BluffParkAL.org, the Bluff
Park, Alabama Neighborhood Web Site, was
proud to spearhead
Operation Adopt-a-Soldier on behalf of the Bluff
Park community of Hoover, Alabama. Our last shipment was sent on 5/21/11. We will begin the program again when our adopted soldiers are deployed again.
Updates Here Last Update 05/21/11 (One-Half Ton of Donations Shipped!!) Visit our Facebook Page today
description of the program, as posted on the
Bluff Park Forum:
Aug. 25, 2010: This web site and forum
have always been "For, About, and By Bluff
Park, Alabama". We're about to make an
is a soldier in the 1-14 Infantry Battalion,
2nd Stryker Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
based at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii.
Currently his company is deployed in Iraq,
having arrived there in the beginning of
July. They are part of Operation Iraqi
Freedom, which, as of Sept. 1 will turn into
Operation New Dawn. As you may have been
reading, our combat troops will convert to
an "Advise and Assist" role as of that date.
Based on what we're hearing from over there,
there's still hostilities taking place.
Their company will be there until July 2011,
at which time they are supposed to return to
Hawaii after having completed their mission.
Since their arrival they have lost two of
their men to hostile activities. They go out
on patrol on a daily basis, sometimes more
guys over there are based in a location
where they can't just run down to the local
Wal Mart or the Super Target like we can.
They rely on packages that are sent from
family back home. Our soldier is blessed in
that he has a lot of family and friends that
send him those things that we take for
granted, but they value like gold. Things
like baby wipes, drink mixes, deodorant,
toothpaste, shampoo, and other things that
I'll list in a follow-up post.
One of the cool
things about technology is that I'm able to
talk to our soldier on an almost daily basis
via Facebook and Skype. Not only does that
bring peace of mind, but it also allows us
to communicate and talk about everyday
things. Today I told him that three more
boxes were shipped to him yesterday. I then
asked him if anyone there was not getting
boxes like he was. Immediately he answered "Epp".
Epp is his roommate from Hawaii. Apparently
Epp doesn't have any family, so he doesn't
get boxes like the rest do. Our soldier
shares his things with Epp, but I'd like us
to go a step further. I'd like the Bluff
Park community to "adopt a soldier".
Adopt-a-Soldier would work as follows: We
would designate a central drop-off location
where people could bring items. Nothing
extravagant or expensive. A pack of baby
wipes (they use that to cleanse themselves
while out on missions - the temperature
there is 146 degrees, they are wearing 55
lbs. of armor, and are carrying a 10-26 lb.
weapon and ammo), a couple of boxes of
single drink mix envelopes, a bag or two of
gummy bears, toothpaste, etc. Again, I'll
post a complete list in a follow-up post.
And perhaps a dollar to cover shipping. If
you want to add a personal touch to it,
enclose a card with your name and address on
it (and e-mail, as postal mail is not as
easy for them as e-mail is). I would then
send out boxes on a weekly basis to our
adopted soldier to show him how much we
appreciate what he is doing for our country.
We always say
how much we appreciate our soldier's service
to our country. Here's a chance to show it.
Printable List of Items that the Soldiers
Does your group
wish to become part of the Adopt-a-Soldier
program? Or do you own a business and
wish to become an Official Adopt-a-Soldier
drop-off location? If so, send an
firstname.lastname@example.org letting us know of
Don't have time to put something in a Drop-Off box? Want to help with shipping costs? Donate via PayPal by clicking on this button (donations will appear as BluffParkAL.org):
Any amount is appreciated!
also mail checks (made out to
Click here for Shipping Updates
here for the Birmingham News Story
initial forum entry on August 25, 2010, we
received some positive feedback on the
program from the community. As always,
the people of Bluff Park were ready and
willing to help. A few days later
6 News called and wanted to do a story on
the program, which they did. Here's
After the story ran, we received a number of calls, including calls
from Hoover City Council member Gene Smith.
Mr. Smith wanted to get the city involved in
some way, so he contacted Mayor Tony Petelos,
who suggested that our collection boxes be
placed in all of the City of Hoover fire
We proceeded to purchase
some sturdy containers to use as collection
boxes, made our "official" Adopt-a-Soldier
Drop Off Location signs, and distributed the
|Hoover Councilor Gene Smith, BluffParkAL.org's Robin and Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos
Jason of Hoover
Door sign at
Robert's Discount Pharmacy
||Keith at Moonlight on the Mountain
Alford Avenue Veterinary Hospital
Bluff Park Elementary School
Buffalo Wild Wings on Hwy. 150, Hoover
Woodforest Bank inside Walmart 150 with 1st Donation
Station 5 - Bluff Park
Station 2 - Patton Chapel Road
Station 4 - Municipal Drive
|Hoover Fire Station 3 - Riverchase Parkway
Station 8 - Greystone
Station 6 - Edna Road
Station 9 - Greystone
The response has been tremendous.
The box at Robert's Discount Pharmacy filled
up very quickly and the first shipment to
our Adoptees went out on September 20th.
Although were were going to start with one
soldier, we found out that there were three
soldiers in my son's platoon that weren't
receiving anything, so we expanded the
program. Many of you also enclosed
personal messages with your contributions.
I'm sure this will mean a lot to the guys.
We also included a letter from all of the
people in Bluff Park.
|"Epp" at work in
We're asked when the program will
end. The answer is simple: when
they all come home. So be sure to
continue to put things in the collection
boxes. It doesn't have to be a lot.
Just one or two items. You'd be
surprised how collectively Bluff Park and
Hoover can make a huge difference in the
lives of these great soldiers. And
don't forget to drop in a dollar every once
in a while with your contribution. Our
first shipment consisted of four large
boxes, which cost us $50.00 for shipping.
We're hoping that the embedded
reporter in Iraq can cover the story on
their end. But if they can't we'll get
a report from my son.
helping out in this worthwhile cause and
pray for these heroes fighting for our
our Banner: The banner we are using on
the web site page shows the following logos
and emblems: The United States Army ;
A map of Hawaii, which is where our adopted
soldiers are based ; The 25th Infantry
Division "Tropic Lightning" ; 2nd Stryker
Brigade Combat Team (renamed 2nd Stryker
Brigade Advise and Assist Team by the
president's orders on Sept. 1, 2010); 1-14th
Infantry Battalion "Golden Dragons"; Alpha
Company "Reapers" (no emblem, but that's
The program can
expand to other companies (there's Bravo,
Charlie and Delta companies in the 1-14th
Infantry Battalion), other Brigades as well,
but for now will concentrate on these two
soldiers. We will post any remarks
from them on both this page and on the
We want to thank our Drop-Off Locations listed below. At this time, Robert's Discount Pharmacy is the only location with a bin.
All City of Hoover Fire Stations
Robert's Discount Pharmacy
Moonlight on the Mountain
Bluff Park Elementary School (Led by the BPES Student Council)
Alford Avenue Veterinary Hospital
Buffalo Wild Wings, Hwy. 150, Hoover
Woodforest Bank, inside Walmart Hwy. 150