VT-2 Employee Sends Books to Deployed Service Members

Published on April 22, 2013 with No Comments

A love for books and a desire to help service members deployed in distant locations successfully merged into an altruistic program for one Training Squadron TWO employee.  The “Books for Troops” endeavor collects and sends reading material to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines stationed abroad.

Beverly Wark, a Logistics and Statistical Clerk for Training Squadron TWO, started the local “Books for Troops” drive this past January.  Through a collaboration of PaperBackSwap.com and AnySolider.com, Wark established herself as a liaison between civilian and military reading enthusiasts.

“This just happened; it took hold of me,” she explained of the project.

An avid reader, Wark joined PaperBackSwap.com simply “because I love books,” she continued with a jovial laugh; “I live in a library at my house, I started (participating in PaperBackSwap.com) to downsize my collection and it’s only increased!”

The online exchange program affords thousands of members the opportunity to pursue their literary passion without cluttering their homes.  Participants mail in used books for credits which serve as currency to borrow different used books, they may even share or “buddy” their purchasing power to others.  One concerned “swap” member discovered via AnySolider.com that hundreds of troops are still isolated in camps with no access to base exchanges or libraries.  Soldiers post their needs on an online forum and, quite frequently, books top the list.

Immediately, individuals began expressing a desire to donate their books to such deployed troops but experienced extreme difficulty navigating the postal service’s APO system.  Wark expressed sympathy for busy people that dread standing in line at large post offices struggling to properly fill out a certificate of declaration for their packages.  She found a solution to this problem and readily employed her military savvy to turn good natured intent into action.

“Well, my husband does it for me…so no problem!”

Together, the Warks extend the reach of PaperBackSwap.com to our nation’s most valuable assets:  The troops around the globe.

Wark was inspired to start “Books for Troops” after discovering that a previous member of her church is now serving aboard USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN-74).  She identified with of the importance of care packages for the moral of our troops.

“They’re sitting out there on the water and don’t know when they’re coming back.  Using media mail, I can send them 100 books for only 18 dollars!”  Wark freely accepted this expense and adds her own personal touch by slipping a hand written note in each box.

Wark’s initiative has enabled concerned individuals to contribute in a multitude of ways.  She collects both hard and paper-back books in her office and utilizes her own book credits as well as donated “buddy credits” online to reach her goal of mailing out one, 70-pound box per month.  Since she started the program, Wark has sent 115 books to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan; 80 books to Forward Operating Base, Afghanistan; and 75 books to Camp Buehring, Kuwait.  Wark is passionate about the benefits a literary escape can provide soldiers in stressful environments.

“Sometimes when I have too much on my mind I pick up a book and get back to the issue later on.  They (soldiers) need a relief,” she said.

Interested parties may contact Beverly at 623-7567, Beverly.Wark@navy.mil , or pay her a visit in the Logs and Stats office of VT-2.


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