A big 'thank you' from Marines serving in Afghanistan
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    Exclamation A big 'thank you' from Marines serving in Afghanistan

    A big 'thank you' from Marines serving in Afghanistan

    By Pat Hatfield

    posted Jan 29, 2009 - 2:24:32pm

    In the pages of The Beacon, readers have learned about soldiers who helped civilians in war-torn Iraq. There was Sgt. Ronald Steudle, who last year launched a personal campaign to help schoolchildren near Baghdad. The West Volusia community got behind him, sending pens, pencils, crayons, toiletries, notebooks, sports equipment and other items via Sgt. Steudle's parents, Ron and Debby Steudle, who own a Downtown DeLand business.

    More recently, we reported on Spc. Jonathon Kissam, who is working with Spirit of America to get things like shoes and blankets to orphans in northern Iraq.

    Local service people and those they want to help are not forgotten, even though they are half a world away.

    Recently, employees of the Volusia County Health Department deluged Marines serving in Afghanistan with care packages filled with gifts and holiday treats. There were goodies for the troops, as well as toys and more treats for the Marines to give to Afghan children.

    The effort was spearheaded by Health Department employee Angela Torres, whose son, Marine Corps Cpl. Stephen Pagan, is serving at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.

    Just about every employee donated something for the project they called "Season of Hope."

    "The Marines were overwhelmed, and they have taken this picture to show their appreciation," Torres said.

    Her boss, Volusia County Health Department Director Dr. Tom Coleman, said the employees "gave generously from their hearts during this tough time. The thank-you message from the troops really touched our hearts here at the Health Department.”



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