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A Veterans United employee holds up a Battalion Buddy bear during the recent National Day of the Deployed (October 26, 2023 photo courtesy of Kerri Lotven of the Veterans United Foundation)

(LISTEN): Columbia-area VU employees and veterans sending care packages to troops, ahead of Veterans Day

Veterans United Home Loans (VU) employees and mid-Missouri veterans assembled the care packages during the recent National Day of the Deployed (October 26, 2023 photo courtesy of Kerri Lotven of the Veterans United Foundation)

More than 350 employees from Columbia-based Veterans United Home Loans (VU) have assembled about 1,000 care packages and have written letters of support for deployed troops. They’ve also hand-filled 200 Battalion Buddy bears to send to military children with a parent who’s currently deployed.

It was done on the recent National Day of the Deployed, ahead of Saturday’s Veterans Day. Ry Colman is VU’s community engagement manager.

“You realize that these are folks that are serving and sacrificing for us who are away from home, and they don’t have that connection to what home is like. And for us to be able to bundle up a small package of these various items that make people feel like they have that connection to home,” Mr. Colman says.

VU employees were joined by mid-Missouri veterans and staff from Operation Gratitude to assemble the care packages. Those packages contain snacks, personal care and hygiene products.

Mr. Colman notes the handwritten letters to American servicemen and women are part of the care packages being sent.

“I think my favorite thing that goes in the packages are the handwritten cards from grateful Americans and our Veterans United employees that say thank you. And recognize that hey, you’re far from home but we’re thinking about you here,” says Mr. Colman.

He notes VU’s mission is to enhance lives.

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