As each box for Nevada troops in Iraq and Afghanistan was weighed and labeled at the Roop Street post office on Tuesday, P.J. Degross wrote "Love you" on the outside with a camouflage pen emblazoned with "Army of One."
The boxes contained individual bags of DVDs, candy and powdered drink mix, for the Web of Support's "Take A Soldier to the Movies" drive; See's Candy donated by the Lions Club, and 300 packages containing hot chocolate, candy canes and chocolate Kisses from students at Jacks Valley Elementary School.
More than 1,000 pounds and $1,000 in shipping charges, later, the boxes were done and Degross, founder of Web of Support soldier adoption program, was exhausted but satisfied. Because of community donations, 700 service members will receive some of the comforts of home as they spend the holidays away, she said.
Army National Guard Sgt. Brian Jones was among five soldiers who helped unload Degross' 21 packages.
In 2006 and 2007, while Jones was deployed to Talil, Iraq, he received packages from Web of Support.
"It really did make a difference," he said. "It brought us a little closer to home."
Tuesday's bounty will find its way to places like Mehtar Lam, Kala Gush, Bagram, Farah, Gardez and Camp Wright in Afghanistan. And into the hands of Nevada soldiers Joel Chaffee, Cameron Anderson, James Richardson, Ray Gooch, Thomas Cinkovich, Russell Dasher and Gary Gidden, who are tasked with handing out the goodies once they arrive.
"Thanks to the kindness and generosity of the Northern Nevada American patriots, Web of Support was able to provide a Christmas for all of the Nevada National Guard deployed," Degross said. "People really went above and beyond."