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Deployed soldiers’ families seeking some holiday cheer

By Ginna Young

It’s not easy on a family when a soldier is deployed overseas and this year has been exceptionally challenging. To help give kids in the U.S. Army Reserve 327th Engineer Company a good Christmas, members of the company’s Soldier Readiness Family Group (SRFG) are collecting toys.

Toys for ages four through 18, are needed, and can be dropped off at the Courier Sentinel office, unwrapped, by Dec. 13. Once the items are all in, Cornell resident Amy Hugh will take the toys to a designated distribution site.

Amy’s husband, Sgt. David Hugh, an almost 20-year veteran, is currently deployed to the Middle East, so Amy is manning the home front and helping with the toy drive.

“We do what we can,” she said.

Usually, the SRFG is quite active, with festivities for the group’s families throughout the year, but with a pandemic ongoing, activities have been curtailed. That’s why Amy would love to see a huge assortment of toys collected for the group’s kids.

She says last Christmas, the SRFG held a huge celebration, sort of a pre-send-off for the soldiers.

“We already knew about the deployment (that was upcoming),” said Amy.

The 327th is located out of Onalaska, but part of the company was headquartered in Ladysmith, before it was closed down, and once, in Cornell (kitty corner from the River Country Store).

“I think many people don’t know the unit was actually in Cornell,” said Hugh.

Those who would like to help out with the toys, can drop off their donations or call Amy at 715-827-1500. With the community’s help, the lives of the deployed soldiers’ families can be made a little brighter, until all the troops come home.