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Family of fallen Grantsville soldier hold Christmas drive for troops overseas

By Alex Cabrero | Posted - Oct 29th, 2011 @ 6:18pm

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TOOELE -- It's not even Halloween yet, but at least one Utah family is already thinking about Christmas. When you want to send gifts to troops overseas you can't wait until the last minute.

Kylee Dalton of Tooele and her family were broken hearted to hear that some troops don't getting anything at all in the military mail. So to help troops, they set up a small booth inside a grocery story asking for donations for Holiday Care Packages. They set up shop inside Soelberg's market in Stansbury Park asking shoppers to help make sure troops get something for Christmas.

"I've heard of people who have been deployed for a year and didn't receive one thing. Not a letter, nothing," Dalton said.

They know what it's like to have a loved one overseas and what it's like to lose one, and now that their family has been personally affected by the war they want to help anyway they can.

"Two or three years ago, I might have walked right past this stand and not even thought about it, but it just hits home," Dalton said.

Her cousin is Jordan Byrd --the 19-year old Grantsville soldier and brand new dad --who was shot and killed in Afghanistan last year.

Savanna Byrd is Jordan's young wife who misses him terribly. She knows she will never have another Christmas on Earth with her husband but she wants to make sure other soldiers at least get something for the holidays.

"I'm sure it's nice for them to feel the love, especially coming from the community. It's a whole other feeling, you know?" Byrd said.

Sure it's just a small box of goodies but for the soldier who gets it it's a pretty big deal.

"It's the least we can do for everything they are doing for us," Dalton said.

"It just makes us feel that nobody forget Jordan, and just brings everybody closer together and you feel good about it," Byrd said.

For those who would like to set up a holiday package drive for some soldiers, one way is to just get in touch with the military through a recruiter to get names or overseas addresses and get permission from a local grocery store to set up a booth.


Alex Cabrero

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