View Full Version : Marine Mom Goes on Shopping Spree

01-21-08, 06:15 AM
Deploying all the comforts of home

January 19, 2008
Courier News Staff Writer (http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/couriernews/news/748871,3_1_EL19_A1MARINEMOM_S1.article)

ELGIN -- DiAnne Krueger is a mom and she shops like most moms.

"Only sugar-free," she said Friday morning as she grabbed packs of Extra sugar-free gum that hung in the aisle at Wal-Mart. "They do not need to be rotting their teeth. I'm sure they don't get to the dentist out there."


"Out there" is Rawah, Iraq, where her 19-year-old son Justin Kelly has been stationed since early September as a lance corporal with the U.S. Marine Corps.

"Justin calls it Rah-Rah," said the 44-year-old, chuckling and pumping her fist as if cheering.

Krueger, of Elgin, had a lot to cheer for Friday morning after receiving a $1,000 donation from Wal-Mart on behalf of American Legion Post 57 in Elgin.

The check and several donations sent to the post were handed to Krueger, whose father is a member, so she can mail care packages to her son's platoon and other deployed troops.

So far, Krueger, who has been mailing about seven to 15 care packages weekly, has 16 platoon addresses on her ever-growing list.

Krueger's 82-year-old father, Louis Haefling, joined her for part of her $273.77 shopping spree Friday morning.

As he trailed her through the aisles he said the only thing sent to him when he was with the U.S. Navy in World War II was a brick of Limburger cheese to complement his crackers and beer.

"They did everything different then," said the Elgin resident. "I think she's going overboard."

As Krueger stacked boxes of flavored oatmeal into her cart, she disagreed with her dad.

"Nope," she said. "He tells me exactly what his guys will need or want and that's what I go on."

Friends, friends of friends, and strangers have approached Krueger with donations and with addresses where she can send some of her healthy necessities. She makes the money stretch.

"This is going to be good with the money so I'm going to get some more of these," she said about plastic containers of Tang powder. In most cases, "I can do better with the money by buying the store brand."

Shopping for hundreds of troops deployed overseas has become a full-time hobby for Krueger and keeps her busy until Kelly's expected return in the spring.

"I'm not worrying all the time about Justin," she said. "Now I'm concentrating on all my kids."