The Memphis-based Cotton Board is donating nearly two-thousand of their very popular lip balms to a U.S. platoon serving in Iraq. The donation effort is being coordinated by cotton farmers David and Pat Jones, who live just outside of Lubbock, Texas.

“Our grandson, 2ndLieutenant Cole Morrison is currently serving as platoon leader in Bandog Company, which is part of a Cavalry unit based out of Fort Hood,” explains David Jones, who farms cotton and has an interest in a cotton gin just south of Lubbock. Cole was raised on his dad’s cotton farm just outside of Lorenzo, Texas. He graduated from West Point in 2010, completed officer’s training and went to Iraq in July, 2011.

“Our son-in-law (the soldier’s father) is also a cotton farmer who farms just east of Lubbock,” adds Jones. Jones and his wife Pat wanted to send Cole and his men some items to help them feel more comfortable as they endured the tough conditions over in Iraq. “A typical day finds them in an armored vehicle or outside walking in 120-plus degree heat while wearing 100 lbs of battle gear,” said Jones.

Life-long friend and Slaton, Texas, resident Rick King heard about the Jones’ effort and thought the Cotton Board’s lip balm would be a perfect addition to the care package, so he contacted the Cotton Board’s Southwest Regional Communication Manager, Bob Stanley. “I called David and Pat and told them the Cotton Board staff and leadership would view this as a great opportunity to support our troops and would love to be a part of their effort,” says Stanley.

Cotton producers who have attended the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show and the Texas Cotton Ginners show in Lubbock have come to associate lip balm with the Cotton Board’s trade show booth. “It’s been incredibly popular throughout the years and is now being used, albeit in a small way, to help keep our soldiers a little more comfortable in a really tough environment,” concludes Stanley.