Toys for Tots campaign under way

by Audrey Thomasson

WHITE STONE—The U.S. Marine Corps is well known for storming beaches during wartime.

So it was a big surprise when just days before Christmas 2005, they unexpectedly arrived at my daughter’s front door with a Christmas tree. They set up the tree, decorated it with lights and shiny ornaments and laid out a bundle of gifts for my 8-month-old grandson, Tyler.

It was Tyler’s first Christmas.

And it was our first Christmas without Tyler’s father, Tom, a U.S. Army officer who lost his life in Iraq just weeks earlier. Our family’s grief was so great that we planned to skip Christmas altogether.

But then the Marines arrived…