Richmonders sent care packages to troops overseas. Days later, they were attacked by terrorists.

Local News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Middle East is not the only place in the world where U.S. service members face potential dangers each day. That’s why a group of volunteers and veterans in Richmond just sent care packages to a group of active-duty sailors and airmen serving in Africa.

But before the shipment of 10 boxes even arrived in eastern Africa, those volunteers are already gearing up to send more.

Over the weekend, the recipients in Kenya were victim to a deadly terrorist attack. A service member and two American contractors were killed.

“It made it reality that they truly are in harm’s way,” John Harler with the Richmond Council Navy League said.

The Richmond Council Navy League is a civilian group of volunteers and veterans helping to support active-duty military. This was the first shipment of supplies the Richmond-based group sent to the unit in Kenya.

But word has already spread that these troops were the ones at the center of an international headline over the weekend.

“I feel for them and I know what they’re going through,” Navy veteran David Field, of Midlothian, said.

Field served in the Navy nearly 50 years ago. He and a fellow veteran friend, Paul Heinrich of Powhatan, felt compelled to help the young service members now reeling from an attack.

They donated fishing supplies on Wednesday, hoping to give the service members something to do in their free time.

“We got a tackle box full of goodies,” he said.

Field said he remembers what it’s like being so far from home, serving along the same Indian Ocean.

“When we go to bed every night, they’re waking up and starting the day in a very difficult, dangerous environment,” Field said.

Even before the attack, the Richmond Council Navy League wanted to help.

“We know that they are standing watch while we are being protected,” added Harler.

President of the Richmond Council Navy League said the boxes won’t stop anytime soon. “We’re going to keep this going as long as we can,” Harvey Lankford said.

The Richmond Council Navy League told 8News they got an email this morning from the unit in Kenya. They said they’re pulling together as a team after the attack, but do ask for continued prayers.

If you’re interested in supporting another round of care packages, CLICK HERE.

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