Air Force Association Care Parcel Program
The Victorian Division of the Air Force Association has been running the care Parcel Program for several years now on behalf of the national Air Force Association, assembling and dispatching hundreds of care parcels for deployed Air Force personnel in the Middle East and elsewhere.
The Care Parcel Program involves two shipments in June and December each year. The number of care parcels varies according to the number of deployed personnel. In 2016, approximately 300 care parcels were dispatched, while in 2017, just over 1000 parcels in total were shipped.
The coordinator of the Care Parcel Program, John McCrystal said, “Air Force personnel have a proud history of meeting operational demands overseas and the Association is immensely proud of our deployed members’ commitment and professionalism. We see the Care Parcels as an expression of support and pride in their endeavours.”
The parcels weigh approximately 1kg and include a range of personal and confectionery items catering for both men and women. TimTams and Minties are big hits with our deployed personnel.
Volunteer and former RAAF Wing Commander Bob Brackin served in Vietnam. “Care parcels are as much about our deployed personnel’s well-being as anything else. They are like a ‘touch of home’ and remind our serving members that people are thinking of them.”
And it seems that our deployed personnel certainly appreciate the little reminders of home:
"I just wanted to let you know that I finally received the care packages on last night's flight. They were very much appreciated and enjoyed by all. Feedback on the care packages was that the mix and selection of Australian confectionery, magazines and toiletries were spot on. Most people liked the additional touch of the Air Force Association USB. Australia's ongoing support for the service men and women of the RAAF, particularly on operational deployments, is extremely touching and commendable. Please pass on my sincere thanks to the Air Force Association for their care packages." - FLTLT (female), Baghdad.
"I have just received a RAAFA Care Package that was distributed via a deployed member. I wanted to thank you & the Association for these packages as they are always greatly appreciated. As you will be aware, the RSL also distribute Care Packages via deployed HQ's. As I have found on my deployments, these care packages often do not reach deployed personnel that are located at a Forward Operating Base. Hence the RAAFA method for distributing the packages should hopefully see a fairer distribution of care packages. Once again, RAAFA support is very much appreciated." - SQNLDR (male), Afghanistan.
"From all of us here at Train, Advise, Assist Command Air over in Kabul, Afghanistan we would just like to say thank you for the care packages we received. They were a welcome surprise and it is great to know that we have the support from the RAAF Association back home and that we are being thought of over here. I've attached a photo of the team here to let you know who we are." - FLGOFF (female), Afghanistan.
"Thank you so much for the lovely gesture in sending me a care package. Everyone in my office received a package today from their families and if it wasn't for your package, I would have been the only person to miss out. My parents are a bit older so it is not as easy for them to get to the post office. I am really going to enjoy the M&Ms and Tim Tams and the anti-perspirant will come in handy as I am running out. (You made my day)." - SQNLDR (female), Middle East Region.