Blue Star moms send gifts to troops


ABC7 met up with one East Bay group of mothers who are in the thick of a mad dash to get out holiday packages for military personnel overseas. Its around-the-clock-work at some post offices -- the U.S. Postal Service expects to process about 20-million pounds of mail for overseas military locations, including war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We get requests from the soldiers saying 'please keep sending the socks'," said Tami Jenkins, Blue Star mom, East Bay chapter president.

That's just one of many items getting packed into 2,000 holiday care-packages to be sent to American soldiers in the Middle East.

"A lot of our moms do have kids over there," said Jenkins.

This is the seventh year this East Bay group of Blue Star Moms has been shipping boxes of community-donated goodies overseas - from Valentines to the 4th of July and Christmas time too. Their mission is to lift the spirits of the troops. Even greeting cards handmade by local school children are included.

Jenkins' son was deployed to Afghanistan in 2005, he's home now, but she's still pitching in.

"Believe it or not, there are people out there that still support the troops - no matter how long this war's been going on, and a lot of the energy comes from the moms who keep us visible out there," said Tami Jenkins.

These Blue Star Moms also band together to support each other.

"The morale, the support - because right now when they're deployed, it's kind of, it's hard waiting," said Giannini.

Michelle Giannini's son Jason is a 1st lieutenant marine. He's serving his second deployment in Iraq right now.

"This Christmas is my first Christmas without him, so it's going to be different," said Giannini.

Almost two dozen moms in this East Bay group have sons or daughters deployed during this holiday season - so the packing is even more personal. And the U.S. Post Office says it's ready for them.

"They've got their list. They've checked it twice. They're putting together everything and then they're bringing it to the post office because they know we'll deliver it there," said Gus Ruiz, USPS.

A guarantee that feels good when the separation can feel like more than a world away.

"A lot of our moms do have kids over there and we just want them to know that we think about them, and we love them," said Jenkins.

Again, the Christmas deadline for military mail to Iraq or Afghanistan is today, but if you're sending by priority mail, or to other overseas bases, then December 11th is the deadline.

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