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Minnesota Nice brightens soldiers’ holidays

The gifts shipped out by Minnesota Nice, operated locally by Linda Krueger, Colleen Benjamin and LaDonna Stuber, are greatly appreciated by soldiers living in some pretty bleak conditions, especially in the Middle East.
Krueger said she has been receiving notes, photos and Facebook messages from some of the recipients of the gifts, many who live in tents and “containers” on makeshift military bases.
One person was particularly gratified to receive a coffee pot and supplies, since that soldier had to hike a considerable distance to get a cup of coffee.
Krueger said she received a tip about the soldier and his need for a coffee fix from another soldier.
“He couldn’t figure out how I knew he wanted one!” said Krueger.
Eugene Dettman, who has ties to the McLeod County area, has been helping match up his soldiers with Minnesota Nice to make sure needs are being met, and keeps in touch with Krueger via Facebook. He said his unit has had fun perking up their living quarters with the Christmas items sent by Minnesota Nice.
A thank you note from Spc. Shadaya Johnson read, in part, “Thank you wonderful ladies so much for the awesome care packages you sent! I’m so grateful for the generosity that you have shown to me and my battle buddies.”
Mark Chong, stationed at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, wrote about some of the living challenges soldiers face.
His soldiers live in a container housing unit with no refrigerator or microwave. Chong said he and his fellow soldiers especially need toiletries, games, snacks and military socks.
And, from Sgt. Joshua Krueger in Egypt:
“I just wanted to take the time to thank you very much for sending your package to me in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt! It was filled with very many useful and tasty things that I and a lot of my colleagues have enjoyed.
 “It was fantastic to see the coincidence of our shared last name as well. I initially told everyone that you were my aunt as a joke, and then I explained how many people with the last name of ‘Krueger’ live in Minnesota. It was pretty fun.”
“It’s good to make their life a little easier this time of the season,” said Linda Krueger.