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Local Bikers and Moms Show Support for Soldiers

By: Pachatta Pope Email
By: Pachatta Pope Email

More than 2,000 bikers made their way to Lake Somerville, along with two moms on a very special mission to fill boxes.

Nina Gayheart is one of those moms. She happens to be the Volunteer Area Manager for Operation Interdependence, Inc.'s Austin location.

"We are sending 100 boxes packed with 50 quart-sized baggies in each box, which supports one entire platoon," Gayheart said.

That translates into 500,000 soldiers each getting one of those bags. Each one is filled with the granola and candy bars, Girl Scout cookies, playing cards, and even toothbrushes.

Gayheart said she became involved with Operation Interdependence after her son joined the Marines. She said she thought of her son receiving packages while others were left empty-handed.

"They get nothing from home, and so for them to get a letter and a little package from someone they don't even know, it really makes their day," Gayheart said.

Gayheart and a fellow military mom decided to literally take matters into their own hands and found support in the biker community. Rob Riley, the owner Hawgs of Texas, said after hearing what they wanted to do, he wanted to get involved.

"We ran into them at a rally and the more I got to talk to them, the more I realized this is an awesome situation," Riley said.

He invited the moms to his organization's yearly benefit run to receive help packing boxes and tax-deductible monetary donations for shipping costs. On Friday, the moms, Girl Scouts and bikers all pitched in to pack 100 boxes filled with goodies.

They even got a special bonus -- the opportunity via satellite to tell the recipients in Iraq and Afghanistan how much they appreciate them.

"They all love the soldiers, and this a great opportunity to tell them how much they love and care for them and support them," Riley said.

Their partnership may be unusual, but their mission makes them interdependent.


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