November 14, 2008

New Town veteran makes troops his holiday priority

New Town veteran makes troops his holiday priority



Gilbert Berg doesn’t look like Santa Claus but to North Dakota’s members of the U.S. military, he just might be.

This is the fourth year Berg is preparing Christmas gift packages that will be sent to North Dakota servicemembers serving around the world. That includes members of the North Dakota National Guard, Army Reserve, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.

Berg began his holiday volunteer work because of a small gesture his sisters made in the 1960s when he was serving in Guam in the Air Force. They sent him a couple of packages of cookies that arrived crushed to pieces, but the crumbs tasted great and he knew his absence was being kept in mind at home.

"I remember what those packages did for me when I was at Anderson Air Force Base," Berg said. "And for the troops, it tells them someone at home is thinking about them."

He is currently compiling a list of units and personnel who are deployed and will accept cash donations and small items like candy, beef jerky, sunflower seeds and toiletries.

"If anyone has relatives in the service, have them send their address to me," Berg said. "We are going to try to get packages to them by the holidays."

The Weather Network