It was memorial day 2004 when PJ Degross decided she wanted to take a more active roll in supporting US troops in Iraq. And thus began a grass roots effort to rally Carson City residents to her cause.
PJ Degross has set up a command center in the basement of her Carson City home. After setting up a local rally... She collected gifts and supplies to send to iraq.... All donated by her neighbors in the capitol city. She's raised about 8-hundred dollars and filled up about 4 or 5 big containers of supplies.
But the hard part would be getting that material to Iraq. The military requires packages be sent to a specific individual... So PJ began searching the internet. And that's where she discovered Sargent Chris Missick, an army reservist from Sacramento who's part of the 319th signal battalion. They began e-mailing and he agreed to be her distribution point. During all this a friendship grew. PJ began to think of Chris as another son. And her determination to support our troops grew stronger.
Degross says "this isn't about politics. It's not about whether you agree with the war or not... We need to support them"
With the 319th home now... PJ has turned her attentions to another group of soldiers from Mississippi. But on July 17th she will honor Chris Missick when he visits her here in Nevada.
Degross says "he promised me.. He said when I get home your going to be the first person I come see."
The public is invited to this reception... It will be held in Carson City at the Casino Fandango. It's the first stop for Sargent Missick... who has vowed to visit many of the people who showed him kindness during his time in iraq.
If you'd like to vist the web of support..there's a link on our home page.