Care Packages To Kandahar

It started at a Jets game. Staples High School sophomore Cole Devine sat with Michael Murphy, one of his father’s work colleagues.

Michael mentioned the birth of his upcoming child. He also talked about the Army Reserves — he’s a captain.

Not long after, he was deployed to Afghanistan.

Michael Murphy's platoon in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Michael Murphy’s platoon in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Cole had a cousin in the military, who’d been seriously injured by an IED. But — like most Westport teenagers — Cole had not thought a lot about America’s servicemen and women.

Michael’s story resonated, however. “He wanted to fight for our country. But it seemed like he was making such a huge sacrifice,” Cole says.

Cole decided to do something in return. With Christian Myers — a friend who also had a relative in the service — and Matthew Boehmer, they created Operation Care Package.

Cole asked his favorite teacher, Drew Coyne, to serve as advisor. The social studies instructor happily agreed.

On Tuesday, a couple of dozen Staples students met. They assembled packages — filled with books, magazines, blankets and snacks — to send to Michael’s platoon, and one other. They’ll reach Kandahar and Jalalabad in time for the holidays.

Operation Care Package club members. Cole Devine is seated in front.

Operation Care Package club members. Cole Devine is seated in front.

Funding came from club members themselves. They’ve also set up a GoFundMe page. The group will send more packages in the months ahead.

“At Staples, most kids don’t have this on their daily minds,” Cole says.

“But we live the way we do because of our military. They do so much. Giving back is very important.”


4 responses to “Care Packages To Kandahar

  1. Good for you Cole Devine…got that spirit from your folks I’m sure!

  2. The YMCA of Westport did that for the men I Vietnam Password Sent from my iPhone


  3. This is an outstanding effort by these Staples students. I just made a donation and hopefully many more will do so as well. Thanks Dan for sharing this. Thanks boys for making us proud of our Westport community

  4. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    Curious about America’s war poets, whether one is writing now.
    (I only know of one recent Canadian war poet, Suzanne Steele, who travelled to Afghanistan to listen to soldiers’ stories, transfer those stories into prose that puts the reader smack into the daily life.)