Looking back 11 years ago finds credit unions providing holiday cheer to soldiers in an earlier war in the Middle East. Sensitive to the needs of U.S. troops and credit union members facing the holidays away from home, defense credit unions in Florida rallied to send holiday greetings overseas. Credit unions collected everything from Christmas cards and Kool-Aid, to beef jerky and hot sauce. "Our first care packages were put together by employees only but it was so successful we got the members involved in a second campaign," said Dedie Campbell, Jax Navy FCU marketing coordinator. Efforts amounted to nearly 800 pounds of mail for the 9,000 JNFCU members stationed in the Mideast. In addition, JNFCU provided free videotaping services for families and friends to send messages to overseas personnel. One Naval Officer wrote back the following: "Thanks so much for thinking of the men who work 12-16 hours every day, no weekends or holidays. The heat and sun are intense in the Red Sea as we prepare for whatever follows. We pray for peace but are ready for the worst. Please convey my personal thank you to your people."

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