For seven years now, a group called “Little Troopers” has been buying Christmas gifts for children of military families.
The group formed about eight years ago when a group of residents decided to get together and raise money to buy Christmas gifts for military kids. Dennis Soileau says he got the idea after visiting an American Legion post a few years ago.
“I was at an American Legion in Westlake and we were talking about what can we do because we had a lot of soldiers deployed at the time, so we always want to do something for our soldiers, and this is what we came up with. We said ‘hey, why can’t we just buy them some toys and stuff like that’ and that’s how it all got started.”
Since that time, Little Troopers have been holding fundraisers to make sure Christmas happens for children of military families.
“It’s about having some fun. It’s about appreciating our soldiers and letting them know we care. And at the end of the day, we’re going to see some kids that have some really great smiles on their face for Christmas time.”
In June of 2012, U.S. Army Specialist Zachary Parker was about to wrap up his one-year tour of duty in Afghanistan on his last mission when tragedy struck. An IED exploded; severely injuring Zach and several others.
Little Troopers was involved in helping his family. The Operation Little Troopers 8th annual benefit will be held Saturday, November 10 at Crying Eagle Brewery on 1165 East McNeese St.