Guillory is asking for donations of long, warm socks, particularly wool hunting socks, baby and foot powder, baby wipes and bars of soap (not detergent).
Guillory’s mother, Stephanie Guillory, has been working to arrange the collection, and can be contacted at 457-4964 for more information.
Donations can be brought to the Eunice Chamber of Commerce office on C.C. Duson.
Cash donations to cover the shipping costs would also be greatly appreciated Guillory’s mother said.
Stephanie Guillory said that her son’s men have to walk through canals used to collect water, and that has taken a toll on their footwear.
Guillory’s mother explained the idea behind the ‘sock drive: “He (Captain Guillory) said his men have to walk in these canals, and they get wet feet and they stay wet. They’ve only been there since October, but their boots are already in bad shape, their feet are in bad shape, and so this is for his men,” she said.
Guillory is serving with the Second Battalion, 1st Marines in the Garmsir District of Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Guillory and other officers are quartered in an abandoned school building with no heat or hot water, the troops under their command are quartered in pup tents.
For Thanksgiving, Guillory’s mother said, the Marines were sent turkey, but had no electricity or oven to cook it with.
“So there’s my Cajun boy teaching them how to barbeque turkey,” she said.
Guillory’s mother said her son, who served three tours of duty in Iraq, is concerned about the state of morale amongst his men.
“This is a bad time of year for them, and he’s really worried about his men,” Guillory’s mother said.
Guillory is also asking for letters from home to pass along to the soldiers. His mother said she has contacted many of the schools to ask their students to write letters, but said her son is also looking for letters from adults to pass along.
“A lettter can do a whole lot to boost the morale of the men,” his mother said.
Stephanie Guillory said the Marines have adopted several cats, many of them feral, because mice have become “a huge problem”, and that the feline companions have helped boost the troops’ spirits.
Guillory is a 1999 graduate of Eunice High School, and a 2003 graduate of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
Guillory’s mother said that the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 changed her son’s life.
“He was a senior at ULL when Sept. 11 happened, and it changed everything that was planned,” Guillory’s mother said. “He felt like this was his call to serve his country.”
Guillory signed up to join the U.S. Marine Corps shortly after his college graduation, and re-enlisted after his first four years.
In addition to three tours of duty in Iraq, Guillory served a year at the Pentagon before being sent to Officer Training School.
Guillory’s unit is based out of Pendleton, Calif., and his current tour ends May 2011.
Guillory is married to the former Heather Nelson of Eunice.
Letters and supplies can also be sent directly to Guillory, by mailing to the following address: Captain P.L. Guillory, 2/1 H S Co. Unit 40190, FPO AP 96427-0190.