Sending a card is a small gesture, but it can mean the world to someone who's away from loved ones during the holidays. Friday, the Red Cross is asking the community for a few quick words to let our servicemen and women know they're not forgotten this holiday season.
It was a birthday no one in the Maxey house will ever forget. Lance Corporal Michael Maxey was celebrating his July 15th birthday at the beach. The next day he started his deployment to Afghanistan.
The pictures are fond memories that are only a few months old and now Tina Maxey is preparing for Christmas away from her son. "It's hard, but it's harder for him I'm sure," she said.
Michael's grandfather John Gregory, a Vietnam vet himself, knows exactly what being deployed is like. "It's lonely but you make the best of it. It's a job." John said getting a letter from home meant the world. "It's special. Seems like you would get a whole stack when you did get them, then none for two or three weeks."
It's that special message from a letter the Red Cross is working to give our servicemembers this holiday season.
"They know that everyone is thinking about them. It's really important they know everyone appreciates what they're doing and we're thinking about them," said Red Cross Volunteer Coordinator Amy Mayer.
Tina Maxey says it's the quick notes from Michael that speak volumes. "He wrote something on Facebook to me stating to me that he does miss everything."
The Red Cross will host an event this afternoon where the community can sign donated cards. It goes from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Valley Plaza Mall center square. If you can't make it to the event, the deadline to get the cards to the Red Cross is Friday, December 7. For more information, contact the Kern County Red Cross at (661) 324-6427.