SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The holidays can be challenging for some, especially for those who are currently deployed overseas.
Which is why one organization is doing what they can to help.
Volunteers and members with the VFW Post 628 spent the afternoon preparing care packages for the 323rd chemical unit. The unit is made of 150 troops from Sioux Falls and Vermillion.
“The holidays are going to be tough. It’s been tough now, but just going into the holidays, knowing they won’t be here and you won’t get to spend the holidays with your loved ones,” said Tracy Pepin, mom and Family Readiness coordinator.
Tracy Pepin helped pack the 150 packages for the troops. Her son, James, is a member of the 323rd unit. He was deployed to Kuwait in June.
“Just a feeling of sense from home, some snacks from home and just knowing that everybody here is still thinking about them and they’re not forgotten about while they’re gone,” Pepin said.
The care packages were made up of snacks, activities and messages of love from the Dakota Horizon Girl Scouts.
“That notes of endearment that they receive from kids to keep them doing what they’re doing to keep their morale up to keep them being reminded that people are thinking about them that they’re not alone out there,” said Kristi Schaeffer, Rear detachment commander.
With the holidays around the corner, President Kim Vennard says gestures like this are so important for both the troops and the families.
“Whether it be American Legion, whether it be VFW, whether it be DAV, the auxiliaries are here to support the family members that are left at home. And this was one small thing that we can do to help the auxiliaries is sent to their soldiers so they know that they’re not forgotten,” said Kim Vennard, president of John M. Bliss, VFW Auxiliary.
The care packages are expected to arrive at the 323rd unit around Thanksgiving.