Mom Sends Troops Boxes 'Packed With Pride'

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2007 - When Becky Mizener sends a care package to one of the more than 1,000 servicemembers on her list, they can be sure that it's "packed with pride."

Mizener's soldier son, Jesse, was killed Jan. 7, 2004, just outside of Baghdad. Before his death, he regularly received care packages from his mom. After a while, he asked her to send them to some of his buddies. Soon, she was shipping to 17 soldiers in her son's unit and the whole platoon on holidays.

When Jesse was killed, Mizener realized she couldn't stop supporting the soldiers who'd grown accustomed to her boxes of goodies, she said. And "Packed with Pride" was born.

"Packed with Pride got its name because I pack each box with the pride of a soldier's mom," Mizener said.

Packed with Pride is a member of America Support You, a Defense Department program connecting corporations and citizens with members of the military and their families at home and abroad.

"After we lost Jesse, I felt I had to do something to continue to show our support for our troops," Mizener said. "I wanted the world to know how proud we were of him and all those who serve this country."

To do that, the group aims to ship one box to each servicemember on its list each month, she said. "Our goal is simply to make their deployment a little easier," Mizener said. "We try to get them items they don't have available or items that remind them of home, for example calendars and post cards, letters and snacks they can't get overseas."

Thanks to the group's America Supports You membership, Packed with Pride's list of troops requesting care packages continues to grow.

"We were invited to meet with the president at the White House, which in itself was an amazing adventure," Mizener said, adding that the opportunity to speak to the media afterward paid great dividends. "We were interviewed by the (Pentagon Channel), which made a commercial for Packed with Pride. From that, we're still getting new names for our list."

[Web Version:]