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Puyallup caps major effort for Strykers in Afghanistan

Post by Matt Misterek / The News Tribune on Oct. 17, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
October 17, 2009 7:46 pm

TNT reporter Kris Sherman reports:

School children wrote letters. People dropped off toothbrushes, trail mix, comic books and coffee.

Puyallup’s Operation Make A Soldier Smile garnered hundreds of donations of food, toiletries and entertainment items and more than $7,000 in cash to mail it all, City Councilwoman Kathy Turner said Friday.

She helped lead the local drive to provide care packages for Fort Lewis Strykers from the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, who are in Afghanistan. Puyallup has a community partnership with the brigade.

The donations and cash came from as far away as Spokane, Lake Forest Park and Olympia.

Turner couldn’t estimate the value of the items collected in Puyallup, but she said the gifts included more than 150 boxes, cases of chips and other goods like wet wipes, books, magazines, eye drops, hand warmers, beef jerky, granola bars, CDs and DVDs and small toys for Afghan children.

“Puyallup means ‘The Land of Generous People’ and Puyallup’s generosity was quite apparent these last few weeks,” Turner said Friday in an e-mail to The News Tribune.

The brigade deployed to Afghanistan in July. Sixteen of its soldiers have died.

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