We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Pawn America donates gifts to deployed 312th members

Hundreds of movies and games went into shipping boxes, the ripping sound of packing tape providing the only noise in the backroom of Pawn America in Duluth on Wednesday.

3030104+121516.N.DNT_.312thC1.jpg
U.S. Army Spc. Deanna Rice (from left), Sgt. Banchee Barnett, Spc. Richard Polson, Jennilee Anderson and Sharla Anderson work at packing movies and video games at Pawn America on Wednesday. The story donated the materials for shipment to members of the Duluth-based 312th Engineer Company deployed in Kuwait. Tim Anderson -- Jannilee’s husband and Sharla’s son -- deployed with the outfit in April. Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com
We are part of The Trust Project.

Hundreds of movies and games went into shipping boxes, the ripping sound of packing tape providing the only noise in the backroom of Pawn America in Duluth on Wednesday. After they are taped closed, the boxes will make their way to the Duluth-based U.S. Army Reserve 312th Engineer Company in Kuwait by the holidays. Jennilee Anderson, whose husband Tim is deployed with the 312th, wondered if they had enough packing tape for the boxes. "I've done plenty of care packages so I'm kind of a pro at it," she said. More than 100 members of the 312th, which is based on Park Point and includes soldiers from throughout the Midwest, left Duluth in April for a deployment that is expected to last about a year. Pawn America donated about 1,000 movies and 500 games, as well as game consoles and Blu-ray players, to the 312th after a veteran who knew a member of the unit approached CEO Brad Rixmann about possibly donating items. Rixmann was on hand at the Duluth store on Wednesday to help pack the boxes with family members and several members of the 312th that are in Duluth as a rear detachment. After finishing packing the movies and games, Rixmann asked Anderson if the 312th needs anything else in the store to while away the hours of their deployment. "Do they want an electric guitar?" he asked. Anderson, the 312th's Family Readiness Group leader, said the donation took her aback because it was "so nice, kind and heartwarming" and the soldiers will appreciate it. The unit has missions during the day, but the movies and games will help with the rest of their day, she said. "To come back into their barracks and to have a little downtime, to have a movie to watch will make them feel like they're at home a little bit and give them something to do rather than think about the whole day they just did," Anderson said. Anderson said the soldiers are doing well, but are really starting to miss home now that it's the holiday season. It's been hard to be without her spouse, she said.
"Thanksgiving was hard. Now looking forward to Christmas, there's going to be an empty spot. I don't even want to wrap presents, but I will because you have to do it for your kids, you have to do it for your family, you have to keep on going," she said, tearing up. "But you take a deep breath and keep on going. The days are flying by. We're already in December and they're going to be home before we know it." Rixmann said some of his employees are veterans and have friends who are in the military. He wanted to thank members of the 312th for their service with the donation, he said. "We get to do what we do every day because of the sacrifices that men and women in uniform provide for all of us," he said. Community members who would like to do something for the deployed soldiers of the 312th or their families can contact the Army Reserve unit at (218) 727-1255.Hundreds of movies and games went into shipping boxes, the ripping sound of packing tape providing the only noise in the backroom of Pawn America in Duluth on Wednesday.After they are taped closed, the boxes will make their way to the Duluth-based U.S. Army Reserve 312th Engineer Company in Kuwait by the holidays.Jennilee Anderson, whose husband Tim is deployed with the 312th, wondered if they had enough packing tape for the boxes."I've done plenty of care packages so I'm kind of a pro at it," she said.More than 100 members of the 312th, which is based on Park Point and includes soldiers from throughout the Midwest, left Duluth in April for a deployment that is expected to last about a year.Pawn America donated about 1,000 movies and 500 games, as well as game consoles and Blu-ray players, to the 312th after a veteran who knew a member of the unit approached CEO Brad Rixmann about possibly donating items. Rixmann was on hand at the Duluth store on Wednesday to help pack the boxes with family members and several members of the 312th that are in Duluth as a rear detachment. After finishing packing the movies and games, Rixmann asked Anderson if the 312th needs anything else in the store to while away the hours of their deployment."Do they want an electric guitar?" he asked.Anderson, the 312th's Family Readiness Group leader, said the donation took her aback because it was "so nice, kind and heartwarming" and the soldiers will appreciate it. The unit has missions during the day, but the movies and games will help with the rest of their day, she said."To come back into their barracks and to have a little downtime, to have a movie to watch will make them feel like they're at home a little bit and give them something to do rather than think about the whole day they just did," Anderson said.Anderson said the soldiers are doing well, but are really starting to miss home now that it's the holiday season. It's been hard to be without her spouse, she said.
"Thanksgiving was hard. Now looking forward to Christmas, there's going to be an empty spot. I don't even want to wrap presents, but I will because you have to do it for your kids, you have to do it for your family, you have to keep on going," she said, tearing up. "But you take a deep breath and keep on going. The days are flying by. We're already in December and they're going to be home before we know it."Rixmann said some of his employees are veterans and have friends who are in the military. He wanted to thank members of the 312th for their service with the donation, he said."We get to do what we do every day because of the sacrifices that men and women in uniform provide for all of us," he said.Community members who would like to do something for the deployed soldiers of the 312th or their families can contact the Army Reserve unit at (218) 727-1255.

What to read next
Thomas Shephard's favorite part of harvest is the people he does it alongside as there are a lot of jobs to do and the people who he works with are the ones who get it done.