Soldier in Kuwait gives to those in need
Story by Staff Sgt. Reginald Wright 4th SB Public Affairs Office
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait — When you come right down to it, no one looks forward to the Holidays more than kids do, and the joy in their eyes melts even the most jaded of hearts. This is the season for giving of your heart, your time and energy to someone in need. From toys to clothing, here are a few ways you can help Santa pack his sleigh.
Every year the Hunter family finds new and creative ways to volunteer and give back to the community during the holiday season.
“You’d be surprised how much you gain from giving your time and energy to others … by giving you also receive,” said Diana Hunter, wife of Warrant Officer Robert K. Hunter, Signals System Support Technician, 4th Sustainment Brigade.
Robert, who started his second deployment in March, 2008, usually spent the holidays with his family, donating time and goods to families in need.
“We weren’t going to let our separation from each other be an excuse not to volunteer this holiday season,” Robert said.
During his 16 month deployment to Iraq in 2006, Robert wasn’t able to spend the holidays with his family.
“Last time he was deployed he missed our seasonal volunteering,” Diana said. “I really think it’s an important family tradition for all of us.”
While on his second deployment to Kuwait, Robert identified local workers in need of assistance. These employees came to Kuwait on work visas, and often stay for many years living under meager conditions.
“When I talked to some of these workers I found out they had families with small children just like me, but couldn’t provide some of the basic necessities for their families back in their home countries,” Robert said.
He said these workers come from various parts of the world: the Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Egypt, among others.
They moved to Kuwait searching for employment to benefit their families in their home country. In most cases these workers send their money home to support their families, while others travel to Kuwait with their family.
“This is where I saw a need and a way I could help during this season of giving,” Robert said. “I talked with my wife, and we agreed when I came home to Texas on [leave], I would bring back bags of clothing and toys for local workers.”
They made it a family event; all of the children donated clothing and toys. Robert packed his duffel bags to full capacity and traveled back to Kuwait.
“Some times in the hustle and bustle of our lives we don’t realize how lucky we are,” Robert said. “These deployments have made me realize how fortunate we are to be Americans.
“I realize we are blessed and should be a blessing to others. I encourage all Soldiers to find ways to help someone during this holiday season.”
Warrant Officer Robert K. Hunter with third country national workers, and toys and clothing he and his Family members donated to them.