Support Siouxland Soldiers continues mission for troops back from war
By Jacqueline Quynh, Multimedia Journalist - email
Care packages filled with a week's worth of groceries, ready for veterans to pick up.
Sergeant Bluff, IA (KTIV) - -
Sunday, veterans across the country will be honored for their service. But, there's one local group with a mission to recognize military men and women throughout the year.
It all starts with care packages. It's what Laura Steenhagen, an Air Force veteran called a piece of "home" when she was on active duty. In fact, Steenhagen, still gets emotional about those packages.
"Wet naps are a big thing, deodorant, you know things you just can't get at home," Steenhagen said.
She's now returned from duty, but still appreciates care packages, especially when times get tough.
"Well you know, being a vet, and being on a disability, you don't get a lot of money," Steenhagen said.
This is why she says it means a lot that the non-profit group, Support Siouxland Soldiers, would organize an event to give out care packages at home, in the form of groceries.
"Having a package of food so we have something available for the rest of the month, it's a big help, it really is," Steenhagen.
The charity began giving out groceries this past July.
"We started in 2007, sending care packages and as the troops started to come home, we wondered what else could we be doing, that would really have a good impact on them, so we started distributing food on the homefront," Petersen said.
Sarah Petersen says Support Siouxland Soldiers distributed around 2,000 pounds of groceries at this event. That's estimated to serve about 60-70 families, or up to 300 people. Bob Morrisey, a volunteer, wants veterans, especially those who've recently come home, learn about the program.
"I've noticed here the younger vets aren't taking advantage of this, I'm sure we have a lot of younger vets in the area that could use some help," Bob Morrisey, Army Veteran and volunteer said.
The program is for any veteran who wants to participate, Petersen says, the program is simply a way of saying thanks.
"Our veterans, they served for our country and they come home and it's important to us to take care of our veterans who served, especially those who need a little extra help during the holiday season," Petersen said.
Support Siouxland Soldiers says they're hoping by 2013, they can give out free groceries to veterans every other month.
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