“It’s good therapy:” 128th Air Refueling Wing donates gifts to VA patients

MILWAUKEE -- The 128th Air Refueling Wing was on another supply mission Wednesday, December 13th -- one a little closer to home.

“It’s something that’s near and dear to my heart. I’ve served for 10 years," said Melissa Childs.

Instead of a high-altitude refueling flight, the 128th was at the VA Medical Center for an annual tradition. Service members dropped off gift bags to the around 450 in-patient veterans.

“Different word search games, books," Childs described. "There were hand sanitizers, toiletries, things that people can always use, especially when they’re here for quite a long time.”

During the holidays, a hospital bed is the last place these vets want to be.

“Coming by and giving gifts, that’s really, really nice, because if it wasn’t for you guys, I probably wouldn’t get a gift,"  said U.S. Army veteran Reginald McIntyre.

“We come and do this because we want to give back," said Robert Mulherrin of AT&T, one of the community partners. "And when you see them, and you see how excited they are to meet you and you get to thank them in person, a lot of them actually are just kind of set back and want to talk to you.”

A simple gift, and a moment of time, can go a long way.

“It’s good therapy for people to come through and give us gifts and show their appreciation for our service, and I really, really enjoy that," McIntyre said.

“If we can come and bring that holiday cheer to them, for just even a couple minutes of our day, it means a lot to them and it makes us feel good as well," said Childs.

Another mission accomplished.