January 11, 2021
PRESS RELEASE – Military care packages making their way to deployed Navajo US Armed Forces members
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Last week, the Office of the Speaker began mailing out military care packages to deployed members of the US Armed Services with assistance from Navajo Nation tribal enterprises and partners. Over 80 care packages containing a variety of essential items and other goods were sent to Navajos serving across Europe, the Pacific Ocean, Asia and aboard US Naval vessels as a token of appreciation from the Navajo Nation during the holidays.
“On behalf of the Navajo Nation Council, the Speaker’s Office is honored to continue this effort to show our US Armed Forces members how much we appreciate them,” said Speaker Seth Damon (Bááhaalí, Chichiltah, Manuelito, Red Rock, Rock Springs, Tséyatoh). “Many relatives and friends responded to the call we put out for names and addresses of their loved ones. We’re happy to say that with help from our enterprises and partners, every name we received will be receiving a care package. We hope our Navajo soldiers feel a bit closer to home during this tough time. Thank you to all our service members!”
The care packages contain approximately 75 donated items including powdered drink mixes, personal hygiene kits, reading and writing materials, playing cards, face masks, beanies, and prepackaged snack foods such as Cracker Jacks, vienna sausage and chewing gum. Additionally, each package contained a thank you note and a Legislative Branch holiday card from Speaker Damon expressing support.
Enterprises contributing to the care packages include: the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, Navajo Transitional Energy Company, Navajo Shopping Centers Inc., Navajo Nation Oil and Gas Company, CKP Insurance, Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprise and the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise. Coordination for the donated items was provided by the Office of the Speaker.
Throughout December, Office of the Speaker staff collected names of deployed Navajos serving in four military branches through social media, newspaper, chapter veterans organizations and other outlets. Submissions included the service member’s chapter affiliation, rank, name, and address which were then sent via the Window Rock USPS office on behalf of the Office of the Speaker.
Speaker Damon also thanked USPS staff, “We appreciate the Window Rock USPS staff for assisting us in this effort. Customs forms for dozens of care packages destined for overseas were not easy to complete, but the process could not have taken place without the essential work of our postal workers. Ahéhee’!”
The packages were sent all over the globe to Army Post Office and Fleet Post Office locations in more than 20 countries and 8 different active Naval vessels. Care packages were also sent to some service members living at military bases stateside who could not return home due to coronavirus (Covid-19) travel restrictions.
With nearly four times as many care packages as 2019, the Office of the Speaker and Speaker Seth Damon hope more families will participate in the years to come.
Military holiday care packages sent by the Office of the Speaker were supported entirely with donated items and are separate from the Navajo Nation CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) Fund care packages approved for Navajo families by the Navajo Nation Council under Resolution No. CJN-47-20 and distributed by the Executive Branch.