Operation Appreciation celebrates five years - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Operation Appreciation celebrates five years

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted By Molly Reuter - bio | email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - For five years a group in Longview has been trying to make life a little bit easier for our troops overseas, sending care packages with little pieces of home.  It started with a simple birthday gift for a soldier overseas in 2004 at Saint Michael's in Longview.

"I just feel like it's my calling to keep doing this and to give back," said White Oak resident Ann Grimes who's son serves in the Army.  Sunday, marked the 5th anniversary of Operation Appreciation.

"It makes me so proud, and I know that he appreciates everything, and I think this is one way to show support for our troops," said Cindy Cavitt who's son is serving in Iraq.  "I feel like a lot of times they don't realize that we are doing the prayers, the gifts, everything we do for them here on the home front."  They've mailed packages to more than 2,000 soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen and many have loved ones in the fight.

"To have a son who receives packages and to see how he appreciates so much what the community does for him," said Grimes.  Those who have served say the packages have enormous value.

"It's just a warm, warm feeling and a big morale booster when you receive a package from home," said Retired Marine Corps Colonel Randy Smith.  It's just socks, snacks and candy, but it means much more.

"You might not know the person who put the package together, but the fact that you've received it, and it's for you just makes your day," said Smith.

Around 300 care packages will be blessed in Sunday services at Saint Michael's and will be shipped overseas on Tuesday.

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