Bachman's memory kept alive through stocking drive

11/22/2013

Donations sought for troops overseas.

Donations sought for troops overseas.

By KELTON BROOKS

kbrooks@gctelegram.com

While U.S. troops are overseas serving our country, some residents of southwest Kansas are doing services of their own by sending stuffed stockings to troops in support of the Travis Bachman Memorial Christmas Stocking Drive.

When Robin Witzke's husband, Bill, and Amber Bachman-Wilson's husband, Travis, were deployed to Iraq in 2006 and 2007 serving in the Kansas Army National Guard, they wanted to let their husbands and other members of the Army know that they were not forgotten during the holidays.

But on Aug. 1, 2007, tragedy struck when Bachman, who was from Garden City, was killed in action.

"We have been receiving overwhelming support in southwest Kansas and continued the stocking drive in the memory of Travis," said Witzke, who has been preparing for the 7th Annual Travis Bachman Memorial Christmas Drive.

Witzke said more than 500 stockings were sent to Iraq during the first year of the stocking drive in 2006, and it makes "people aware of the legitimate cause for a very good cost."

She asks that people bring purchased or handmade items such as individual packets of soup, cider, cocoa or coffee, peanuts, mixed nuts, cashews and beef jerky, other nonperishable food items, AT&T phone cards, DVD's or CD's, toiletries, AA batteries, magazines, wet wipes, hand sanitizer and a signed Christmas card addressed to a service member.

She also asks that people bring $3 per stocking to help cover shipping costs, and checks are accepted and should be made payable to: We Support our Troops.

All items are to be dropped off in Christmas stockings between 5 and 8 p.m. Monday at the American Legion Hall, 405 S. Main St.

"The community keeps believing, and they want to let the troops know they are thinking about them and want to send a small appreciation for what they are doing for our country and keep Travis' memory alive," Witzke said.

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