Sending Holiday Cheer to Deployed Airmen

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Jeremy J. McClure
  • 185th ARW
SIOUX CITY, IA - Being away from friends and family during deployment is hard. When that deployment is over the holidays, it can be even more difficult. Several families gathered together at the air base on December 9, to make sure that every deployed member of the 185th got something a little special this year: a gift box.

We have 160 members deployed right now and every one of them is going to receive a gift box," said Lieutenant Colonel Stephanie Samenus with the 185th Air Refueling Wing. "This is also a good way for families of deployed members to see one another."

Items being packed into the boxes included candy, jerky, magazines, books, and other comfort items. All of the items were donated by groups like Hartington Cedar Catholic Junior and Senior High School, Catholic Daughters of the Holy Trinity Parish in Hartington, Nebraska, Interbake Foods, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and the American Popcorn Company.

"770 packets of popcorn were donated by the employees of the American Popcorn Company. The employees all donated money to buy the popcorn," Lt. Col. Samenus explained.

Julie Bower, a wife of a deployed member was helping label boxes and said, "I'm lucky, my husband will be home for Christmas. But I know it can be tough for families whose loved one will not be." Lori Risdal, head of the Family Readiness Group, said, "last year we did not have enough items to fill all the boxes but this year, we have more than enough stuff. People have been very generous."

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