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Holiday care packages
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic Of Korea -- Major Stephen Jordan, 8th Force Support Squadron commander, gets ready to deliver cookies and stockings to members of the 8th Fighter Wing staff here Dec. 24. Ms. Dona Neusbaum, mother of a former Wolf Pack member, along with citizens of Lubbock, Texas, sent hand-made Christmas stockings and other gifts to every Airman at Kunsan. (U.S. Air Force photo by: Senior Airman Angela Ruiz)
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Friends back home send holiday cheer to Kunsan Airmen

Posted 12/25/2008   Updated 1/11/2009 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Gustavo Gonzalez
8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

12/25/2008 - KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- An effort intended to make holidays feel a little more like home, saw Airmen and Soldiers returning from work here Dec. 24, finding stockings hanging at their doors. 

Kunsan's first sergeants, chiefs, commanders and other volunteers all helped out to ensure the gifts were delivered to every Air Force and Army member on base, just in time for Christmas. 

First Lt. Andrew Boykins, 8th Civil Engineer Squadron, explained how what is quickly becoming a Kunsan tradition began with the efforts of one former Wolf Pack member and the good will of family and friends back home. 

"The first time we did it at Kunsan was last year." Said Lieutenant Boykins. "[Last year] one of our CE Red Devil company grade officers, 1st Lt Rachael Nussbaum, got with her mother, Dona Nussbaum, who lives in Lubbock, Texas, and they just kind of just devised this whole thing." 

After a successful delivery of the stockings last year, Lieutenant Nussbaum wanted to repeat the effort this. Before PCSing she left Lieutenant Boykins and Capt. Steven Vick, 8th Civil Engineer Squadron, her mother's contact information to get the stockings delivered once again. Mrs. Nussbaum then got together with her church and other different organizations to raise money and put together homemade staockings for every single active duty member at Kunsan. 

Though the concept sounded easy, they had to take a couple of steps to achieve this. Lieutenant Boykins explained. Because of the value of teh gifts, they first needed approval from 7th Air Force Commander Lt. Gen Jeffrey Remington. Then the volunteers from Lubbock went to work. 

People across the city got involved--from kindergarten students to Tom Martin, Mayor of Lubbock, and even district representative Randy Neugebauer. Both Mayor Martin and Congressman Neugebauer included personal letters in the stockings thanking the Wolf Pack members for their service. 

"They know we are all out here unaccompanied and I think it kind of hit home when Rachael was out here," said Lieutenant Boykins. "[The thought was] let's do something for Rachael and every person she's out there with spending Christmas without their families." 

A staging point was set up near CES' environmental warehouse where Chiefs and First Shirts picked up the stockings for their squadrons. Some were hung on the doors of the dorm rooms to surprise Airmen coming home from work while others where personally delivered. Every stocking was delivered by 8 p.m. Christmas Eve. 

Senior Airman Steven Pringle, 8th Maintenance Squadron, received his stocking at work and appreciative of the sentiment. 

"I think it's great." said Airman Pringle. "I appreciate you all coming out spreading the holiday cheer and I appreciate the time that you're taking out of your schedule to come and do this and I really appreciate it." 

More than 2,500 stockings were delivered to Kunsan's Airmen and Soldiers.

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