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Mississippi Plays Key Role In Getting Holiday Greetings To Troops Overseas

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 19 Nov 2010 12:17pm | comments
A box of holiday cards.

This year thousands of letters and holiday care packages will head to our service members fighting overseas. Chances are someone from Mississippi is helping it every step of the way. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports on the important role Mississippians play spreading the holiday cheer to service members around the world.

Dozens of letters from Mississippians to service members overseas spill out of a box at the American Red Cross in Jackson.

After reading through a few, spokeswoman Tamica Smith-Jeuitt explains that they get more than 2-thousand letters a year to send overseas.

"We had some card signings. Just recently the city of Jackson, actually the city leaders signed cards. The City of Vicksburg has supported the program as well. Natchez will be doing one. They are scheduled to be doing one in a matter of days," Smith-Jeuitt said.

Military Family Assistance Centers around the state collect cards and holiday packages, such as candies or care boxes, and coordinate shipping them overseas.

If those packages go to Afghanistan, They fall under the guidance of Mississippi's 184th National Guard unit which controls the logistics for the whole afghan war, including the mail.

In late October, Colonel David Jolly spoke with MPB from Kandahar about the stunning about of mail they handle.

"I am amazed. This past week we processed and distributed 845-thousand pounds of mail. That being said, with the holiday surge in full swing packages to soldiers in Afghanistan should be mailed as soon as possible," Jolly explained.

When they eventually make their way into the hands of soldiers in Afghanistan, they might brighten the day of someone from Mississippi like Bradley Wilkins. His wife Whitney says even little gestures mean a lot.

"You know, of having people think of them and just wanting to send them something, anything. It means a lot to me that what my husband's doing and what his friends are doing and what his unit's doing is not going unappreciated," Wilkins said.

The US postal service and the military urge you to get any packages bound for destinations overseas in the mail by December 4th, but always say the earlier you can send it the better.

For more information about shipping overseas and the deadlines, go to www.usps.com.

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A box of holiday cards.


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