Veterans Thank the Local Community

by Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - A big celebration was held Big Spring as Veteran's had the chance to say thank you for care packages they received while serving overseas.

The program was put on by the Big Spring VA Hospital.

"Operation Soldier Holiday" is a program that sends care packages to soldiers from Big Spring to remind them that they are on the minds of everyone back home.

On Thursday, the soldiers got a chance to let everyone know how much those packages mean to them.

"Six years ago, I wanted to make a difference for soldiers overseas. We come home everyday to our family members, but they are away from their family members," Dr. Brian Phemester, with the Big Spring Veteran's Affairs Hospital, said.

Dr. Phemester started this program in Orlando, Florida, and when he moved to Big Spring, he brought the program with him.

"I've always done it once a year, but I'd like to start doing this a couple times a year," Phemester said.

Their focus are local soldiers that are deployed overseas, and their goal is to bring a little comfort to their day.

"It brought a sense of normalcy in an abnormal situation, it let me know that people back at home were thinking of me, that they hadn't forgot I was over there," Veteran Darrell Butt, said.

Darrell Butt was a Marine stationed in Iraq and he says the care packages sent to him really made him feel special.

"Excited, I felt like a kid at Christmas, I would feel excited, you ripped in to the box wondering what I'd get," Butt said.

Some of the things they get are simple things like newspapers magazines sunflower seeds. Anything that would remind them of home, the simple things meant a lot to them.

"Thank you very much, it means a lot to us, those of us, that are doing it," Butt said.

If you want to make donation to "Operation Soldier Holiday" you can drop them off at the Big Spring VA Hospital or any of their sea box clinics through out the Permian Basin.