Operation Hamantaschen: Why it means so much to the soldiers

by | Feb 22, 2016 | What’s Happening

Sunday, March 6, 11 am–2 pm, Sandler Family Campus

Being deployed overseas presents a soldier or sailor with difficult situations, no matter their location. In addition to being separated from family, they’re stripped of all normal creature comforts, living on mostly bare necessities.

Holiday observances are also very different—rarely having access to traditional fare.

Care packages, therefore, are somewhat of a lifeline for troops and sailors, connecting them to loved ones back home, and creating new connections to people who show support—some of whom they may never have met.

Having that love, support, and most of all the comfort that a care package represents is a buoy at sea, a beacon of hope.

From this Navy family’s experience, Jewish sailors are a small percentage of the population on an aircraft carrier. Depending on numbers and demand, a rabbi is occasionally flown out to lead services for major holidays, but other holidays tend to be observed in a more solitary manner. So, it is easy to imagine that hamantaschen for Purim aren’t usually on the galley’s menu. In fact, neither are latkes, and rarely even a challah.

My husband, Marvin, is currently deployed on the USS Harry S Truman, and is one of only a handful of Jewish sailors on the ship. Receiving a care package from Operation Hamantaschen will be a wonderful connection to the community that has loved and supported us through our years in Tidewater.

When he’s home, we celebrate full out, so he has many memories for when he’s overseas, but it’s never the same. To have even a little bit of home means more than words can express.

I haven’t told Marvin yet about the care package that will be on its way, so I’m excited to surprise him!

Everyone thanks service members, veterans, and their families for our service and sacrifices. But it is the love and support of our families and communities—and especially faith communities—back home that keeps us going. So thank you, as well, for your help and your unconditional love and support. You are what makes it all worth it.

To learn more about Operation Hamantaschen, visit JewishVA.org/OH.

by Lindsey Clements