Janesville62.2°

Group collecting balls, gloves for US soldiers

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Kayla Bunge
July 28, 2010
— They spend their days fighting insurgents, patrolling villages and hauling equipment.

They spend their nights longing for the comforts of home.


The Walworth County Council of the American Legion for more than five years has been holding rallies and sending care packages to remind local troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan that their family and friends back home are thinking about them and praying for their safe return.


The council, made up of the American Legion posts in Walworth County, now is asking people to step up to the plate and donate new and used baseball and softball gloves and balls to be sent to local troops deployed overseas.


The group started collecting balls and gloves two years ago. Rich Hinners, former council commander who died in March, thought local troops might want to play baseball rather than playing cards or watching television in their free time. Robert Webster Sr., leader of the council committee in charge of troop support efforts, was skeptical.


“I thought, ‘Don’t you think they’ve got those things available?’” he said. “He said, ‘Well, I guess we’ll find out.’ Their response was so positive. One of the servicemen told us he and the others in his unit had a game of catch going right away.”


The group hopes to send at least two gloves and one ball to each local member serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The council also continues to collect donations to assemble and send care packages.


“All of these things fall into the area of what we’re trying to do, which is get the message to the troops that we haven’t forgotten them and that we appreciate what they’re doing,” Webster said.


TO DONATE

The Walworth County Council of the American Legion is seeking donations of new and used baseball and softball gloves and balls to be sent to Walworth County troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Balls and gloves can be dropped off in drop boxes in front of the American Legion halls in Delavan, 111 S. Second St.; Lake Geneva, 735 Henry St.; or East Troy, 2870 School St.


Those who need to arrange a pickup or have questions should call (262) 203-2129 or (262) 248-8400.



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