Thieves steal letters written for troops, community responds in an even bigger way

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Thieves tried to ruin Christmas for troops deployed overseas, but New Mexicans made sure that didn’t happen.

When a Blue Star Mother’s car was broken into two weeks ago, thieves stole more than a thousand letters written for soldiers deployed overseas. After hearing their story on KRQE News 13, the community responded in a big way.

“She said you are not going to believe what’s happening,” said Bernadette Jaramillo, UNM Hospital.

Carol Sanchez’s car was broken into while at dinner on Albuquerque’s West side two weeks ago.

“Over a thousand cards were stolen from my vehicle,” said Carol Sanchez, Rio Grande Valley Blue Star Mothers,

Holiday cards written for soldiers deployed overseas that the Rio Grande Valley Blue Star Mothers had planned to include in holiday care packages. They are sending out these boxes to the troops this weekend.

“To help them get through the holidays,” said Sanchez.

The bulk of the cards that were stolen came from the University of New Mexico.

“Employees, their kids, their grandkids, whoever wanted to color, even some patients,” said Jaramillo.

As soon as Jaramillo heard about this tragic situation, she sent out an emergency email to a list of thousands of fellow UNM employees. And those employees reached out to their own communities.

“Sandoval Regional, UNM Hospital, Socorro schools, Belen schools, Los Lunas schools, soccer teams, churches,” said Jaramillo.

She said the response was overwhelming.

“We actually collected 9,851 cards,” said Jaramillo.

Blue Star Mothers also received additional letters from the Albuquerque community and beyond.

“We heard from cities outside of the state, just an outpouring of cards,” said Sanchez.

What started as a devastating loss, ended up multiplying the number of letters troops will receive.

“A good 13,000 cards to send out to our troops now,” said Sanchez. “It is really going to show our troops a lot of love.”

Ten times the love, to be exact.

All the letters will be sent out Saturday, so the troops get them in time for the holidays. The cards have messages of encouragement and thanks the soldiers for their service.

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