Sending a 'touch of home' to soldiers

She said when the troops receive the packages it makes even a normal day into a celebration.

"It is like Christmas day for them when they receive the packages that have a little comfort from home," said Fredericks.

Fredericks has sent out six packages and plans to send out six more soon. Beef jerky was one of the most requested items, said Fredericks. Other items she sends include eye drops, shampoo, hot cocoa, granola bars and Frisbees. Fredericks said she crams the items into a Flat Rate US Postal box, so she can ship as much as possible for the cheapest cost. Each flat rate box, which accounts for one package, costs $12.50 to send.

"We welcome contribution of items. We're looking for either monetary donations or items that we can send," said Wilson. "We welcome notes and cards from children."

Kirby sent an e-mail to Fredericks thanking her for everything Post 1895 has done and for their support. He said four of the six packages were received, and he placed them in the company's hallway and everything was gone in an hour.

Donations outside of the VFW post came from employees at Cannon Heyman and Weiss, LLP, based out of Albany. Also three local dentists have donated toothbrushes and toothpaste.

A complete list of items that can be sent to troops can be found on Adopt A Platoon , or call the VFW Post at 382-1669. To make a donation you can visit the VFW post located at 609 Draper Ave., Rotterdam, or at the collection box in Trustco Bank at Hannaford Plaza in Rotterdam. Donations can also be mailed directly to the VFW Post 1895.

Kirby said he would be coming home on leave in January, but his return will only be temporary. A sense of the celebration could already be felt at the Post.

"We're looking forward to buying him a drink when he arrives," said Wilson. "Actually, if he comes on a Friday night, I don't think he is going to be walking out, because everybody is going to want to buy him a drink."

Fredericks echoed the sentiment and said, "The first one is on me.""

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