Comforts of home bring joy to troops
"The cake that 80-year-old Anne Dunning baked for her youngest son Steve's birthday yesterday was the first present she had ever mailed to the Persian Gulf.
But it was certainly not the first care package that she has sent to a loved one in uniform.
The Adelaide grandmother's husband, Jim, served in World War II and her eldest son was in Vietnam. Her youngest, Steve, is now part of the 2000-strong Australian contingent preparing for an attack on Iraq.
The Navy Reserve commander opened his mum's package at the Camp As Sayliyah base in Qatar yesterday to find the tinned cake, a jar of Vegemite, some toothpaste and a few sweets.
"She's fantastic," the 51-year-old said.
Even in an age of e-mail and long-distance telephone calls, for soldiers away from home nothing compares with receiving a letter or parcel from loved ones.
An astonishing quantity of letters and parcels is being sent to the Australian troops in the Middle East. A large proportion of them contains food.
"I like to get a bag of (jelly) snakes, some redskins and Tim Tams. It just reminds you of home," one unnamed soldier said."