2015 Operation Date Night


Support Siouxland Soldiers served over 150 Military families at the 2015 Operation Date Night Event! Over $3,000 in Texas Road House gift cards were handed out along with free car wash coupons to Cubby’s in the Dunes, free haircuts, movie passes, sweet treats provided by Sugar Shack Baker and free groceries!

The event was covered by the Sioux City Journal. Photos and article compliments of the Sioux City Journal.

SIOUX CITY | Veterans came in with thinning gray hair, bushy eyebrows. They sat down in rolling office chairs and two hairstylists tamed their tousled locks – at no charge.

A handful of others waited and watched Becky Leigh give a trim during an event dubbed Operation Date Night, where veterans and military family members could get free groceries, gift cards to Texas Roadhouse, a car wash coupon and a haircut before Valentine’s Day.

Every other month, Support Siouxland Soldiers hosts a Food for Veterans event at the American Red Cross. The nonprofit organization served over 700 families and 2,100 singles last year. Ninety-four percent of recipients are living in poverty, said Sam Hacker, community outreach coordinator.

A line began to form well before the doors officially opened at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. Goods and services are distributed on a first come, first served basis. Eighty boxes of food were gone within 30 minutes.

Support Siouxland Soldiers started in 2007, primarily sending care packages to troops overseas. Most recently the group mailed Valentine’s Day cards created by students. The food program was added about three years ago.

Leigh started volunteering in June. At one event, she did 19 haircuts in four hours. She found out about the need for a hairstylist through a friend.

“They didn’t have anybody so I just started doing it,” she said.

On Tuesday, she had a coworker come with her to keep the line moving.

They set up a makeshift salon in one of the rooms, laying down thin white Red Cross blankets to catch the clippings. Without a shampoo bowl, Rebecca Lozano spritzed heads of hair with a spray bottle.

“Whatever works, you know,” she said.

Lozano graduated from beauty school a month ago and started working at the same salon as Leigh. She put in a full day of work at Rumor Haz It before making the three-minute drive over to the Red Cross building to give back to the service men and women in the community. Her daughter did a tour in Iraq and her father served in Vietnam.

Over the buzz of an electric clipper, Lozano and Leigh made small talk with the men.

“I bet that feels better already,” Leigh said to the veteran in the chair.

“It does. It does,” he said.

In addition to the hairdressers donating their services, Claudia Hessa, the owner of Sugar Shack Bakery provided a delectable array of cupcakes, cookies, bars and cheesecake bites. The connection comes through her husband John Hessa, who serves as the veteran representative of IowaWorks Greater Siouxland. He regularly attends the events to connect with veterans who need help.

Usually, a massage therapist comes too.

“We just want to help any way we can,” Hacker said.

Become a Home Base Iowa Business!

The State of Iowa has formalized a program, and there are strong efforts in both Nebraska and South Dakota, to ensure we are doing all that we can to provide a path to full-time civilian employment for the brave men and women who have served our country in uniform.

This morning, the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce hosted a press conference with the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and the City of Sioux City to promote Sioux City as a certified Home Base Iowa (HBI) community.  Becoming an HBI community will require 275 local, Iowa-based businesses to become certified HBI employers by completing the HBI Form (attached) which requires a good faith effort to hire at least one veteran in the next four years or prior to December 31, 2018.

Please join the many other businesses, large and small alike, that have demonstrated their support of our veterans by joining this important program.Home-Base-Iowa_Front-and-Back-(3)-1 Home-Base-Iowa_Front-and-Back-(3)-2

Join us for the Veterans Stand Down Event!

Veterans Stand Down
August 22, 2014
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
American Red Cross
4200 War Eagle Drive

Welcome all veterans to this gathering of county, state, and federal veterans’ services. On-the-spot help including a free meal, free groceries provided by Support Siouxland Soldiers, hair cuts, clothing, community housing referral, medical treatment, readjustment counseling, legal assistance, women veteran services, and much more.

Free bus transportation for all Veterans will be provided by the Sioux City Transit. For Bus Route Information call 712-279-6404

For more information about the event, call: 712-255-3808


Veteran Stand Down Event! August 22

Please join us for the Veterans Stand Down Event
Support Siouxland Soldiers will be providing free groceries. (first come, first serve)August 22, 2014
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
American Red Cross
4200 War Eagle Drive, Sioux City, IA

Free Sioux City Transit transportation to this event for all Veterans
Welcome all veterans to this gathering of county, state, and federal veterans’ services. On-the-spot help including meal, clothing, community housing referral, medical treatment, readjustment counseling, legal assistance, women veteran services, and much more. For more information, call: 712-255-3808
Thank you to the Sioux City Transit for providing free transportation for all Veterans to this event!

Thank you to the American Red Cross, Serving Greater Iowa for providing a great location for this event!

Thank you, Tires Tires Tires!

BBQinvite2Tires Tires Tires graciously donated free delicious pulled pork sandwiches for over 300 Veterans and their family members on July 10th as part of a Pay It Forward Event for our Siouxland Military Families!! This event also provided free groceries, haircuts and massages donated by Main Street Massage. Veteran serving organizations also attended our event including the local and county Veterans Affairs offices, Paws For Patriots & Partners for Patriots, 185th Family Services Staff and IowaWORKS. Big Thanks to the American Red Cross – Serving Greater Iowa for hosting the event in their building and coordinating volunteers to help with the BBQ!

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Thank you, Thrivent Financial & Members!

10451850_684407738281792_6375424683000689574_nThank you, Thrivent Financial and their Members for raising $8,191 at the July 3rd Explorer’s game! That puts the six year total over $63,000!!

For the past six years Thrivent Financial has made it their signature event to sponsor the July 3rd Explorer’s Baseball game, purchasing over 1,000 baseball game tickets and food vouchers for local Veterans, Military families and Thrivent members. The event captures the true essence of America’s favorite past-time with Explorer’s Baseball, fireworks and supporting the Troops!

Siouxland is located in the tri-state area of Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. Since 9/11 hundreds of National Guard service members from Siouxland have been on multiple deployments. Most deployments were to Iraq and Afghanistan lasting over a year in duration. With thousands of families affected, Thrivent Financial wanted to get involved and help support the Troops. They found Support Siouxland Soldiers, a very small, and back then, a brand-new non-profit that was started by military families who were working to pull the Siouxland Community together to ship care-packages to the Troops. Six years later, Thrivent has helped our military families ship over 4,000 care-packages. But they didn’t stop there. When the troops started coming home Thrivent continued their funding to help support the families after the war. No Service Member returns from war unaffected, that is why Support Siouxland Soldiers provides free BBQ events, groceries, rental assistance, financial emergency grants and more to thousands of Siouxland’s Veterans. Over 25,000 lbs. of groceries have been distributed in just two years. With over 18,000 Veterans residing in the Siouxland area we are so grateful for Thrivent Financial’s continued support!

The July 3rd game is an event to remember! The players wear special patriotic camouflaged jerseys that are auctioned off after the game with all proceeds benefiting the Troops. The first pitch is thrown by a local Veteran and kids turn into “Baseball Buddies” as they join the team in some pre-game practice. Thrivent Members throw out freebies to the crowd throughout the game and pass the hat to take up a collection for Support Siouxland Soldiers. All donations are matched and supplemented by Thrivent Financial and a check is presented to Support Siouxland Soldiers on the field between innings. After the game, the lights go out, the patriotic music begins and an impressive fireworks display is provided for all in attendance.

It’s because of Thrivent’s generous donations that Support Siouxland Soldiers has been able to provide over 4,000 care-packages to the deployed Siouxland Troops; distribute over 25,000 lbs. of food to Siouxland Veterans and provide thousands in emergency grants and rental assistance! Their donations have provided much needed support not only to those who went to war but the entire Siouxland Military Community.

“I think that we don’t support our local Soldiers enough,” said Pam Bales of Thrivent Financial. “We hear everything that’s going on in the world and I think we kind of forget what’s happening right here and that’s what our company is all about, supporting the local community.”

Thank you, Thrivent Financial!!

July 3rd Heroes Game Supports Local Veterans


Join us for an evening of America’s favorite pastime at Lewis & Clark Park, home of the Sioux City Explorers on Thursday, July 3rd, where the Explorers play host to the Witchita Wingnuts for a 7:05 p.m. battle. The Sioux City Explorers, Thrivent Financial and Support Siouxland Soldiers are joining forces that evening to raise awareness and monetary donations for the Food for Siouxland Veterans program.

During the game, Thrivent Financial will be presenting Support Siouxland Soldiers with a donation to assist Siouxland Veterans with food and personal care items. Thrivent Financial and their members have raised over $55,000 over the course of five years to support Siouxland Veterans, Service Members and Military families.

The evening will feature the 7:05 pm game with post-game fireworks by Lantis Fireworks, a game-worn camouflage jersey auction, live performance of the National Anthem, along with an array of giveaways! Join us for this affordable evening of family entertainment and celebrate American Tradition at Lewis & Clark Park.

Game tickets can be purchased by calling 712.277.WINS, visiting the Sioux City Explorers website at www.xsbaseball.com or by stopping down to the X’s Box Office.

“I think that we don’t support our local Soldiers enough,” said Pam Bales of Thrivent Financial. “We hear everything that’s going on in the world and I think we kind of forget what’s happening right here and that’s what our company is all about, supporting the local community.”


July 10th BBQ and Food for Veterans!

Save the Date! Support Siouxland Soldiers and the Red Cross are teaming up to host another Summertime BBQ and Food for Veterans event on:
Thursday, July 10th
Doors open at 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
at the Red Cross, 4200 War Eagle Dr.
We can’t wait to see you! There will be free grilled hotdogs, hamburgers, and refreshments starting at 5:30 p.m. We will also distribute free groceries, hygiene items and more. Please provide your proof of service. Thank you for your service to our Country! We are very grateful for your sacrifices!


Local Restaurant and Dearborn Area Chamber Member Donates Over 7,000 Meals to Veterans and Families in Need


Dearborn, MI: Genevieve Vang has a big heart, and she is not afraid to prove it. Vang, President/Executive Chef of Bangkok 96 Thai Restaurant in Dearborn, along with her daughter, Caroline Polly recently donated over 7,000 gluten-free Thai-inspired meals, called Thai Feast to approximately 300 veterans and military families at a veterans food distribution event, hosted by Support Siouxland Soldiers, a nonprofit located in Sioux City, Iowa. The donation was distributed to area veterans and families on May 1 at the nonprofits summer kickoff family BBQ, which included free haircuts, massages, games, prizes, free groceries, and hygiene items.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to bless those who have sacrificed their time and who put their lives on the line for our country,” said Vang. “Donating these meals was the least we can do to show our gratitude.”

Support Siouxland Soldiers worked with Vang and Polly to transport the meals to Sioux City for the distribution. Among the challenges they faced was the lack of a refrigerated food truck. After learning of the problem, the Food Bank of Siouxland provided the necessary truck for the transport for the big BBQ event on May 1.

“It was such a pleasure to work with both Support Siouxland Soldiers and the Food Bank of Siouxland to make this donation a huge success!” commented Polly. “The organizers from the food bank and Siouxland Troops were very excited when we confirmed the amount of the donation for them.

Thai Feast, a frozen, gluten-free Thai-inspired meal was created by Bangkok 96 owner Genevieve Vang to “spread hope and beauty.” Vang grew up as a child refugee during the Vietnam War and experienced the tragedy of the times first hand.

“She knows what it feels like to be hungry as a former child refugee of the Vietnam War,” explained Polly.

Today, Vang continues to help with running the restaurant while Polly manages the business and the Thai Feast brand.

“I remember making meals with my mother, one by one,” mentioned Polly. “Her love for the United States of America inspired us to grow our own business!”

Although not a veteran herself, caring for and serving our troops has a special place in Vang’s heart.

“I can remember several years ago…a Vietnam War Veteran came in telling me that…he thought my family was angry with the American veterans,” explained Polly. “I was shocked…and I told him that we actually thank the American veterans for their sacrifices to defend our homeland and to help ethnic minorities…”

Photo Caption: Volunteers from Support Siouxland Soldiers prepare to distribute over 7,000 frozen Thai Feast meals to veterans and their families who are in need. Bangkok 96 Thai Restaurant (of Dearborn) owner Genevieve Vang and her daughter, Caroline Polly donated the meals for the May 1 event in Sioux City, Iowa.

Two Upcoming Events!

1461156_574975019225065_1108859705_nSave the dates!

Care-Pack Event:
For the families of the deployed Troops, we are hosting a special care-pack event on:
(Please email siouxlandtroops@gmail.com if you have a deployed service member and plan to attend)
Thurs. June 26th, 2014
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
at the Red Cross
4200 War Eagle Dr. Sioux City

Support Siouxland Soldiers will provide all of the shipping materials, snacks and hygiene items and pay the shipping fees. Families can pack their Service Member’s care-package and bring their favorite snacks, photos, cards, ect. to include in the care-packages.

Food for Veterans Event:
Veterans and their families are invited to pick-up free food on:
Thurs. July 10, 2014
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
at the Red Cross
4200 War Eagle Dr. Sioux City

Please provide proof of service. First come, first serve.

Over 1,300 attend Chive on Iowa and SD’s Unofficial Meetup to Support the Troops!


Chive on Iowa and South Dakota came together for a great cause on Saturday, May 3rd in Sioux City, IA!  The organization planned a HUGE Unofficial Sioux City Meetup at the Fire House and Doxx Bars where they entertained over 1,300 guests! Entertainment included live music performed by the Kelly Quinn Band and Citrus Club and all proceeds were donated to Support Siouxland Soldiers! Thank You, to Pauly, owner of the Firehouse and Doxx and the Chive On Staff for choosing Support Siouxland Soldiers as the beneficiary for this event and big thanks to all of the staff and servers for making this one of the best events of the year!

Support Siouxland Soldiers has:

  • Sent over 4,000 care-packages to our deployed troops
  • Distributed over 25,000 lbs. of food and hygiene items to Veterans & Military Families
  • Created the Homeless Veterans Fund and raised $25,000 for Homeless Veterans
  • Distributed hundreds of gift cards and gifts to Military Children for the Holidays

BBQ For Veterans Serves 300!

10177436_651637528225480_9044215309550982720_nApproximately 300 Veterans and Military family members joined us at the Red Cross on Thursday, May 1 to kick off the summer with a BBQ, Free haircuts, massages, games, prizes, free groceries, hygiene items and fellowship! Thai Feast donated thousands of frozen asian-inspired entrees to the event to distribute amongst the Veterans. Each family took home a case of 6 meals along with an assortment of free groceries including frozen ground beef, cereal, canned fruits and vegetables, rice, noodles and more! The event was a huge success and we can’t thank our volunteers and sponsors enough!

American Red Cross Serving Greater Iowa
Food Bank of Siouxland
Thai Feast
Rock Tenn
Hampton Inn
Ben Star
Calhoun Communications
Dawn and Dave Welch
Helen Moss,  Main Street Massage
Styles by Tiffany
Jr. Quota Club
New Hope Church of Moville
Cubby’s Convenience Store
Legion Axillary of Alton

Operation Engage America, Saturday, June 7, Des Moines, IA


************Click Here to Download the Registration Form*********************

Operation Engage America Partners
Howard & Jean Somers Lisa & Jeff Naslund
American Legion Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America Veterans of Foreign Wars
San Diego VA Medical Center Paralyzed Veterans of America VA Central Iowa Health Care System

You may be familiar with our son, Daniel Somers. He was a CA Army National Guardsman who returned to civilian life from the Iraq war as so many of our warriors do, suffering from invisible wounds. For Daniel it was not only Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury, but also Gulf War Syndrome. His transition to civilian life ended last June when he took his own life, unable to cope any longer with multi-system health issues. We have made it our mission to address the multiple barriers that kept Daniel from receiving the proper treatment he so desperately needed. In that process we hope to ensure that no other veteran or family suffers as ours has.
Lisa and Jeff Naslund of Galva IA know our story; it is theirs as well. Their son, U.S. Army Sgt. Dillion Naslund, completed tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dillion believed that, as a soldier, he needed to deal with the demons that often flashed in nightmares and cold sweat by himself. He was highly decorated, highly revered, and at a desperate crossroads when he took his life on Dec, 10, 2012 at the age of 25.
We have learned countless facts over the past ten months: Among them, PTSD is not military-specific. It affects our first responders, victims of domestic, child and sexual abuse, even some of those who’ve experienced natural disasters and automobile accidents. Additionally, there are thousands of people who sincerely want to help. It is estimated that there are 44,000 volunteer organizations in the United States dedicated to helping service members and their families.
So, you may ask, what is the problem? The problem is visibility. As parents of a married service member, we had no idea that there were resources for us, resources that could have helped us understand what our son went through, what he was going through and how to help him. We had no idea that we could have called the Veterans Administration and asked to speak with his mental health providers to give them a clearer picture of what changes we saw in Daniel. We had no idea that the Vet Center could have provided us insight and guidance in how to talk to him about his war experiences.
There has been much progress at the VA and DoD since Daniel last “touched” the government system that should have helped him. There is much still to be done. There are those 44,000 organizations trying to fill the many gaps. But how do you know who they are, how do you find them, how do you even know they are there for you?
We would like to start putting those organizations together with America now. We would like to engage America in the process of helping to heal our service members, our veterans and their families. As such, we have partnered with the American Legion, VFW, IAVA, Paralyzed Veterans of America and the VA to bring awareness and support to PTSD and TBI issues by educating the community regarding local resources. We have named our effort Operation Engage America (OEA). Our goal is to have a grassroots event every June, PTSD Awareness month, in as many communities across America as we can. This year’s inaugural Operation Engage America will be held on June 7th in two cities: San Diego, CA and Des Moines, IA.
One day at a time,
Howard and Jean Somers

Food For Veterans and Cookout!

Veterans and Military families – Join us for our upcoming Cookout and Food for Veterans Event on Thurs. May 1st at the Red Cross, 4200 War Eagle Dr! There will be free hotdogs, hamburgers, chips and refreshments starting at 5:00 p.m. with free massages provided by Main Street Massage! Promptly at 5:30 p.m. we will start distributing free groceries and hygiene items. Please bring your proof of service. First come, first serve. Thank you to our private donors and event sponsors: Calhoun Communications, Main Street Massage


Food For Veterans Event


Next Date: March 6
Support Siouxland Soldiers, the American Red Cross and the Foodbank of Siouxland have teamed up to distribute FREE groceries to Siouxland Veterans and their families on:

Thursday, March 6
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
at the American Red Cross
4200 War Eagle Dr. Sioux City, IA.

Please provide proof of service at pick-up.
Sign up to receive email reminders:
Email: siouxlandtroops@gmail.com
Subject: Food For Veterans Email List

Our Veterans and their families have served and sacrificed, putting the priority of our Country before their own. As a way to say, “Thank you for your service!”, we will be distributing free groceries to our Veterans and their families.

Support Siouxland Soldiers To Participate in Purple Up for Military Kids!

purple up


Please join us in supporting the Purple Up for Military Children initiative! April is the month of the Military Child, a time to honor youth impacted by deployment. On April 15 we are encouraging everyone across Siouxland to wear purple in support of our military children for their strength and sacrifice. Take photos of your group in purple and share on the Facebook Page: Purple Up for Siouxland Military Kids.

Download the Purple Up Shirt Order Form Here!

Send completed order forms and checks payable to 185th Family Readiness to 185ARW/AFRPM, Attn: Lori Risdal, 2920 Headquarters Ave, Sioux City, IA 51111-1300. Proceeds will be used for future military youth events. Thanks for supporting Siouxland’s awesome military kids!

Valentine Care-Packages for the Troops!

1607052_616128965109670_996239842_nWe had a great evening on Monday, Feb. 10 packing Valentine  care-packages for the deployed Siouxland Troops and handing out Operation Date Night Gifts to over 280! Each couple received a Texas Road House gift card, a $10 Car wash from Cubby’s in the Dunes and two Free Movie Passes!

Pancake Fundraiser For Rick!


Rick Merrifield, a Western Iowa Veteran, has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Rick and his wife, Lori, live in Pisgah, Iowa and need assistance with transportation and medical costs. Rick grew up in Moorhead and served in the Army and National Guard in Mapleton, Denison, Carroll and Council Bluffs. Rick spent most of his civilian life as a self-employed truck driver and can no longer work due to his illness. For more information about how you can help, please call Randy Archer at (712) 301-9584.

Operation Date Night!

Online Registration is now closed.

With the help of our friends, Support Siouxland Soldiers is sending 280 people on Operation Date Night just in time for Valentine’s Day! Each couple will receive a Texas Road House gift card, two passes to the Riviera Theatre and Cubby’s Convenience Store in the Dunes Automatic Carwash!


Holiday Care-packages sent with Siouxland Love!

527064_10152171187678755_896561059_nSupport Siouxland Soldiers teamed up with Girls Inc., Life Serve Blood Center and Olsson Associates to collect care-package items for our deployed Siouxland Troops this Holiday season! Thank you to everyone who donated items and participated with these great organizations to fill the care-packages!!

Support Siouxland Soldiers Purchases $2,400 in Holiday Gift Cards for Military Families!

539812_591417104247523_2104532701_n 1476156_591325544256679_505562574_n 1488649_10152089558254769_1183897314_nholidayfb

We have our list and we’re checking it twice. 200 gifts will go out to those who paid the price!! Thank you for your service! Thanks to generous Siouxland individuals and businesses, we will be purchasing $2,400 in holiday gift cards for over 200 Veterans and Military family members to purchase toys for their children!! To Thank our Siouxland Veterans and Military Families for their service to our Country, Support Siouxland Soldiers is hosting our 6th annual Holidays for our Hereos event! The gift cards can be picked up on Thurs., Dec. 19 between 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. To allow us time to purchase all gifts in time for the event, registration is now closed. (Please provide proof of service at pick-up)

We know that freedom isn’t free and we are very grateful for your service and dedication to our Country. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Support Siouxland Soldiers gives out free groceries, gift cards and hats for Veteran’s Day!

On Monday, Nov. 11, 2013 Support Siouxland Soldiers distributed free groceries, gift cards and hats to over 100 Veterans on Veteran’s day and packed care-packages for the deployed Troops!

Free Musketeer’s Tickets for Veterans


The Sioux City Musketeers will honor veterans and service members at their game against the Lincoln Stars on Friday night, November 8th, 2013. Game time is 7:05pm, doors open at 6pm.

The team will be wearing special military jerseys for the occasion. The jerseys will be auctioned off immediately following the game, with all proceeds going to the Support Siouxland Soldiers organization.

Siouxland Surgery Center is sponsoring the event by offering two free tickets to all service members and veterans who present either a military ID, American Legion ID, a VFW ID, a VA Card, or a DD-214 along with a photo ID. Service members and veterans are asked to go the Tyson Events Center Box Office to pick up their free tickets in advance beginning Tuesday, November 5th.

There will be a special “Salute to the Services” presentation during the first intermission where all veterans and service members will stand and be recognized as the official song of their branch is played during the Armed Forces Medley.

Support Siouxland Soldiers will be giving away a limited supply of glow sticks to children in attendance to the game, as well as hats to a select number of veterans.


Support Siouxland Soldiers Teams Up with the Boys Club of Sioux City to Honor and Provide a Little “Help on the Homefront” for our Siouxland Heroes

On Veteran’s Day, Support Siouxland Soldiers and the Boys Club of Sioux City are teaming up to honor our Siouxland Heroes by distributing free groceries to Veterans and Military families and packing care-packages for the deployed Troops. Veterans and Military families are invited to pick-up their box of free groceries at the Boys Club of Sioux City between 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. on Veteran’s Day, Monday, November 11th. The younger Boys Club members will be packing and shipping care-packages full of goodies and treats collected by the students and staff of LeMars Community High School. The Boys Club is centrally located in downtown Sioux City at 823 Pearl St. Questions? Please email siouxlandtroops@gmail.com549221_473516199370948_606930179_n

LeMars Community High School and Support Siouxland Soldiers team up to Support the Troops!

DSCF3778Huge “Shout-out and Thank You” to the Students, Student Council and Staff of LeMars Community High School for Supporting our Deployed Troops, Veterans and Military Families! We Salute You!

From September 30 to October 18, 2013, Le Mars Community Student Council ran a food drive for Support Siouxland Soldiers. Students brought in food items and/or donated money to the cause. In addition, student council members contacted local businesses for monetary donations to purchase needed items and to help pay for shipping. Boxes were also setup at both Fareway and Hy-Vee for people to drop off food items.

The high school library sponsored a Fun Friday to support the soldiers as well. Students that donated two food items or $2 to Support Siouxland Soldiers were able to play board games, card games, computer games or just sit and visit with friends during that study hall. In addition, teachers gave extra incentives to students to bring in items. The results were astounding! Student council members, with help of teachers Mark and Judy Zeka, packed 18 care packages for Siouxland Soldiers that are currently deployed. In addition, they collected enough food and personal items (such as powder, deodorant, hand wash, etc). to fill two vans with the seats folded down! These items will be used for SSS’ Food for Veterans program and a Holiday Care Pack. LCHS Student Council quadrupled last year’s effort. This is the largest donation of items ever collected for Support Siouxland Soldiers.

In addition, student council president, AJ Schroeder and senior member Ally Mullally presented Support Siouxland Soldiers with a check for $674 to purchase needed items. Special thanks go to the Hy-Vee, Fareway, and many local businesses for their support. If you want to know (Amy) this is what goes in each box: handful of slim jims and at least 2 large packages of jerky at least 2 packages of tuna or salmon 2-4 jif-to-go peanut butter numerous small packages of crackers and cookies handfuls of granola/snack bars 2-4 pudding cups (we had over 500 of these donated) ramen noodles microwaveable mac and cheese 2-4 microwaveable popcorn microwaveable soup handfuls of powdered drink mixes handfuls of bags of fruit snacks (had over 500 boxes of these) oatmeal packets single servings of trail mix, peanuts, sunflower seeds etc package of baby wipes (in Ziploc bags — 2 pkgs handwarmers, 1 deodorant, Gold Bond foot powder, hand sanitizer, and 4 individual hand wipes)- Hard candies were then poured on top to fill in the “holes” In addition to all of that (we had enough of everything except jerky to fill 32 boxes — would have had enough jerky but we put 2 big pkgs in each), we collected over 400 boxes of mac and cheese, 200 boxes of hamburger helper, a huge amount of tuna, soups, veggies, cereals, pasta, fruit that went to the Food for Veterans Program. F for V will distribute Nov. 11 to Veterans and we hope to have students able to go down and help distribute.

Socks for Soldiers!

socksSupport Siouxland Soldiers teams up with local companies in Socks for Soldiers Campaign!

94 ROCK radio, Sonic America’s Drive In and Support Siouxland Soldiers recently teamed up for a 2-month campaign to gather supplies for soldiers in Afghanistan.  “Socks for Soldiers” started July 4th through Aug 23rd and included the help of Northeast Nebraskans to reach a goal of sending 94 care packages to the 3-4 Kilo Company 4th Platoon Unit 41600 stationed in Afghanistan.

Norfolkan Teresa Hall was very helpful in helping the 94 ROCK staff make a connection to the 3-4 Kilo Company as her son is a medic with the unit.  Teresa has been actively working on sending them care packages throughout the year because of the conditions in which the unit has to endure.  There are many locations where water is scarce so bathing is minimal and socks are worn out quickly.  Baby wipes to refresh and socks were at the top of the list by the unit followed by, licorice, ramen noodles, camera memory cards, pull-top canned foods, international calling cards, beef jerky, sunflower seeds, and powdered drink mix.

The campaign kicked off at Sonic as a drop off location and then 94 ROCK listeners were encouraged to drop off supplies and/or cash at the 94 ROCK booths at various summer events like Boomfest, town celebrations, and county fairs.

The generosity of Northeast Nebraskans was overwhelming with barrels of supplies and $2,000 in cash donated.  A special thanks to Support Siouxland Soldiers for their generous cash donations to help cover the postage costs, Target for their charitable donation of socks and Sonic, Elkhorn Valley Bank, Wattiers Auto Body, Stanton National Bank and Northeast Nebraska Federal Credit Union.

Support Siouxland Soldiers helps Homeless Veterans!

Support Siouxland Soldiers started a new fund called the Homeless Veterans Siouxland Campaign and teamed up with Thrivent Financial to raise funds for local veterans who need a place to call home. Together the two organizations raised over $23,000 for the fund. The check was presented to the Community Action Agency, the fiscal agent of Support Siouxland Soldiers.

Our Siouxland Veterans have endured long deployments protecting our homeland. Now it’s our turn to make sure they have a home to return to.

If you are a Veteran who needs emergency financial assistance to stay in your home or is looking for assistance to find a home, please call the Community Action Agency of Siouxland at (712) 274-1610 or (800) 352-3725.  Thank you to all who donated and volunteered!

Remembering our Deployed Troops and Serving our Veterans for Independance Day!

KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Care-pack and Food For Veterans Event (30 Care-packages sent!)
June 27
Doors will open from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
514 Nebraska St. Sioux City

If you have a currently deployed service member, please join us!  Bring your service member’s address and pack them a special care-package of goodies. Feel free to bring photos and cards to include in the box. We will supply the snacks, shipping materials and pay all of the shipping fees.

If you have served and are in need of a little extra food for your family, please stop down and receive a box of free groceries.

4th-of-july-picnicTo honor our Veterans and Military Families for Independence Day, we will be handing out free Explorer’s tickets for the July 3rd baseball game with fireworks and free food vouchers! Support Siouxland Soldiers, Thrivent Financial and the Community Action Agency will promote their new project, the Siouxland Homeless Veterans Fund, at the game. Support Siouxland Soldiers is giving $9,000 to this project. We will also raise funds at the game with a Camo Jersey Auction! Donations will be supplemented by Thrivent Financial, Support Siouxland Soldiers and Community Action Agency programs! 100% of the proceeds raised will help homeless, or near homeless, Veterans. For more information, please visit: HomelessVeteranshttp://siouxlandhomelessveterans.com/

Thank you, Cherokee Regional Medical Center for their abundance donation of snacks and hygiene items for the care-packages! Thank you to Caribou Coffee for donating coffee for the care-packages. Thank you to Woodbury Country Veterans Affairs office for donating sleeping bags and misc. items for the Veterans. Thank you to Lori Risdal and the Beef Stick Lady for donating beef sticks! Thank you to the VFW for donating food to the Food For Veterans program! Thank you to all of the wonderful volunteers who make these events possible!

Last, but most importantly, Thank you to all who have served! We are so grateful for your service and dedication to our Country! Happy Independence Day! Our Freedom was not Free!




The employees of Cherokee Regional Medical Center recently collected items to be included in troop care packages that will be sent to soldiers with Northwest Iowa ties. The care packages are being collated and distributed on Thursday, June 27.

Thanks to the generosity of the CRMC staff, hundreds of items were collected ranging from personal hygiene staples such as razors and lip balm, to snack items such as beef jerky, granola bars and chewing gum. They also collected cash donations to purchase other items specifically needed to complete the care packages. In addition, when Dr. Cassady Rider of Apple White Dental in Cherokee heard about CRMC’s troop care package initiative, she was quick to donate 100 toothbrushes and 100 tubes of toothpaste to the cause.

We are thrilled that Cherokee Regional Medical Center decided to step up and support our efforts! While many of our local area troops have come home, there is still a need as there are a number of troops with Siouxland ties deployed to various parts of the world. Collection drives such as the one that CRMC held are very important in helping our organization keep up with the demand for the care packages!

Kent Lundquist, Marketing and Public Relations manager at CRMC was equally pleased with the employee response to the project. “The staff of Cherokee Regional Medical Center continues to impress me in how much they are willing to support charitable causes. We were glad to help the Support Siouxland Soldiers organization in caring for our troops.”

Photo- In the month of May, Cherokee Regional Medical Center employees collected items to be included in the troop care packages being distributed by the Support Siouxland Soldiers organization later this month.  Pictured (Left to Right) with some of the items for the care packages are Connie Mohn, Diana Driggs, Jeff Nolder, Maralyn Christensen, JoAnne Tapper, Kim Hayes, Presley Johnston, Amanda Monroe-Rubendall, Jeannie Williams, Nicole Weathers, Dr. Cassady Rider of Apple White Dental, Theresa Kohn, Cindy Graham, Darla Werthman, Jessie Peterson, Shelly Simm, Kevin Naslund and Mike Letsche.