The November death of Belvidere Marine Branden Ramey brought the war in Iraq tragically home to the stateline, a fact that came extra hard for Dusty Morgan.
"I think about it every day and I think about the guys over there, and it's just so sad they have to spend time away from their families to be over there and fight for our freedom," Morgan said.
Their fight inspired Morgan's fight to get Marines in Iraq stocked for the holidays. After Ramey's death, Morgan got in touch with www.anysoldier.com, a military supply network. She's sent letters out to hundreds in her neighborhood, gathering goods, package by package.
"A lot of them don't come until March or April of 2005, and they need so much stuff and they're asking, "Please, will you send warm clothes and even little things like popcorn?" Morgan said.
Morgan will send out the first round of packages in the coming weeks, while she gathers more hygiene and food supplies for future packages. In the season of giving, Dusty is proud to provide marines with the ultimate gift in the Middle East, unwavering support.
"They are over there with sand in their hair and sand in their eyes, and they don't get presents, so it's kind of nice to send things over there and you know you are giving for Christmas," Morgan said.
And even though the holiday season will come and go, Morgan is excited to continue her cause well into 2005, asking not how Marines can serve her, but how she can serve them.
"I'm going to send packages past Christmas, and New Year's, hopefully into next year. I hope they just keep coming. I'm not planning on stopping anytime," Morgan said.
If you are interested in contributing to sending supplies to the marines in Iraq, you can contact Dusty Morgan at (815) 814-4398.