Woman sends holiday cheer to Afghanistan

Friday, November 16, 2012
Lynn A. Wade/Daily Mail Kenya Storm has already prepared some of the packages destined for soldiers in Afghanistan. Her son, Jacob Faibian, was deployed there in September and is expected to return in June. She hopes the packages will arrive in time for Christmas.

By Lynn A. Wade

Nevada Daily Mail

"That's my son," said Kenya Storm, gesturing proudly toward the photo prominently displayed on the counter at her local business, Body Works spa in Nevada. A young man with a somber expression, clad in a U.S. Army uniform, looks out of the photo with a seeming maturity beyond his years.

Jacob Faibian enlisted in the Army while he was still in high school, and went to basic training in June 2011. In September 2012, he was deployed to Afghanistan, where he'll be spending Christmas as part of the 9-month assignment.

Faibian's assigned to the First Sustainment Brigade, Private Security Patrol, with a mission of protecting VIPs in the area.

Storm said that although her son's now a man, "As a mother, I feel like it's my duty to protect my child. Where he is, I can't protect him. What I can do is maybe try to protect their morale," so she decided to send his unit of 28 soldiers Christmas packages.

Friends said they're touched by her effort, but Storm says it's just something she thinks any mother in her situation would do.

"I'm very proud of Jacob. I'm praying for him to come home," she said. She subscribes to a newspaper that's produced in Afghanistan, and said, "There's not a week that goes by that a soldier isn't killed over there."

Nevertheless, she appreciates the fact that he's in a location at which there's Internet access, so she can view Facebook posts regularly and maintain communication through e-mail. "I really feel for the mothers who can't do that. The ones who are in the outlying areas don't have the Internet," she said.

Her heartfelt gesture has grown into an effort of many, who've helped to fill boxes with things like beef sticks, cheese, books, movies, flavor packets for bottle water and other items. Students from Northeast Vernon County schools wrote letters for each soldier and even sent things like construction paper and colored pencils, which they thought the soldiers might appreciate.

"I read some of the letters," the children had written; and they brought tears to her eyes.

Hickory Farms donated some food items and other items or services were donated by Dr. Paul Wood, Donna Lutes, Total Image Head to Toe Salon, Cavener's Library and Office Supply, State Beauty Supply, Janet Halterman, Jen Sturdy, Shirley Charles, the Hustler 4-H Club, and a gentleman Storm knows only as "Smitty." Local businesses like Cubbages Country Market and Gifts, Cherry's and VFW Post 2175 made room for donation jars. The money's used to offset the cost of some of the purchases and the estimated $200 in postage.

Storm is still accepting donations, which must be received by Nov. 28, since she plans to mail them on Nov. 30. For more information, call Storm at (417) 667-3529.

She hopes the packages brighten the holiday for the 28 soldiers in the brigade, and that after the holiday's over, that "people will still remember to pray for our soldiers that are over there."

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