TEMPE, AZ - Valley resident Lynda Wooten began sending Christmas cards to her son and his division in 2003. He was serving as a combat medic in Iraq.
"Oh they were just ecstatic," said Wooten. "They thought it was the best thing in the world."
Ten years later, she's still sending cards and taking stamped donations from others. This year she is at Church of the Epiphany in Tempe, creating and sending cards to units in Afghanistan and possibly in Korea.
"The thought of a young guy sitting there and everybody else getting presents from their families and things and I thought ‘Well, they deserve a Christmas card,'" Wooten said.
It's a holiday gesture she feels is often overlooked.
"The world's not concentrating on what's going on," said Wooten. "Everything else is in the way, (the troops) are kind of forgotten."
She's not forgetting and doesn't want others to as well. Although her son has since come home from Iraq, she still wants to spread the holiday cheer to those who she feels need it the most.
"I'm hoping (the Christmas card drive) turns out to be a really big thing because we have a lot of soldiers we want to send good greetings too."
Residents can drop off holiday cards until November 24th. The church is open Sunday mornings between 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.