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Thousands of military members will spend the holidays this year far away from the ones they love.
To lift their spirits, students in Darboy are teaming-up with the American Red Cross to send our soldiers a little piece of home.
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Hert is back from the war in Afghanistan, but he still has one more mission to complete.
“To be able to come back to them and say to those children, ‘thank you very much from the bottom of my heart,'” explained Hert.
Hert spent last Christmas overseas with Ashwaubenon’s 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion.
“It’s hard because the bottom line is that you’re away from home,” he said.
The soldiers may be gone, but they are not forgotten. Students at Holy Spirit School in Darboy are making cards for the American Red Cross’ “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program.
Fourth grader Mary Loker described the card she created. “We wrote, ‘Thank you for your years of service in your battles. We are thinking of you.'”
“I feel like they’ll like it because being out there is kind of scary, and if they just get a card, it’s all that matters,” said fourth grader Joseph Hopwood.
Second grade teacher Sue Calmes is one of the organizers of this year’s card making effort at Holy Spirit School. She believes it’s a good lesson for her students.
“I think that the kids of today need to know and appreciate what other people are doing for them and the freedoms that we have,” explained Calmes.
The Red Cross’ goal is to collect 20,000 holiday cards in Northeast Wisconsin. Half of those cards will be delivered to veterans who live in the area.
“We go to shopping malls. We were at the Green Bay Packers’ blood drive just last week, so it’s a collective effort by the entire community to be able to send such a positive message during the holidays,” said Steve Hansen, Chapter Executive for the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin.
Lieutenant Colonel Hert will be forever grateful for the card he received while deployed. Last week, he got the opportunity to visit Holy Spirit School. He thanked the students for their words of encouragement and for creating the cards again this year, so the soldiers know that someone back home is grateful for their sacrifice this holiday season.
“It means a great deal to me, because I know that somebody will be able to have the same experience that I had last year,” said Hert.
If you’d like to send a message of support, you can pick-up a free card at your local Red Cross office. They’ll even cover the cost to mail it, but cards must be postmarked by December 7th to be delivered in time for the holidays.