A marine corporal was at a military base overseas, just days away from deployment.  The weeks around the holidays are always the toughest time for guys to be out there. The ones with families miss them dearly, and the ones without are reminded often that they are without.  When a box arrived from the States just before Thanksgiving, the corporal was surprised.  He had never received anything from back home.  When he saw that it was from complete strangers, he was touched.

“It meant a lot,” he said.  “Although it may not seem like much, it means the world to us, especially those of us that do not have that strong supporting family back home.”

A group of more than 150 employees in AT&T’s “Partner Solutions” team took time out at a conference recently to put together more than 500 care packages for United States military personnel.  They included some handwritten notes of thanks, and what they received back was heartwarming.

“I was surprised to receive a response.  It’s an honor,” said AT&T Marketing Consultant Pete Rygiel.  “For them to take the time out to thank little old me?  The guy has enough to worry about out there, so it’s just really good to know that it was appreciated.”

Pete wasn’t alone.  More than 50 notes of thanks came back to the employees at AT&T just in time for the Christmas holiday.

AT&T Lead Channel Manager Robert Frazer provided the inspiration for the effort, as his son-in-law was part of the marine corps unit that received the packages.  “Obviously we weren’t expecting a ‘thank you’ in return,” Frazer said.  “These men and women have busy schedules, and for them to stop their duties and respond with notes of their own really made my day.”  Frazer hopes to turn the care packages into an annual tradition.