A soldier's stocking hangs beside two M-16 rifles in the S1 office (Administration/Personnel) of the 1st Battalion Fifth Infantry Regiment of Task Force Arctic Wolves in Kandahar Province in Afghanistan on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2011. Photo by Cheryl Hatch

1st. Lt. Monica Holmes, from Lock Haven, Penn., keeps things festive for the soldiers in her office. She hung stockings for her seven colleagues on nails on a board that serves as a gun and coat rack…and now stocking display. Above the guns/stockings are nicknames for soldiers. 

Holmes received the stockings in a care package from students at Baker College, in Flint, Mich.

“They were really nice. They sent out five boxes. They looked out for the females. It was really helpful the things they sent.”

Holmes loved all the holiday decorations though she especially appreciated the “feminine items” the students at Baker College were thoughtful to send.

The soldiers of the 1st Battalion Fifth Infantry Regiment decorated the plywood walls of their office with handmade Christmas cards they’d received. Photo by Cheryl Hatch

Care packages and cards come from all over the United States, from Cub Scouts and Girls Scouts, from college students and school children, from grandparents, homemakers and veterans.

Here’s a sampling of a couple of the cards hanging on the wall in the photograph above.
One package and card from
Tiger Cub Scouts, Franktown, Co.
May Markeley, 4220 Jason St., Denver, CO 80211
Anotther note:
This holiday finds us thinking about our soldiers who are serving so far from home and family. We hope it helps in some small way to know that we care about you. Take care & be safe!