A Missouri community is helping U.S. soldiers bring some joy to thousands of Iraqi children, who find themselves caught in the middle of a military battle.
Dick Merseal lives in Richwoods, Missouri. "I think our town has a big heart, our town is the most giving. Anytime someone has a need or something, this town really kicks in."
Merseal started filling boxes with toys at his Richwoods home. He's got a good reason for helping out. His son is National Guard Captain Kurt Merseal, who is currently serving in Iraq.
Kurt's dad said, "He emailed us and said they didn't need anything, but the kids did. They didn't have anything, like 15 thousand of them."
The soldier's message was all it took to get nine packages in the mail already."
"A lot of the girls and guys donated the postage and that's why I keep these so they know where the money is going," according to Jean Merseal, the guardsman's mother.
Residents are also giving what they can at the St. Clair Chamber of Commerce. It's now the dropoff spot to help more soldiers put smiles on the faces of needy children. Chamber spokesperson Terri Triphahn said, "We think it's important and they are doing this for us so it's something little we can do."
U.S. soldiers have learned that there can be great danger when trying to befriend Iraqi children. A suicide bomber targeted a U.S. soldier who was giving candy to children.