WAYLAND— Soldiers serving overseas from the Wayland-Cohocton school district will be receiving a little holiday spirit within the next few weeks thanks to the Wayland American Legion, the Wayland community and local 4-H members.
As part of their annual Hometown Heroes care packages, the Wayland American Legion was able to send a total of 88 boxes to seven soldiers currently overseas. The goods were sorted, categorized, packed and taped all within an hour and ten minutes, a record, said Rochelle Sulli of the Blue Star Mothers and an Auxiliary member.
“It was awesome the teamwork instilled on the helpers,” said Sulli. “It was like as soon as we explained it they went straight to work.”
The boxes were packed on Sunday and dropped off at the Post Office Monday afternoon. Sulli expects them to arrive with the soldiers within ten days to two weeks, depending on where they’re stationed.
It took three trips in two trucks to deliver the boxes to the Post Office, said Post Commander Kevin Mark, and over $1,000 in shipping charges.
“We don’t even bat an eye at that cost,” said Mark. “That’s why the Legion is around.”
The care packages included letters from home and Christmas cards, candy and items that are hard to come by overseas. Sulli explained the three soldiers deployed in Afghanistan received a few more boxes than the others stationed in South Korea, Turkey or Kuwait since they don’t have access to many of the amenities they grew up with.
Sulli said she’s grateful Wayland is such a caring community and donates to the program every year.
Live Christmas trees were also sent to the Way-Co grads on Dec. 1, thanks to Stokoe Farms in Scottsville, N.Y. The trees are full sized, ranging from four to six feet, and the only stipulation is the soldiers are asked to send a picture of themselves with the tree to Sulli.
“It makes you cry seeing how happy they are to receive the tree,” Sulli said. “It’s just like they’re little kids again and it’s all worth it.”
The seven Way-Co alumni receiving the boxes are: GT Michael Sick, Army, Ethan Carney, and SGT Greggory Mark, Army, serving in Afghanistan; SRA Megan Rauber, Air Force, and AMN Levi Wormuth, Air Force, in South Korea; SGT James Clawson, Air Force, is serving in Turkey; and SPC Cody Henry, Army, is serving in Kuwait.