AMVETS Auxiliary members send Christmas cards to deployed troops

MESICK — Several members of the military currently serving overseas will soon receive blank Christmas cards — which is entirely intentional.

Staying in touch with family and friends can be difficult for members of the military serving in foreign countries. That's why the Ladies Auxiliary of AMVETS Post No. 1988 in Baldwin teamed with the Ladies Auxiliary of AMVETS Post No. 120 in Mesick to give several service members the opportunity to send their loved ones a message during the holiday season.

The auxiliary members met on Nov. 19 at the Mesick post to gather up various Christmas and greeting cards, wrap them and arrange for them to be sent to members of the military overseas.

"We collected leftover Christmas cards and bought some new ones," explained Betty Dermyer of the Baldwin auxiliary. "We took three cards and envelopes, put a bow on them and included a small note thanking them for their service and sent them to different service members. Now they can send the cards to their friends and families."

The initiative was started by members of the Mesick auxiliary. It was a personal connection of the group's president, Erica Szegda, which made the program possible.

"Erica is the president of the Ladies Auxillary at the Mesick AMVETS post and she has a connection with someone in the special forces," said Dermyer. "We're sending our letter packets through this contact person to various special forces members."

The auxiliary members gathered more than 1,500 cards to send to the troops. The auxiliary members said they hoped this effort would make staying in contact with family easier on the deployed troops and take some of the sting away from being apart from the people they care about.

"My heart is with them," remarked Dermyer. "They are not home for the holidays and this gives them something to help them stay connected with their loved ones while we get to show them our gratitude."