Beaufort organization helps soldiers sleep better by donating pillows

BEAUFORT, SC (WCSC) - Troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are sleeping a little easier thanks to a Beaufort woman's Pillows for Patriots program.

"The first (tour) I slept on a cot for nine months," Capt. Justin Daubert said. "The second (tour) was a mattress on wood."

Daubert is a commander in the Army who has been deployed three times, to Afghanistan and Iraq, combat situations where a good night's sleep is crucial.

His mother, Barb Ferrior, started the non-profit group Pillows for Patriots, which sends pillows overseas to soldiers.

"I'd say rest is important wherever you are especially (over) there," Daubert said.

While the government issues supplies to keep troops safe, they are on their own when it comes to where they lay their heads.

"They are under constant stress and strain and the government doesn't issue them pillows," Ferrior said.

Each pillow is 12 by 16 inches and is machine washable. They are bendable, rollable and easy to pack in a ruck sack. Pillows for Patriots uses Harris Pillow in Beaufort as its supplier. Harris Pillow shrink wraps the pillows so they are easier to ship out.

"As a mother it's terrifying to have your son or daughter go into a combat zone," Ferrior said. "It's helpful to be able to provide something."

Harris Pillow makes the pillows at cost so it is cheaper.

"We figure it costs $3.50 to get a pillow including the cost of the pillow to Iraq or Afghanistan," Ferrior said.

Since August of 2009, Pillows for Patriots has shipped more than 17,000 pillows.

"We were told by some marines that they take them in the field on patrol with them," Ferrior added.

And the demand continues to grow. Ferrior said Pillows for Patriots will keep sending pillows until every soldier, airman and sailor is no longer in need.

To donate to Pillows for Patriots, visit their website by clicking here.

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