Marine Mom Helps East Texans Get Involved In Care Package Drive

Now that our troops are engaged in attacks with Iraq, thousands of East Texans are asking how to show support for the brave men and women overseas.

From greetings via e-mail to calling card donations, there are many ways.

One East Texas Marine's mom is trying to keep her son's fellow Marines going strong during this tough time through care packages.

Eloisa Soriano is boxing up a little piece of hope for the United States Marines stationed in the desert.

"Well, my son was deployed to Kuwait on January 28th and we've been sending him packages almost from the time that he left," says Eloisa Soriano, a Marine mom.

At first, Eloisa was packing her son, Luis Aparicio's, care packages with enough for him to share. Now the love from a mother and her family has grown into love from East Texas.

"A lot of people are calling and they want to adopt someone, so I just give them a name and they are going to buy and pay the postage," says Eloisa. "And there are people that are dropping them off and they want us to do that for them."

So, Eloisa's boss, John Merrill, has opened his insurance office as a Marine care package drop-off. Daily she's adding to the Marines' wish lists.

"There is a wish list," says Eloisa. "Top on the list, my son said are the moist wipes which we know as baby wipes, and they also need scarves and sun glasses."

Not to mention, essential toiletries like toothpaste. She's also adding extra's including beef jerky, chocolate and disposable cameras to bring back memories. And, at the marine's request, each package will be addressed to a specific serviceman or woman. Just a tiny token of support from a "loved one" they may not know, but who appreciates all the armed forces sacrifice for America.

If you want to get involved in sending "care packages" that meet guidelines, contact Eloisa at 903-533-8642 or you can just drop of items at 1302 South Vine Street in Tyler. For other ways to support our troops click on the "War with Iraq" link on our home page.. There, you'll find a link to "On the Home Front" which has the information.

One additional note to this story. Several other branches of the military we talked to say only family members or loved ones of those overseas are allowed to send care packages. They say it's for mail volume and safety reasons.

Dana Dixon, reporting.