Being able to provide food, clothing and shelter is always high on a parent’s priority list. But when your son is 20-years old and stationed in a war area of Afghanistan, there doesn’t seem like there is a lot a mother can do to protect and provide for her son.
But when Mahomet native Jean Boston received a note from her son asking for “healthy food” to be sent to him, she couldn’t refuse.
“He’s my healthy boy; he likes to work out and be healthy,” Jean said. “I don’t think they serve the healthiest food on base, at least in the deployed areas.”
Her son Tim’s grocery list was $100 alone.
For a single mother only working part-time until she moves back to Milwaukee in a few weeks, the cost was significant. Then, on top of the cost for food, Jean also had to cover the $47 to mail the box to Afghanistan.
But this is the part of the story where she found light.
Jean was working with the clerk at the Mahomet Post Office to figure out the cheapest way to send the package. A man approached her, inquiring about the package and offered to pay the rest of the bill if Jean could pick up $20.
While the man ran to the bank, another man approached Jean, offering her $20 to help with the cost of the package. Then a woman gave her $20, too.
“I told her the box was already taken care of,” Jean said.
“But the woman insisted, saying, ‘No, you take it and do something else for you son.”
“By that time I was weeping because I was so taken back,” Jean said.
“I was just so touched that three people walking in; and in a time where I am tight with my money, they were willing to pay for the shipping for my son’s healthy food over to Afghanistan.”
“There’s so much going on in the world that it just ensures that there still are really good people out there. It’s nice to know that people do care.”
When Jean went into work later that afternoon, she saw and approached the woman who gave her the money. She wanted to convey how much the gift meant to her.
As Jean was talking to the woman, she heard, “Jeanie Ann” came from behind the woman. Jean’s recognized the woman as Mrs. Koberlein, who was Jean’s teacher during her time at Mahomet-Seymour High School.
As Jean learned that Mrs. Colberline was the mother of the woman who gave $20 at the post office, she also learned that the woman also served in the military.
“What a small world,” Jean said.
The gifts not only meant a lot to Jean, but also to her son. Jean said the men he works with are required to work 12-hour days, six days a week. And when they are not working, they are required to stay on the base.
Outside of his six-month stay in Afghanistan, Tim is stationed at the Air Force base in Italy where, in his time off, he enjoys traveling throughout Europe and touring the city in the evenings.
Jean said this is why sending a food package or cards is helpful to the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces.
“Those little tiny things mean the world to them,” she said. “When you think about it, when you take away everything that is comfortable in your life and you’re put out in a very hard place to be where you see devastation and hurt–those little things become big things.”
“We just have to remember them; they are the reason why we have our freedom here in this country. “
Tim will serve in Afghanistan until October. He will then return to Italy. Jean hopes to be able to visit him there before he returns home to visit in February.
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