IDEA MAKES WAIFS 500 LB. WARMER FROM THE PACIFIC STARS AND STRIPES FOR APRIL 11, 1970.
Electronic copy of article provided by Leslie Hines
FIRE SUPPORT BASE 4-11, Vietnam (Special) — A gift of 500 pounds of clothing from an Americal Div. soldier has brightened the lives of 385 orphans in Quang Ngai City.
The gifts were the result of an idea of Spec. 4 Kelly Drabus, a supply clerk with the 3d Bn., 1st Inf., 11th Brigade. He wrote to civic organizations in his home town of Harvey, N.D., describing the orphanage's need for clothing and they responded generously.
Boy Scouts in Harvey collected the clothes through a door to door program. The wives of Jaycees packaged the clothes and collected money for the postage.
When the clothes arrived, Drabus, accompanied by 1st Lt. David Smith, 3d Bn., 1st Inf. civil affairs officer, and interpreter S. Sgt Nguyen Ly made the trip to the orphanage.
Children of all ages met the trio as they climbed from the two gift-laden jeeps. They helped the men as they carried the 31 packages to the courtyard, encircled by the buildings which house the orphans. After the children had gathered, the packages were opened.
The bright eyes and smiling faces of the children were outward signs of what the clothing meant to them. Many walked around modeling the brightly colored dresses or blue jeans.
When asked what his main reason was for seeking the clothing, Drabus responded, "I had always wanted to help the children out in some way. It is my way of making life a little better for orphans."
According to Smith, "Our battalion has been very close to the orphanage since we began working in the area. We are able to give them almost 80 per cent of the support they require. The orphanage is also helping us out," he continued. "They make ammunition vests for us and launder our fatigues."
Ly added, "This is a way of showing us that they can help us, too."
Sister Martha, who moderates the Catholic orphanage, said, "These gifts and those which you have given before are greatly appreciated. Your help makes caring for the orphans much easier."