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Operation Christmas for Mississippi soldiers

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HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Operation Christmas for Mississippi soldiers has done it again. The Hancock County chapter of the Soldiers Angels, along with several other groups and individuals, supplied Christmas cheer to a Meridian Air National Guard Unit deployed in Kuwait. The goal is to let the soldiers know folks in their home state are thinking about them during the holidays.

Blankets and hand-made knitted caps and scarves are just some of the gifts.

"Stockings, and candy, and homemade cookies. Thirty-one airmen are deployed in Kuwait and we're taking care of the whole bunch," said Jeanne "Granny" Graeser a member of the Soldiers Angels organization.

She believes letting the troops know they are appreciated is important to the soldiers.

"We do it because this is a really rough time of year for the troops," Graeser said. "They are deployed, they're without their families. We'd like to make a difference in their lives in terms of bringing them a little fun, a little happiness, a little comfort."

This is the 8th year for Operation Christmas for Mississippi Soldiers. The event has become a community affair, according to Graeser.

"Main Street Methodist Church does an awesome job of collecting gifts and postage. The community joins in and helps. And then there is Southern Anglers, who donates postage that makes it all happen for our troops."

Mailing 31 packages 7,300 miles away to Kuwait costs more than $500. Volunteer and Vietnam Veteran Raymond Cuevas said he knows the gifts will be greatly appreciated.

"It lets them know the people at home are thinking about them and in their prayers," said Cuevas.

The packages should arrive in Kuwait in about two weeks. Three weeks ago, the Guard unit received Christmas decorations for their rooms, including miniature Christmas Trees.

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