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Local American Legion collecting supplies for military in Ukraine

<i>WPBF</i><br/>American Legion Post 268 in Riviera Beach is sending 65 packages to American service members currently serving in Ukraine.
American Legion Post 268 in Riviera Beach is sending 65 packages to American service members currently serving in Ukraine.

By Ari Hait

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    RIVIERA BEACH, Florida (WPBF) — About 65 packages will soon be on their way to American service members currently serving in Ukraine.

“We’re sending a bunch of items to the troops,” Dan Dalton said.

Dalton is the commander of American Legion Post 268 in Riviera Beach.

Over the past few weeks, they’ve been collecting supplies like soap, shampoo and dental floss.

They’ve also included things like crossword puzzles and sudoku games.

“These guys are deployed overseas like many of us have been, and they need support,” Dalton said. “So, we send them items.”

Dalton said he understands the need for these sorts of packages because he used to be the one receiving them.

Dalton served six years in the Air Force and spent some of that time overseas.

“A care package, it was great. It made your day,” Dalton said. “You’re away from home. It made you feel appreciated.”

Travis Mikel knows all about that feeling.

“It just gives them something, a little taste of home,” Mikel said.

Mikel is the second vice commander at Post 268.

He joined the American Legion after 14 years in the Army, including two tours in Iraq and a tour in Bosnia.

Mikel said the items in the package are very important, but often, the most important thing is the package itself.

“Makes a world of difference,” Mikel said. “You realize that people do actually care, and there are people out there that are willing to help out.”

And Mikel said it’s impossible to measure the meaning of that morale boost, especially for those currently serving in a situation as volatile as the one right now in Ukraine.

Over the weekend, Dalton, Mikel and their friends boxed up all of the items.

They’re expecting to have them shipped on Wednesday.

“Who knows? Maybe in a couple of weeks we’ll be able to do it again or something or other people can do it,” Mikel said.

The American Legion is still collecting items to ship to military personnel in Ukraine.

They need deodorant, bar soap, toothbrush/toothpaste, floss, lip balm, shampoo and conditioner (9 oz or smaller), foot powder, protein bars, individual energy drink mixes, meat in foil packets, trail mix, individually wrapped crackers with cheese or peanut butter, jerky, hard candy/gum, hand warmers, playing cards and puzzle books.

You can drop off the items or a financial donation at the Legion post at 1690 Ave. H West in Riviera Beach.

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