Sending Holiday Gifts to Soldiers Overseas - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Sending Holiday Gifts to Soldiers Overseas

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Being around loved ones is important during the holidays, but for many military families, that's not possible.

Saturday afternoon, some of those families of soldiers with the Nevada Guard's 593rd Transportation Company got together to send some hand-made ornaments to their soldiers serving overseas.

"Because he loves me and I miss him," says 4-year-old Gavin Riley, whose father is serving in Afghanistan.

It's days like these that are important for Roxanne Riley and her three children. The kids haven't seen their dad since he was deployed in May.

"They do crafts for their dad at least once a week to send over," she says. "So, this is awesome that we could involve the entire unit."

The moms and kids were hard at work all afternoon. A chance to show their soldiers how much they care, and how much they're missed.

"It's not that fun," says 8-year-old Thomas Kolvet. "Since we do a lot of stuff together, and it doesn't feel the same without him."

Thomas' father is a part of the unit serving in Afghanistan. With a little help from their moms, Thomas and the other kids each designed something unique.

"It's important that we get these family members together to do events like this, so we all remind each other that we're all one big family," says Thomas' mom Kendra.

Kendra says when a soldier receives something, even as small and simple as a homemade ornament, it has a big impact.

"Sometimes, they don't say much at all," she says. "Sometimes, they're completely speechless, and that's also a good thing too. Emotionally, it really moves them."

All 150 soldiers in the unit are set to return home next spring. Until then, these families will be sticking together, especially through the holidays.

"They are like my support group," says Roxanne. "Everything."

Most of the supplies were donated, and Kids-N-Art provided its studio for the families. The soldiers should receive the ornaments by the end of the month.

Written by Adam Rasmussen

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