Family Members Of Deployed Marines Team Up To Send Special Gifts

As the war with Iraq intensifies, family members of some local marines stationed overseas have joined forces back here at home, in hopes of cheering up their loved ones far away. Marines of the 4th Amphibious Assault Batallion have a special delivery on the way...thanks to the helping hands and big hearts of loved ones on the Gulf Coast.

"What we were doing in having a family day," said Lt. Col. Janies Mithcell. Our marines have been deployed to Kuwait. And what we want to do is send them some items to let them know we're thinking about them."

Former marine Len Drozal fought in World War II. He remembers receiving packages back in the 40s when he was stationed in the Pacific, and how those gifts boosted his spirits.

"Most of the stuff we get we really need because the people have put a lot of thought into this, and they pick out things you just can't pick up on the line out there," Drozal said. "Many people took time out to pour overscrapbooks, bragging about their loved ones and forming new friendships."

Candis Raif and Brenda Cutter just met, but found out they have a lot in common, especially since their youngest sons are deployed overseas.

"Both of them are 25, and we've noticed in our scrapbooks that they've roomed together. It's just been wonderful to have someone to talk to," Cutter said.

Someone who knows the days of deployment can be long and the nights even longer.

"It's been scary. I haven't heard from him since he left Camp Pendleton. I worry about him," said Candis Raif. "I've seen him in the newspaper a couple of times. So I know he's okay. No news is good news, as far as having somebody coming and knocking on my door."

There's something Brenda Cutter and others here wished they could've boxed up with all the other supplies...a heartfelt message of pride and joy.

"I'd say, son, I love you, I need you back home, be safe, but do your job..." Cutter said.