Valley store offers salute to troops

A special Christmas tree at the Hinkle Printing and Office Supply store is all decorated up as a salute to American military troops now deployed. Messages of support for the troops can now be dropped off at the store in downtown Pauls Valley. (PV Democrat photo)

The entire Pauls Valley community and beyond is now invited to put down on paper their own messages of support to American military troops now serving somewhere in the world.

The idea is to collect as many of the messages as possible and then send them to troops now deployed around the world for the holiday season.

In fact, Tara Henley at Hinkle Printing and Office supply says the messages and even some small items that troops really like, which she calls “the heroes list,” can be dropped off at the downtown Pauls Valley store anytime before Thanksgiving.

“We want to get the community to come in and write out a Christmas card for our troops,” Henley tells the PV Democrat.

“They can also write something out and just bring it to us at the store. They can also bring care package items.

“With these cards we want to basically give our troops a kind of uplift from home. We just want our troops to know we support them.

“They’ll know there’s this little community in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma that supports them and that we hope they come home safe.”

Adding to the flavor of the drive a special patriotic display has been set up at the local store, best known simply as Hinkle’s, complete with a Christmas tree in the window decorated with a military theme.

As a way to put their support behind the campaign Hinkle’s has some patriotic cards available for those special messages at no cost to anyone who would like to participate.

“I hope people will just come in, write out a message and we can let the troops know we support them.

“All the letters and care package items will be mailed off the day before Thanksgiving,” she adds.

Helping with that Hinkle’s has contacted a company specializing in sending cards, letters and donated items to troops now serving in places all over the world.

For Henley a drive like this focused on supporting the military is just a regular thing.

“I grew up in a military-minded family. Supporting the military is a normal thing for me.”

Also a part of that mindset is Henley’s 20-year-old son Joshua.

He’s planning a career in the military as he’s now in the Army ROTC as a student at Oklahoma State University. When he graduates the plan it to be commissioned into the Army.

“I just felt this year they needed our support,” Henley said.

“I want people to know they can come in and get a card and write out their messages to the troops.”

As part of the effort Quick Signs donated a banner for the Hinkle’s store, while Valley Gifts and Awards donated some wooden ornaments for the store display.

Any care package items most requested by troops include boot socks, prepackaged trail mix and beef jerky, instant coffee, snacks that won’t melt, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, disposable razors, mouthwash, deodorant, foot powder and spray, chapstick, band-aids, cough drops and clothespins.

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