Auxiliary member honored for supporting troops

By on February 4, 2019
Pictured (l-r): Tammy Darnell, Sgt. Major Gary Darnell, Barbara Marhatta, Sgt. First Class Wayne Bush, Josie Bush and Monroe County American Legion Auxiliary President Vicki Lennox.

Pictured (l-r): Tammy Darnell, Sgt. Major Gary Darnell, Barbara Marhatta, Sgt. First Class Wayne Bush, Josie Bush and Monroe County American Legion Auxiliary President Vicki Lennox.

On January 10, Barbara Marhatta, an American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) member of Ferris Goodridge Unit #330 in Spencerport, was honored with a surprise presentation for all of her endeavors to send care packages to overseas military personnel.

Sergeant Major (SGM) Gary Darnell of the New York Army National Guard (NYARNG) unit attached to the 10th Mountain Division of Fort Drum recently returned from Afghanistan and Iraq. While in Baghdad, Iraq, he helped supervise operations of the base headquarters located across from the U.S. Embassy. U.S. military troops and civilian contractors, as well as military personnel from twenty-seven other countries passed through this facility. Always available were the various gifts — donations of toiletries, first aid items, brain teasers, non-perishable snacks, etc. — from the many packages Marhatta sent regularly. So, SGM Darnell turned the tables and presented her with a special surprise gift.

The large wrapped package included a wooden shadow box case displaying an American flag that had flown over the U.S. Embassy in recognition of Marhatta’s continuous contributions to the welfare of the troops. There was also a certificate ascertaining its authenticity. Also present was Sergeant First Class (SFC) Wayne Bush, who is also a current member of the NYARNG. SFC Bush has worked with Marhatta for approximately thirteen years acquiring mailing addresses of deployed service members. SFC Bush is a current member of Chili American Legion.

Marhatta, who has carried on these works of kindness for over twenty-eight years, says that she will continue to send “smiles across the miles” for the military troops and she recognizes the assistance of many in our region who support this project.

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