Humidor’s Running Low for Operation: Cigars for Warriors
Heading out to the dock or the deck for a cigar this evening? Simple pleasures like kicking back with a smoke aren’t that simple for cigar lovers who are serving active duty for our country.
Often they can’t get their hands on good smokes. The base is out of any smokes. Or they’re waiting weeks for a care package from Operation: Cigars for Warriors (OP: CFW), the non-profit group that sends donated cigars to deployed military personnel.
Cigar smokers like you donate cigars and funds to fill up OP: CFW cigar care packages. Soren Nelson is one grateful recipient of those premium cigars. Here’s his story.
Soren Nelson, a Tech Sergeant currently stationed at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, Africa, has served in the Air Force for almost 15 years. During the first few years, TSgt Nelson personally experienced the stress of front-line deployments. He has served in many countries around the globe, including Germany, Afghanistan, Korea, Guam and Japan. Serving has been an adventure, TSgt Nelson said. But at times it’s also been stressful.
TSgt Nelson works in networking and tactical communications (AFSC 3D1X2 or Cyber Transport, to you military buffs). The job requires a tremendous amount of attention and focus.
While TSgt Nelson is forward deployed, he fills his down time catching up with buddies he’s serving with over cigars. It clears the head from his duties in tactical communications.
“You just gotta let loose when you can,” TSgt Nelson said.
Smoking buddies. (TSgt Nelson is in third from left.)
FAVORITE CIGAR FOR THIS TECH SERGEANT? ROCKY PATEL VINTAGE LINE
“But there are so many good ones [cigars],” TSgt Nelson said. (Agreed, sir. Don’t need to limit yourself on our account!)
RIGHT TIME, RIGHT PLACE
When stationed abroad, TSgt Nelson can purchase cigars, but sometimes buying cigars on base can be very difficult, he explained. “They do bring in decent cigars, but it’s only a few boxes total with only four or five different brands, and if you are not there when the truck delivery arrives, you may not get any at all.”
Imagine heading to your local smoke shop with your heart set on a nice RoMa Craft. Then the guy in front of you buys the last CroMagnon. (Or even worse, the shelves are bare.)
STRESSFUL JOB, DICEY LOCALE AND NO CIGARS! WHAT DO YOU DO?
“I learned about Cigars for Warriors from a friend—I was super excited about it and I went to their website and signed up,” TSgt Nelson said.
While registering, he discovered that OP: CFW would ship the donated cigars to his deployed location. Although he could request his favorite smokes, receiving a specific brand or type cigar isn’t guaranteed. All of the cigars are donated by cigar retailers and cigar lovers. So what OP:CFW has is what it sends to service members.
TSgt Nelson placed his request for cigars and hoped for the best. He was excited just anticipating the OP: CFW package. Finally, he was called down to pick up a package. Although he wasn’t expecting it to be his cigars, to his delight, it was.
Soon the word spread that he received a cigar care package from OP: CFW. Many of the men and women in his unit gathered around as he opened the box. They were as thrilled as he was! The tech sergeant opened the box and pulled out the bag. The cigars were packaged with care with Boveda. And every cigar was a top notch premium cigar.
BOVEDA IS STATIONED IN EVERY OP: CFW CARE PACKAGE
Boveda is a charter sponsor of OP: CFW. We donate Boveda 2-way humidity control to protect cigars while they are in transit to the service men and women. No matter how threatening the environment, Boveda adds and absorbs moisture to lock in a precise 69% RH that’s perfect for cigars.
“Every cigar in that bag has been a blessing,” he said. “To the men and women who have donated, God bless you. There are so many ways you can support the troops, and this is one of them. It’s so wonderful.”
TSgt Nelson wishes he could personally thank the cigar lovers who have donated. And let them know much the care packages from OP: CFW mean to him and the other people in his unit.
TECH SARGE NELSON THANKS YOU IN ADVANCE FOR THE SMOKE
Once he requests cigars, TSgt Nelson can expect to wait more than a month for an OP:CFW cigar care package! The more you donate, the shorter the wait. OP: CFW is a 501 (c) (3) charity, so your donation is tax deductible.
3 WAYS TO GIVE:
- Click here to immediately set up your monthly auto donation or give one time.
- Dip into your humidor for a few favorite sticks and send cigars directly to OP: CFW.
- Drop off cigars at any of 200 OP: CFW’s donation sites. Many are in smoke shops, where you can also buy a box and leave it there.
WOULD YOU DENY THEM A SMOKE?
Smoking cigars together builds comradery and bridges differences. With help from Boveda and its customers, OP: CFW has shipped more than 877,000 cigars to deployed military personnel. Please donate.
THANK YOU, BOVEDA CIGAR NATION!
Boveda also thanks OP: CFW’s Nathan Deily, Jamie Lemon, Abigail Willcox, R.J. Witcher & Carrie Collins-Fadell for contributing to this post.