Deployed Solano County soldier needs supplies
Apr 18, 2012 (The Reporter - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
An explosion at a U.S. Army base in Afghanistan hit close to home for one Solano family Sunday after it destroyed the barracks their 22-year-old son is living in while deployed.
Now, in an effort to help their son, Spc. Kyle Compton, and the nearly 60 other soldiers living in the barracks who lost everything but the clothes on their backs, Suisun City residents Brian and Kristine Compton are trying to gather as many supplies as possible to replace what was lost.
Along with Kyle's girlfriend Trisha Hall, friends and members of their church, Kyle's parents have been scrambling to send everything from basic hygiene products, such as soap, shampoo, tooth brushes and baby wipes -- which carry nearly the same value as platinum gold --
to blankets, pillows and towels overseas.
The soldiers are in need of everything from spray-on sunscreen and deodorant to hand sanitizer, Chapstick, nail clippers, tweezers, razors, shaving cream, loofahs, Q-tips, eye drops, cold medicines and feminine products for the four or five women in the unit. Things with a more personal touch, like letters or pictures -- especially from kids, Trisha noted -- are always treasured, as are snacks like trail mix, beef jerky, Skittles and gum. Beanies, gloves, olive drab socks to match their uniforms, tan boot laces and stationery are also in high demand.
Basically, Kristine said, everything you would need for an extended camping trip.
After leaving their base in Fort Carson, Colo., on March
10, Kyle, who serves as a combat engineer, and members of his unit found themselves under fire with the 4th Infantry Division two days later, according to his father, Brian, a California Highway Patrol officer of nearly 16 years. Since that time, fending off attacks has become a daily occurrence.
"When they landed the first morning, they were being mortared," he explained. "It's like four or five times a day that they are getting into firefights."
It was during one of these attacks on
Sunday that an explosion caused by a suicide bomber started a fire that spread to their barracks, engulfing their belongings in flames.
His current station in Afghanistan marks Kyle's second deployment during the three-and-a-half years he has spent in the Army after a prior stint in Iraq.
As parents, the Comptons admit having their son on the front lines has caused more than a few sleepless nights.
"This last time was a long weekend," Kristine said.
Her husband, who first heard about the attack online -- some time before they had any word from Kyle, agreed.
"When I'm sleeping, he's fighting," Brian said, noting the 11 1/2 hour time difference separating them.
Still, modern technology and especially Facebook have done a lot to help ease their minds.
"Even if we don't get to talk to him on the phone or on the Internet, just seeing his posts, that's all it takes to give us peace of mind that he's OK," Kristine said.
Still, some of the items lost, such as the flag of a fallen comrade given to Kyle by the soldier's mother, and other personal property, including letters and pictures, are irreplaceable, Kristine said.
"As a mom, I hate to see this happening; but, as a mom, I also like to see people coming together and doing what they can to help," she said.
The office of First Baptist Church, 1121 Clay St., Fairfield, is serving as a drop-off point for donations for the unit. Items may be dropped off Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Packages intended specifically for Kyle can be sent to:
SPC. Compton, Kyle E.
A CO, 4BSTB, 4BCT
APO AE 09310
According to Kristine, every little bit helps and no act is too small to improve morale and help "get them home."
"Blessings come out of bad things," she said. "And I'm hoping that this is such a blessing that it will carry them through."
Follow Staff Writer Catherine Bowen
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