Sweet taste of home for soldiers

Donations from Shaker students help Military Mom in Action

Volunteers fill boxes of candy, cookies and other goodies for soldiers overseas.

Volunteers fill boxes of candy, cookies and other goodies for soldiers overseas. Submitted Photo

— Everyone gets a sweet tooth now and again, even soldiers. And local mom Kathy Buckley makes sure our fighting men and women don’t have to go without.

After two of her sons were deployed 10 years ago, Buckley began sending them care packages full of goodies. She quickly learned, however, that many of the soldiers were not receiving the same comforting treatment. Determined to help any way she could, Buckley started Military Mom in Action (MMA) right out of her home in Melrose, where she began collecting donations of food to send to soldiers overseas.

Now in its 10th year, MMA has sent more than 75,000 care packages to soldiers in 17 countries. The packages are often sent to a commander, who hands out items to soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. Packages differ, but they usually include easily preserved snacks like granola bars, cookies, beef jerky, crackers and candy. Depending on the season, they package individual servings of iced tea or hot cocoa.

Buckley said she likes to send food that “they can’t get over there.”

“They like what we send because it’s stuff they can throw in their pockets when they’re out on the road,” she said.

Fundraisers and donations help buy the items for the care packages. Shaker High School’s World of Difference Club been working with MMA for at least five years and this year is collecting Halloween candy on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at the group’s annual Veterans Day celebration. Shaker social studies teacher and World of Difference Club advisor Dan Weaver said in past years the club has collected the items and then sent them to Buckley’s home. This year, they’re going to put the packages together themselves.

“We’re doing a lot of the legwork. It gives our students of my club an awareness of what we’re doing and why it’s important to do it,” Weaver said.

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