Operation Courage is Beautiful, created by StyleSynch in conjunction with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3787 (a San Diego non-profit veterans’ organization) and the San Diego Armed Forces Armed Services YMCA, is a non-profit project which aims to “give a little joy and femininity” to servicewomen in Iraq and Afghanistan through care packages. The inspiration for Operation Courage is Beautiful was a Glamour article of the same name about women who served in Iraq.
As an Airman in the Air Force Reserves, I think that this is an excellent idea. This past drill weekend my unit took part in a wing-wide exercise. This exercise complemented the CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosives) training that some of us had in October. We spent the entire weekend locking down the building, taking turns guarding the building, wearing our chemical suits, and identifying UXOs (unexploded ordnance).
When the ordeal was over, my hairstyle was destroyed. I was really happy that I didn’t wear any foundation – just mascara and lip gloss. I definitely didn’t feel feminine, but at least I had my CoverGirl LashBlast Mascara, Stila Lip Glaze in Berry and my SuperGirl compact mirror in my BDUs! Even though it was just an exercise, I can imagine how women on deployment feel. Our BDUs are hardly feminine and sometimes they don’t fit well. Add a gas mask, helmet, flap jacket, a chemical suit, and boots and it’s really easy to forget that you are a woman first, Airman second.
StyleSynch’s goal is to ship 1000 care packages that contain a range of donated items that are specifically geared towards women who are deployed in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.
Since the holidays are coming up, you’ll want to make sure that the packages that you send are under 10 pounds. You’ll want to send travel-sized items of deep conditioner, leave-in conditioner, skin care products, shampoo, conditioners, hand sanitizers and feminine hygiene products.
Other items on servicewomen’s wish lists include flavored Chapstick, lip balm, lip gloss, eyeliner, mascara, facial masks, fashion/beauty magazines, romance and mystery novels, manicure/pedicure items, sunscreen/sunblock, and blank postcards/nice stationery.