Operation Pocket Field Pillow (PFP)

“An epidemic of disconnection”

Posted on: March 15, 2011

I just couldn’t help it. I usually scan the Virginian Pilot’s editorial page and “other views” section. This morning I read a piece by a San Antonio journalist, Jonathan Gurwitz, that just made me mad. He writes about Bob Woodward’s statement that the “increasing distance between the small community of military personnel who are bearing the burden of war and American society in general is ‘an epidemic of disconnection.'”

Obviously, neither Jonathan nor Bob have ever been to my house on pick up/drop off day.

So, I emailed Mr. Gurwitz. Not something I normally would do.

“Many Americans have tired of even thinking about war and its consequences for the men and women who have volunteered to serve.”

Dear Mr. Gurwitz,

Please forgive the correction to your article in the Virginian Pilot on 3/15/11 (“The 1 percenters”): here in southeast Virginia, you won’t find your 1 percent. Not even 50%. Try all.

Out of all the folks that I’ve mentioned Operation Pocket Field Pillow to (pardon the grammar!), that’s how many have volunteered their time, money, or effort to support our troops. Yup — 100%.

Every single, last one. From the guys at the local VFW in Chesapeake, to the kids up in Yorktown, to the retired teachers in Portsmouth, to the folks at the UPS store, the sewing groups in Franklin and Suffolk, the folks up in Connecticut, Massachusetts and South Carolina. Every last one.

Volunteers with Operation PFP make pillows. We make alot of pillows. So far, we’ve shipped over 9,000 handmade pillows to U.S. combat troops in Afghanistan, and to our wounded troops treated at field aid stations, combat surgical hospitals and Landstuhl. And more folks step up nearly every day. Two U.S. mills donate fabric, and volunteers sew it into pillows.

Americans in southeast Virginia are tired, yes. We’re tired of seeing our newspaper print garbage, of being disgusted over the amount of print given to the latest egotistic actions of Hollywood starlets — we’re tired of not reading more about what our troops are doing. But, make no mistake, we will not tire in our support for our children.

Here in the little communities of southeast Virginia, you won’t find “an epidemic of disconnection.”

What you will find are men, women, and children who continue to doggedly support American troops nearly 8,000 miles away. They continue to cut fabric, sew and stuff pillows, and empty their wallets to help provide even the smallest bit of comfort to our soldiers.

So please — you can omit Americans up and down the east coast from your 1 percenters. We’re a whole lot more.


Carol Armstrong

Seriously, J.G. — if you’re referring to folks in south Texas, fine. But if you want to see Americans walking the walk, stop by for coffee anytime on Wednesdays. But be prepared to stuff a few pillows while you’re here.


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Operation PFP is made possible in part by my small business, Just For Baby Gifts, donations of ACU by the Carlisle Finishing Plant, fleece donated by Polartec, supplies donated by Brother International, and by the untold hours of work by hundreds of proud and grateful American volunteers.

...til they all come home
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