a very austere environment.  I have numerous route clearance platoons that execute missions for several days.  They live out of their vehicles and they really do not have a home base.  They come through my camp and grab items for the mission that I set aside for them.  I was approached by a Marine SSgt today that was donating some of the care packages that your organization had sent to him.  I can say that I was very impressed.  He did give my unit 4 big boxes that had individual boxes that the Marines will be able to grab and go.  Not sure who came up with the idea, but it is a marvelous idea and it is perfect for the men fighting everyday outside the wire.   You will not see my name on anything within your organization because I just learned today about the awesome organization that you founded.  You have made a tremendous difference in the many lives of our military through your generosity and hard work.  I ask that you let everyone in your organization know that their efforts are appreciated and we salute everyone that is responsible for the support we all receive who wear the uniform and serve in harm’s way.  Again, thank you for working so diligently to support us all.  Keep us in your prayers, pray for our safety, and our return home to the greatest nation on earth.  We all here serve proudly!  Please keep in touch!

Semper Fidelis,
Sgt Maj Stroud
2d Combat Engineer Battalion
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

June 1, 2011: Recognition from Camp Dubs, Afghanistan
view letter
Camp Dubs



2d Marine DivChrisKIA
May 5th, 2011 Helmand Province, Afghanistan, 2d Marine Division (FWD)

Thank you for the boxes. I have been distributing them all over the Helmand Province. I don't always take my camera with me but here are some pictures from the Navy Hospital Corpsmen serving with 3d Battalion, 2d Marines. The second picture was taken today just before a memorial for one of the Battalion's Marines who was KIA last week. The unit lives atop a hill overlooking two, wide wadis (streams/runoffs). As you can see it is very Spartan living. Please tell your organization that their efforts are making a difference. I also passed out the last batch of Beanie Babies, paper and pencils this week so the Marines and Sailors can hand them out to the kids. I'm grateful for the support and I'll try to do better at remembering my camera.

The third picture is me and the last two are of the killed Marine's squad at his memorial today. It was very touching and poignant. The hero is the one who gives his life as well as the ones who remain behind to carry on his memory and duties.

CMDCM (FMF) Chris Aldis
Command Master Chief
2d Marine Division (FWD)


Latest news

Sample image

Register for an event or volunteer op

Operation Shoebox is always in need of volunteers. Want to help out? Register by clicking the button below or click here to see a full listing of packings and events.

Read more button

Sample image

Submit the name of a deployed soldier

Have a friend, relative, or loved one overseas? Submit their name here to receive a care package.

Read more button