Merrill Marine mom seeks donated books for warriors overseas

When Deborah Tidwell’s son, a U. S. Marine deployed to the Middle East, wrote to her and asked for something to read during his downtime, she saw an opportunity to support not only her son but his fellow Marines.
Deborah initiated the Warrior Book Project a couple of months ago to provide reading material for the troops. So far, she has been able to send 80 donated books to Marines stationed overseas. The books provide an escape from the stress of military duty, Deborah noted.
“There’s not much a mother can do when her son is deployed,” Deborah said. “I can’t protect him or keep him safe from the dangers he encounters over there, but I can provide some stress relief.”
Her son, Aaron Navarro’s unit is stationed on a ship. There’s no television and very sporadic internet access. The crew has a recreation room with bookshelves but few books.
A drop off location for donated books was initially established at Upper Iowa University in Wausau. Upper Iowa University has also offered to pay for shipping the books.
Deborah has also now received approval from the T. B. Scott Library Board to provide a Merrill drop-off location. A box at the T. B. Scott front desk will be available for the public to donate paperback books for the troops.
“We’ve had a lot of success in Wausau, and I wanted to open it up to Merrill too,” Deborah said.
Deborah, who works in circulation at T. B. Scott Library, said the Friends of the Library have been very supportive already. And now she wants to open up the opportunity to contribute to the public.
Deborah started sending books to her son’s unit. When a major from another Marine unit, stationed in Afghanistan, heard about the project, he contacted Deborah to see if his unit could also receive books. She is now hoping to provide books to Marines in both units.
The Marines would like specific types of books, as the majority are men. They are interested in science fiction, history, military-oriented, Western or adventure books. The books need to be paperbacks due to their size and weight for shipping purposes. They can be new or used, as long as they are in good condition.
For more information, contact Deborah at 715-218-6150.

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