Saturday morning, I had the privilege of speaking to Petty Officer 3rd Class Brent Winnie, a Navy corpsman who grew up in Oro Valley. Winnie, a 2006 graduate of Canyon Del Oro High School, is making is hometown proud by serving in Afghanistan. But on June 30, he accomplished a truly remarkable task – triaging the casualties of a bus explosion caused when it ran over an improvised explosive device, or IED.
Overseeing the nonstop rotation of wounded civilians would prove challenging to any medical professional. But Winnie is just 22. And he saved many lives that day thanks to the medical training he received through the U.S. Navy since enlisting in 2006, the day after graduating from high school.
I spoke with Winnie by phone at his patrol base in Afghanistan. Like so many servicemen and women, he is humble and polite. When I asked him how we in the States could show our support for the work he and his peers are doing, he said, just shake a service member’s hand and say thank you. I asked him what he needed there at his small patrol base. He replied anything people wanted to send, but noted they could use baby wipes. Why? Because they don’t get to shower as often as they’d like, he replied.
And so I encourage you to pick up packages of baby wipes the next time you’re at the store. This small gesture will bring welcome relief and comfort to these brave men and women who are serving overseas. Don’t forget to also send some cards to let them know you care and are grateful for their service. Think about the person who reads them or uses the wipes as your son or daughter, niece or nephew, or grandchild, or the friend of someone you know.
I'm waiting for the approved address for his small outpost and will print it as soon as I receive it. In the meantime, you'll find a website where you can send packages, cards and donations to service members on this page.
— Wendy Miller