Like most of the hospital employees, you don't have to have a relative overseas to support the troops this holiday season. Both Channel 4 & First Coast News came to the hospital to cover this special event.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Children aren't the only ones who get excited opening gifts Christmas morning. Service men and women overseas also love to receive gifts, especially because they'll likely spend the holidays without their loved ones.
With that in mind, local mother Mary Parker is on a mission to make sure her son and his fellow troops are not forgotten this holiday season.
On Tuesday morning, she and her colleagues at Memorial Hospital loaded up nearly two dozen boxes of treats to send to her son's entire platoon of troops stationed in Iraq.
"We miss him so much," Parker said of her son. "My youngest niece Gwen looked at the stars and said, 'Oh, that's the star where Uncle Benjamin is.'"
The care packages don't have anything too fancy, but Parker said it doesn't take much to brighten the troops' day.
"We have DVDs and books and crossword puzzles, shampoos, deodorants, snacks," she said. "I told them they had a surprise coming, so they're excited."
The office project is also a way of honoring one of the employees' own.
"We have a co-worker here that we loved very dearly named Art Owens, and he is a Vietnam veteran and he just recently passed away," Parker said. "He was very supportive of the troops. (He) always wore red on Fridays to show his support of the soldiers."
Like most of the hospital employees, you don't have to a relative overseas to support the troops this holiday season.