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385 ORPHANS PRESENTED CLOTHING BY SOLDIERS from the Southern Cross for April 17, 1970

Electronic copy of article provided by Leslie Hines

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By SP4 Mark Geiser

FSB 4-11 — A gift of 500 pounds of clothing from a Division soldier has brightened the lives of 385 orphans in Quang Ngai City.

The gifts were the result of an idea of SP4 Kelly Drabus (Harvey, N.D.) a supply clerk with the 3d Bn., 1st Inf., 11th Inf. Bde.

SP4 Drabus wrote to civic organizations in his home town describing the orphanage's need for clothing and they responded generously. Boy Scouts from the soldier's hometown collected the clothes through a door to door program. The wives of the Jaycees packaged the clothes and collected the money for the postage.

When the clothes arrived Drabus accompanied by 1LT David Smith, (Mesa, Arz.) 3d Bn., 1st Inf. civil affairs officer, and interpreter SSG Nguyen Ly made the trip to the orphanage. Children of all ages met the trio as they climbed from the two gift-laden jeeps. They helped the men as they carried the 31 packages to the courtyard, encircled by the buildings which house the orphans. After the children had gathered, the packages were opened.

The bright eyes and smiling faces of the children were outward signs of what the clothing meant to them. Many walked around modeling the brightly colored dresses or pairs of blue jeans.

When asked what his main reason was for seeking the clothing, Drabus responded, "I had always wanted to help the children out in some way. It is my way of making life a little better for orphans."

According to 1LT Smith, "Our battalion has been very close to the orphanage since we began working in the area. We are able to give them almost 80 per cent of the support they require. The orphanage is also helping us out."

Sister Martha, who oversees the Catholic orphanage, stated, "These gifts and those which you have given before are greatly appreciated. Your help makes caring for the orphans much easier."

(11th Bde. IO)

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The copy of this issue of the Southern Cross was a personal purchase from Carlisle Barracks Military History Institute by Leslie Hines. Sections that could be scanned were OCR scanned by Jay Roth.

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