AT&T Helps Rhinelander Send Care Packages to Troops

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As we prepare to celebrate our nation's independence, the Rhinelander Veterans Association wants to remind everyone of the men and women who put their lives on the line to preserve our freedom.

To thank them, the Rhinelander's Military Support Group is packing boxes to send to soldiers serving in Afghanistan. The support group packs boxes every month, but this month they got a little help from AT&T.

As a part of the AT&T Innovation & Investment Award, the company donated a little over $2,000, which will help ship nearly 50 care packages.

The support group started sending packages to soldiers from the Rhinelander area back in 2002; back then it was called "Operation Shoe-Box". Today, they have over two dozen volunteers shipping out 25 packages a month.

Leroy Eades, co-chair of the support group, said he does it for his grandson. "I got a grandson that's in the National Guard," said Eades, "He did two tours, one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan... I guess it's just my way of paying back."

The group ships packages on the last Saturday of every month. Eades said it costs about $50 a box, which is why they usually only ship half of what they sent today.

Packages are usually shipped to a half-way house in Afghanistan, a hospital in German, and an orphanage also in Afghanistan.

To donate or volunteer, call Ray Zastrow at 715-369-8912 or email Leroy Eades at

Having a hard time finding something to donate? Here's a list of items needed most:

Pre-packaged Items:
Beef jerky, Tuna, Salmon, Cookies, Candy, Gum, Snacks, Crackers, Dried foods, Energy Barks/Drinks

Recreation Items:
Books, Magazines, DVD's, CD's, Games, Sports balls, Frisbees, puzzles, puzzle books

Personal Hygiene Items:
Baby wipes, Hand Sanitizer, Shaving Cream, Razors, Shampoo/Conditioner, Eye drops, Lotion, Sunscreen, Bug repellant, Soap, Q-tips, Pain Relievers, feminine hygiene products

Other Items:
All size batteries, Small pencil sharpeners, Sunglasses, Disposable cameras

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