WESTBOROUGH – Thousands of miles away, a Westborough native is serving in the Army.
Emily Reilly is a captain in a field artillery unit currently in Poland and lives in a tent.
“As a mom, you’re always worried,” said Julie Reilly, Emily Reilly’s mother and a coach at the Midstrong personal training center on Lyman Street. “They really don’t have access to creature comforts like they have in the states.”
“They live spartanly, and they don’t get much of a chance to travel,” said Emily Reilly’s father, Paul Reilly, who founded Midstrong five years ago.
The Reillys decided to reach out to their daughter and her unit and ask “what do you miss?”
Once they received suggestions, the Reillys then reached out to their clients at Midstrong to help create care packages for the soldiers.
In all, 25 boxes were assembled with items such as Crocs, books, chips and “nice-smelling soaps,” said Julie.
These packages included notes written for each soldier – many from special education students in Hudson whose teacher is a client at Midstrong.
“Each box was addressed to individual soldiers,” said Julie. “They were geared to each soldier.”
The packages were sent via APO to Poland on Sept. 30, and they arrived about two weeks later, according to the Reillys.
A few weeks later, the Reillys received a letter from some of the soldiers thanking them for the packages. The letter is tacked onto the wall near the front entrance.
“The letter said you really boosted morale,” said Julie. “It’s a little box of home.”
The Reillys said they plan another package drive something this winter.
Emily, who graduated from Westborough High in 2018, is due to return to the United States next April.
“We’re extremely proud of her,” said Paul, who graduated from West Point in 1989 and is a Gulf War veteran.