Holiday Gift Drive Benefits Soldiers

Monday, November 24, 2008

The University of West Georgia campus community has begun a holiday gift drive for its alumni and student soldiers and other personnel serving overseas. Using the U.S. postal service's Priority Mail Flat-Rate boxes at a discounted price, packages can be mailed to military personnel for as little as $9.80. 

“If it fits, it ships” is the motto that reminds senders that weight does not affect the price. UWG alum Major Margaret Weitzel of the U.S. Marines and UWG student Master Sargeant Mark Woelzlein of the U.S. Army have volunteered to receive the packages and distribute them to Combat Camera Teams in the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine units in Iraq.

In a letter written to a UWG professor, Woelzlein shared some of his experiences.

“I am at Victory Base, Baghdad, and have it better here than a lot of other soldiers spread around the other bases,” said Woelzlein. “I appreciate your thanks and ask that you and others remember why we are here.”

Contents can include inexpensive toiletries, non-perishable food items, batteries, books, disposable cameras and clothing. Anyone interested in sending a gift package can go to the Operation Military Pride website at  for a more detailed list of items that can be sent.

Boxes can be mailed at a military rate of $10.95 for a large size and a $9.80 rate for a small box or shirt box. To guarantee delivery in time for the holidays, packages should be shipped by December 4. The priority mailings can be sent overseas throughout the year to service men and women.

Boxes are available at all post office locations and can be sent to Major Weitzel, 1st MLG G-4, Unit 42175, FPO AP 96426; and MSG Mark Woelzlein, Joint Combat Camera, MNC-I (CARTV) G1, APO AE 09342-1400.

For more information, call Jeff Rooks at 770-328-4768.