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thedrifter
02-14-07, 09:27 AM
02/14/2007
Carlton Lakes grandmother sends packages to troops
By Tom Middlemiss

When it comes to being patriotic and supporting our troops in the War on Terror, it would be hard to match the enthusiasm of Patricia Rogge, a grandmother dedicated to letting our men and women fighting overseas know we care.

By organizing a gift campaign this past Christmas in the North Naples community of Carlton Lakes, she managed to send thirty packages filled with goodies, donated by her neighbors, to the troops in Iraq. Thrilled by the response of the community and letters of appreciation from those in uniform, she is now organizing another gift package campaign for Valentine's Day.
When asked why she does this, she smiles and says, "Because we should," and added, "I had a lot of benefits in my life and I want to give back."

And give back she does. Picking up Priority Mail Boxes at the Post Office, she hands them out to her neighbors at a Saturday morning coffee get-together at the clubhouse, requesting they fill them with cookies, razors, toothpaste etc., along with $8.10 for postage. Donors also include their name and address, along with a letter thanking the troops for their service. Rogge takes care of filling out the Customs forms and getting them to the Post Office.

Rogge received not only a thank-you from LCpl. Gary Hoff of the United States Marines, but a one-hour video about life in Iraq, showing him and his fellow Marines and what they do - minus the fighting part. In his letter to Rogge, the 24-year-old Marine wrote, "I can't tell you how much I appreciate all your kindness, and I will never forget the thought you have put in me."

Rogge wants to have the one-hour video edited to 12 minutes, so she could show it to school children and help them to appreciate what our men and women in the Armed Forces are doing for our country.

Ellie