“Operation PJ’s helping bring comfort to soldiersBy Roslyn Ryan Editor
He might not be the first person you’d peg to be jumping up and down at the sight of a clothing sale, but Andrew Seamons, Jr. was having a hard time containing his excitement last Friday as he proudly showed off the bargains he had just snagged at an Old Navy store in Chesterfield.
Seamons’ booty consisted of armloads of pajama tops and bottoms, may drastically marked down in the post holday rush to clean out the stockrooms. His excitement, however, had little to do with saving a few dollars.
In November of 2007, Seamons initiated “PJs for Soldiers” to benefit troops wounded while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The recently purchased pajamas Seamons had in his home Friday will soon be on their way to the US Army Combat Hospital in Baghadad. There, wounded soldiers who would normally have little more than the standard issue, open-backed hospital gown to wear, will be provided a measure of comfort and perhaps even a small reminder of home as they begin the recovery process.
Seamons, a member of Powhatan VFW Post 10570 and American Legion Post 201, first got the idea for the pajama project while talking to his nephew, CW4 Herman Murray, who is currently stationed in Baghdad.
“It’s something they need, because when they come to the hospital, and then when they are transported some where else, the open-backed gown just doesn’t cut it,” said Seamons.
“It’s also really a big moral boost when they get something that doesn’t have an open back…and it gives them warmth.”
To date, Seamons has sent 10 boxes of pajamas, which included 305 tops and bottoms. He has also sent out letters and made visits to area businesses seeking financial support for the project.
“My uncle and aunt along with the other local supporters from the Powhatan area are doing two things,” said Murray, via e-mail last week.
“One is they are immediately encouraging a wounded soldier by them having warm pajamas to put on, and two, the soldier is encouraged knowing that folks back home are supporting them.”
The Landstuhl Hospital Care Project volunteers drove to Richmond to help Mr. Seamon repack and ship the many pajamas and scrubs that were donated by Owens & Minor Volunteer Council, Owens & Minor Corporate Office, Tri Club Woman’s Club, Dale Dotson and many other individuals and volunteer groups in the Richmond, Virginia area.