PORTSMOUTH, Va. -- There are service members stationed abroad who will not be able to spend the holidays with their families this year. That is why local Navy Sailor Dori Wingate made it her mission this holiday to show them they are still remembered.
"Being deployed is one of the hardest things, especially during the holidays,” Wingate said. “It’s very heartbreaking.”
Wingate and her husband, who is also in the Navy, have been deployed during the holidays during their time in the service.
She filled stockings with knickknacks, candy and snacks. These stockings will go to these deployed service members. She and her husband were able to arrange the shipments.
"He has a Sailor that's on his first deployment, and this is his first Christmas away from his family,” Wingate said. “So, that small gift might mean the most to him."
Friends and organizations donated the items when they heard about her mission. That includes cards made by students from Western Branch Intermediate School.
"I have three decent-size boxes full of candy,” Wingate said, showing the items she received. “And then we have multiple different stockings."
They also had help - some of Wingate’s relatives and friends helped her fill the stockings. They filled roughly 240 stockings to be shipped to bases in South Korea, Spain and Djibouti.
When asked what kind of feeling those receiving the stockings walk away with, she said, Tthe fact that someone was thinking of them for the holidays, the fact that they're not forgotten."
Wingate said one shipment arrived in South Korea and the others are en route.