When I was in High School, I had the opportunity as a member of AFJROTC to accompany the Air Force in their yearly humanitarian Christmas Drop to the remote islands of Micronesia. We flew on C-5 aircraft over the Western Pacific to many small islands and dropped crates and boxes of donated items from the air via parachutes to the islanders below. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.
I recently read on the Pacific Daily News online (guampdn.com) that the annual drop this year scheduled for December 13th is the largest one ever.
The generosity by both the Air Force and local community has been overwhelming despite the poor economy. Thousands of dollars worth of donated clothing, toys, canned food, tools, fishing equipment, and medical supplies totaling about 46,500 lbs will be distributed to about 68 isolated islands.
The Christmas Drop started back in 1952 when islanders on the small island of Kapingamarangi waved at a passing plane and crew members dropped some goods to them.
Islanders have expressed appreciation especially for the medical and fishing supplies which have assisted them with their livelihood throughout the years.
So as the C-130 aircraft take off from Andersen Air Force Base on Guam, to begin this year’s Christmas drop, I am reminded of how joint efforts between the military and the local community in such a cause like this one builds peace and brotherhood.
There is much we can learn from such cooperation and goodwill.