By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Special Delivery Brightens Holiday Season For Soldiers
Striking a pose with the colorful notes of encouragement included in their holiday care packages are members of the 162nd Fighter Wing of the U.S. Air Force, including local resident Jarrod Lial, far right, a firefighter with the Air Force. Photo Contributed

Second grade students at Dent Elementary School made the holidays brighter for plenty of service members, sending off a dozen packages recently.

One of them was received by Jarrod Lial, a staff sergeant and firefighter in the U.S. Air Force. From Oakdale, Lial now lives in Escalon and is serving with the 162nd Fighter Wing.

“My brothers and I wanted to thank all of you so much for your support and the care package,” Lial wrote to the second graders in response to their gifts. “It’s greatly appreciated to see the love you guys have for our military. We definitely enjoyed the candy in there. It didn’t last very long! Once again we are all so very thankful.”

The second grade class of teachers Katie Bartelink and Jeanine Panero helped coordinate the project, which involved all second grade classes. Packages went to such diverse locations as Qatar and Korea, helping make the holidays away from home a little happier. A group of soldiers in Korea sent back letters to students to thank them as well, noted Bartelink.