A Santee woman has sent more than 2,000 care packages to troops overseas -- and she's not done yet.
Rose Perkins began sending the packages to her business partner's nephew who served in the Iraq war. But he returned in 2005.
"Once we got done sending to him when he come back, we thought we were all done. And then a couple of the customer's sons and grandsons and granddaughters went over and we started sending to them," Perkins said.
She then began seeking other troops who wanted boxes of goods. She found them on anysoldier.com and chose those stationed at Camp Pendleton or MCAS Miramar.
"I mail every week. As long as I have items to send and money to send it with i'm at the post office either every monday afternoon or every tuesday morning," Perkins said.
In her garage were boxes filled with granola bars, chocolate, candy and cards. She stuffed boxes with car magazines and greeting cards. "I know a [greeting] card salesman that gives me cards and the troops can send them to their families," she said.
A local gym also donated boxes of travel size deodorant.
"They're in remote areas and the PX has limited supplies. If they run out of something they don't get it," said Perkins.
The response from troops has been that of incredible gratitude. At the El Cajon hair salon partially owned by Perkins, a wall is filled with flags, plaques and certificates sent by troops. On the flags, troops wrote messages of thanks for her support.
But Perkins repeated that she could never have done it alone, with her colleagues, customers, friends and neighbors donating goods and cash.
And she has no plans to stop.
"As long as I can stand here packing boxes and have the people that help me and the money coming in, I'll do it until they all come home," she said.