Merrill woman gives gift of reading to troops in the Middle East - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Merrill woman gives gift of reading to troops in the Middle East

MERRILL (WAOW)-- She's a book-lover at heart and a librarian by trade, but Deborah Tidwell is a military mother first and foremost.

She said, "I've realized with my son's deployment how important it is that the young men and the young women feel loved and supported by those here back home."

Tidwell's son, Aaron, 23, is stationed in Afghanistan with the love of reading his mother instilled going strong. When he asked for books to pass free time in the war torn country his mother, of course, said yes.

"For young men and women deployed overseas right now-that's a way that they can relax from the environment that they're in because a lot of them are in really hostile and dangerous environments," said Tidwell.

Packing up box after box of paperback books and magazines hasn't stopped since Aaron first asked. In fact, the request opened a chapter Tidwell calls the Warrior Book Project with books collected in the community getting shipped to military units across the Middle East.

"I've sent over 1000 paperback books and magazines so far with the project, and currently I'm sending books to 7 deployments that includes the Marine Corps, Army, Navy, and I'm getting new requests from units almost every week," Tidwell said.

From Afghanistan to ships on duty in the Arabian sea, Tidwell knows she's making a difference.

"It means so much to these young men and women," she said.

She's making a difference for those who make an incredible difference to our country.

"You can imagine some of the places that they are right now. It's a touch of home."


Drop off locations: Upper Iowa University on the NTC Campus, Wausau

T.B. Scott Library, Merrill

U.S. Marine Corps Recruiting Office, Wausau

Donations for Postage: Upper Iowa University

For more information on the Warrior Book Project: (715) 218-6150

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