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10,000 for the troops: Send a holiday card to an active-duty military service member

After her son was killed in action in Iraq, a Valley woman started Military Assistance Mission to support those who serve.

PHOENIX — Have a few moments to spare? Write a message of thanks, sign a card, and express gratitude for those who serve.

Military Assistance Mission and the team at KSLX are working to collect holiday cards for active-duty military service members deployed overseas and across the globe.

Positive messages of love and support mean more than most will ever know to military men and women, and the family members of the country's heroes.

“Military Assistance Mission was started after our founder’s son, Michael Adam Marzano, who was serving our country in Haditha, Iraq, was killed in action... he was protecting a hospital from insurgents,” said Christina Erlandson, MAM’s director of external operations.

She explained the loss the organization’s founder Margy Bons endured on May 7, 2005.

It was then she made it her mission to give her full support to her son’s brothers and sisters who followed him into service.

“She understood on a very deep level the challenges and the struggles that they faced,” Erlandson said.

In her son’s honor, Margy created MAM to support the lowest ranks that sadly, qualify as working poor.

“Throughout the year we help them with financial assistance and morale programs… we’re helping them with things like rent, mortgage, car payment, utilities,” she said.

Now they’re teaming up with KSLX for the 10,000 For The Troops project, sending cards to our deployed service members.

“They’re away from their friends and they’re away from their family, so sending them a little bit of love, a little reminder that they’re appreciated and that they’re missed and just sending them, we call it, it’s a little a package of joy essentially,” she said.

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Erlandson will never forget the impact the cards had on a veteran who was helping at a holiday card packing party.

“As she was creating one of these cards and was packaging it up, she got very teary-eyed, because she remembers what it was like when she was deployed over the holidays, and she was the recipient of one of these,” Erlandson said.

Marzano’s legacy continues to live on in yet another effort, making a difference in the lives of thousands.

“They’ll never know him, but his love continues through all the work that we do every day,” Erlandson said.

If you are connected to a soldier or service member who is deployed, MAM is also looking for mailing addresses. They will be collecting the cards until December 8th at numerous drop-off locations around the Valley.

For more information about where to drop off your holiday cards, go to: https://kslx.com/mark-and-neanderpauls-10000-for-the-troops/

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