Soldier's Angels Information

Soldiers' Angels Information
By: Carly O'Keefe
AVA, IL --Many soldiers in Iraq will spend the holidays away from their families. A card, letter, or care package from home can make their holiday overseas a little brighter.

One Heartland Soldiers' Angel tried to do just that by holding a donation drive Saturday; but during this season of giving, she was only able to collect a small number of items to send in Christmas stockings to soldiers overseas.

"I expected people to be more caring towards the soldiers than what we had," said Soldiers' Angel Marie Roomsburg of Ava.

Roomsburg sat in front of the Carbondale Wal-mart for hours in the cold and rain, but collected only two pairs of gloves, two hats, a hand-held poker game and $32 in donations through selling baked goods. She says that's not nearly enough to fill the 100 Christmas care stockings she hopes to send to soldiers.

"Right now Ii have enough for two,"

Roomsburg’s two stepsons served in Iraq and are now back home. During their deployment was when she started e-mailing, writing letters and sending care packages to not only her boys but also to soldiers she didn't even know.

“It's very important to me to make sure the soldiers know they're loved,” Roomsburg said.

Chaplain Daniel King of the Illinois National Guard spent last Christmas in Iraq, and knows the joy of receiving a care packages from people like Roomsburg.

"It's a delight, wow, someone thought of me, and I don't even know who they are," said King.

King says although soldiers band together to celebrate the holidays in their own way, a kind word or a package from home is always appreciated--even if it's not from mom and dad.

"There's people over here that don't have families over there or any ties to 'em, but there's also soldiers over there that don't have a family over here, spending Christmas in a Humvee," said Randall Romines a soldier with the Illinois National Guard.

In addition to collecting care-package goodies, Roomsburg and the Soldiers' Angels are sending Christmas cards to soldiers. To contribute to the stocking drive or learn of a soldier to send a Christmas card to contact Roomsburg via email: marieava62907@hotmail.com or the Soldiers' Angels organization on the web at www.soldiersangels.org.