Mother of local soldier collecting mugs for troops overseas

By Merja H. Lehtinen - ReminderNews
Enfield - posted Wed., Sep. 28, 2011
Jeanie Beresford is collecting mugs and other items for soldiers, to help bring them a bit of comfort from home. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

When her son Jesse mentioned he was facing a challenge finding coffee and suitable mugs for his fellow U.S. troops in a remote part of Afghanistan, Jeanie Beresford could not understand why anyone would even want to drink coffee in 100-degree heat or more. “I am not a coffee person, but now I get it,” she said.

A desert or mountainous region often has temperature extremes, she explained, with nights that can be cold. The American troops still want to wake up and smell their coffee for a little touch of normalcy while serving their nation so far from home.

Beresford’s son, a captain who is serving his second tour in a remote section of Afghanistan, went about innovative ways to procure coffee for his troops. He traded with Marines for the coffee itself as his troops were too distant from a PX, but only by calling home did he find a sure way to procure coffee mugs. His mother is calling on community members to drop off mugs at her work place in Enfield, so she can send them to the troops overseas. Donors can fill the mugs with nondairy creamer packets, sugar packets, or anything non-perishable, including wrapped jerky or candy.

Jeanie Beresford is on her own mission to find mugs for her son and other troops that will help make their time in a war zone a little more pleasant. The call is out for the communities surrounding Enfield and anyone else who wants to donate a mug. There are already camouflaged versions available at Army Navy stores, and business class versions are available locally at just about any pharmacy or supply store. The mugs should be made of non-breakable materials.

As a captain, Beresford’s son is responsible for achieving missions, maintaining morale, and assuring safety. He opens his packages from home and shares whatever he receives with the men and women serving with him. “He said not to send him anything personal, as he feels he has to share it all,” said Beresford. “Go ahead, fill [the mugs] with personal notes, postage, candy, jerky, other non-perishables, packets of sugar, nondairy creamer,” said Beresford. Donations can be dropped off where Beresford works, Trend 2000 at 171 Elm St., in Enfield. Call 860-416-3692 for more information.

Although she hopes this will be an ongoing project, Jeanie Beresford plans to ship boxes of these special donated mugs around the 15th of every month, in order to get them out as soon as she fills a box. Additional donations of postage, shipping boxes and fillers are welcome, as well. Although friends and family ship within the states and the armed services forward all packages into the field, there is still a cost associated with getting it to the depot that forwards packages abroad.

Beresford's son, Jesse, who grew up in Suffield, is expected home in March 2012. The captain has a brand new niece who recently arrived and three sisters, as well as the rest of his family anxious to welcome him home.

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