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Operation Hometown Gratitude Receives Thanks For Its Giving

Posted at: 11/22/2012 8:13 PM
Updated at: 11/22/2012 10:14 PM
By: Dietrich Nissen

(ABC 6 News) -- Volunteers are trying to make sure our troops have a happy Thanksgiving. On Tuesday, students at Mayo High School made care packages for service member, but also got a little thanks of their own. 

Hunter Moat supports the military but has no plans to enlist.

"I thought about it, but as of right now I don't have much intentions for it," says Moat. Ever since his friend joined the U.S. Air Force, the Mayo high school senior has made a routine of showing up to make care packages for those overseas.

"They're putting their lives on the line for us, trying to keep our country safe. Ya know, this right here takes an hour out of my week to do something and that's the little I can do to help them out," says Moat.

As he and a handful of others make these boxes to support the troops, their kindness was noticed by Blue Star moms, like Cindy Tiedeman.

"They're our kids that are deployed, that's what Blue Star moms are. They're- they have children that are deployed," says Tiedeman.

Her son, Lance Corporal Torrey Tiedeman, is serving in Afghanistan. Cindy showed us pictures of Torrey standing with the care packages students, like Hunter, are making.

"It's a piece of home. It lets them go home for a moment," says Tiedeman.

After seeing how much the care packages mean to her son, she and other Blue Star moms decided to feed the volunteers.

"We feed each other. We feed each other really,” says Tiedeman. “It's what we can do to help keep this operation going."

"They bring us a bunch of treats. Sometimes I leave with a stomachache, ya know...that and the pizza, it's always good," says Moat.

But there's one person, Tiedeman can't wait to feed...her son.

"We do look forward to him coming home," says Tiedeman.

The group says it sends about 14,000 packages a year. One thing they say they can always use, is a hand. If you'd like to volunteer, the group meets at Mayo High School every Tuesday afternoon.