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Operation G.R.I.T.S. prepares to send care packages
from The Concordia Sentinel
October 26, 2017 -

Volunteers are busy and enthusiasm is high as Operation G.R.I.T.S. (Gifts Raised in the South) prepares to send Christmas packages to soldiers in the 1086th Transportation Co. of the Louisiana National Guard currently deployed to Kuwait, as well as to other soldiers from this area.

For several weeks, volunteers with the G.R.I.T.S. group have been distributing informational flyers concerning the program and suggestions for items that might be included in the holiday boxes. Cases of the mailing boxes have already been distributed among Miss-Lou businesses, schools, churches and civic organizations as well.

Showing the Miss-Lou’s support for our nation’s soldiers during the holidays is the primary goal of Operation G.R.I.T.S., founded by Vidalian Pattie Reed Jones several years ago. Thousands of boxes have shipped overseas in the ensuing years and thousands of dollars in shipping costs have been paid – all done through the patriotic support of area businesses, individuals and assorted groups.

The 1086th is based in Bunkie, with Detachments in Vidalia and Ville Platte. It is comprised of more than 160 men and women from throughout Louisiana. Eight of them are Concordia Parish residents. They are serving a one-year deployment in support of Operation Spartan Shield, having left from Fort Hood, Texas, last May.

Christmas boxes will also be shipped to SSG Robert Lively of Vidalia who has been deployed to Iraq, as well as to those serving with him.

Those interested in helping with Operation G.R.I.T.S. 2017 may pick up shipping boxes at Reed Insurance in Vidalia or contact Pattie Jones at 601-807-6470 for other sites in the Miss-Lou area. Boxes must be returned to Reed Insurance by Friday, December 1. If possible, please include a donation of $17.35 for postage.

Donations to help defray the shipping costs may be mailed to Operation G.R.I.T.S., c/o Reed Insurance, 107 Carter St., Vidalia, LA 71373

For further information, contact Jones or Kathleen Stevens at 225-726-0329 or go to


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