Colorado veterans send holiday packages to troops overseas

JOHNSTOWN, Colo. -- It's not uncommon for the Johnstown VFW to be busy on a Sunday afternoon, with veterans swapping stories over a beer at the bar.

But on this Sunday afternoon, the back room could have been mistaken for Santa's workshop.

Dozens of veterans and their families gathered for what's become an annual tradition: packing and sending care packages to troops overseas.

"We've all been there, done that, so we know what it's like," says Jeffrey Peters, the Commander of the Front Range chapter of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association. "It's hard to be away from family and friends."

The troop boxes are filled with food, socks and handwritten cards.

This year, they're sending 55 boxes to 13 troops.

"You're at least able to celebrate a small piece of what everybody else gets to take here for granted and enjoy," says Shaun Harpstrite, who served in Afghanistan in 2007 and says the troop boxes he received then were a big deal.

"It was a morale booster," he says.

The Front Range chapter raised $1,500 in donations this year, putting all of that money toward the boxes. Peters estimates it costs about $800 to ship the boxes overseas.

If you're interested in helping for next year, contact Peters at: 970-302-4858.

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