Si Tenenberg has sent more than 23,000 care packages to military members deployed overseas in the past 15 years. Every email he receives from troops requesting items that they need, Tenenberg will do his best to fulfill. In this story that is Positively Central Coast, the former marine says it’s even more rewarding when there’s a local tie.
“Recently, my son got deployed,” said Juan Busby, a former marine living in Nipomo.
Busby has two sons; Anthony Vasquez, a former marine that was honorably discharged after four years, and Jonathan Busby, a gunnery sergeant and one of the leaders on a Marine Expedition Unit currently deployed overseas. Earlier this fall, Jonathan sent an email to someone with knowledge of Tenenberg’s Care Packages for Troops operation, and it happened to get forwarded to the right inbox.
“He’s a kid that’s always been looking out for others,” said Juan of Jonathan. “He’s the kind of individual that ensures that everyone on the team is treated equally, and also taken care of.”
“He pointed out that these 120 guys that are under him are going to be on that ship, on and off for about 8 months, and they need all sorts of things,” said Si Tenenberg.
Being the go-getter he is, Si and his volunteers got to work. A box per marine would be hard to tackle, so he came up with an idea to ensure every troop on the ship would get something from home.
“I decided I would pick out 13 sergeants that were on that list,” said Tenenberg. “Over the past six weeks, we have sent four boxes to each one or two sergeants. They could take them and line them up and have each guy take one or two items from the box.”
“The military has people from all walks of life; different backgrounds, you name it. Not everybody that joins the military has the support at home, the upbringing. When those that don’t, they need to know that we stand behind them, that we’re there for them, regardless of whether we know them,” said Busby.
“Us marines from way back feel that we have an obligation to take care of some of these new guys, to help them get through their long deployments where they’re away from home for eight months to a full year,” said Tenenberg.
Packages from home, regardless of the sender, mean the world to those deployed around the world.
“To get something from home sent to them, you can’t put a price on that,” said Busby.
“There’s still plenty of activity in other countries around the world to keep this mission going for another year or two,” said Tenenberg.
As of today, Jonathan’s ship has not received the packages, but Tenenberg says it usually takes between 8-10 weeks. If you would like to help Si and his mission of sending care packages to troops, click here for a link to his website.