(WJBK) - Right now roughly 150,000 moms, dads, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters are stationed overseas serving our country. One local woman wants to make sure they are not forgotten.
Waterford native Jill Beyer founded the nonprofit called Troops Need Love Too in March of 2015 after hearing stories from her son Alan's first deployment.
"He received one meal a day. A lot of times it was covered with bugs or worms and he lost 20 some pounds in six months," she says.
Beyer is now working to prevent this from happening to others.
"They signed that blank check for up to - and including - their life. They're over there without the needed necessities; they're all losing weight. It's our job to help them while they're over there," she says.
In less than a year her volunteers have packed and shipped more than 1,000 care packages to Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan, where her son is currently stationed. The boxes filled with yummy treats, games, hygiene products and heartfelt letters.
"It means a lot. You have guys that send letters that are missing their families so much and they get this box with a letter and it just makes their day," Beyer says.
"It was literally the best feeling ever. It's not something you can really describe," says veteran Corey Bergin. He received several care packages when he was stationed overseas. He volunteered at one of Troops Need Love Too's packing events at MIAT College of Technology.
"It's always good to have something coming from home even though you're stuck out in the middle of nowhere," he says. "It's nice having people that care about you back home."
"They have no access to stores; they have no access to anything. And, all of a sudden, they're having a really bad day missing their family and here's this box!" Beyer says.
There are lots of ways you can help troops need love too help our service members feel loved. You can donate care package items, money for shipping costs or even host a packing party. Find out how at www.troopsneedlovetoo.com.