Sailors Volunteer To Pack Gift Bags For Wounded Warriors 
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jimmie Crockett, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West Public Affairs  
SAN DIEGO - This is the foundation's 6th year working to fill holiday gift bags for the injured heroes.

"It's a real group effort," said Sandy Lehmkuler, executive director for the Warrior Foundation, referring to the 50 volunteers in attendance. "The foundation has raised over $7.2 million in donations that go directly to the wounded vets."

This enables the foundation to give out laptop computers, PDA's, and white noise machines.

"(We) gave out 400 cards that said 'you're going to wake up in your own bed in your own state with your own family for Christmas," said Lehmkuler.

This year the foundation has raised money to purchase airline tickets to ensure that service members who are sick or injured could spend the holidays with their families.

One of the volunteers was Command Master Chief Beverly Leedom assigned to USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), who said she wanted to do something to help others.

"I wanted to do more than just volunteer at a school or pick up trash on the side of the freeway," said Leedom. "Here we have all these injured Sailors, Marines, and soldiers, we should be doing something about that."

The Warrior Foundation is a non-profit organization run by radio host Rick Roberts. The organization, which runs simultaneously with a radio telethon, raised over $315,000 last year.


For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, visit www.navy.mil/local/nrnpasew/.
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