Holiday drive in memory of late soldier

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first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Today, nearly 100 youngsters from the Simi Valley Vikings football program and Simi Youth Baseball will assemble the holiday care packages, which must be mailed by Monday to make it to Iraq in time for Christmas. Bill Tessar is a coach with the local youth organizations. “The outpouring has been 10 times bigger than I ever expected,” said organizer Margo Hartzheim, who has two sons in the athletic programs. “It’s about families helping families.” The men and women of Tessar’s company will receive packages filled with calling cards, thermal socks, candy, magazines and books. Other boxes designed for the whole company will include box sets of television series, movies and back massagers. The youngsters also wrote letters of support for the soldiers, thanking them for their service. The care packages were made possible through donations. Organizers said they raised more than $7,000 in the weeks after Tessar’s death. Angie Valencia-Martinez, (805) 583-7604 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SIMI VALLEY – Just before he was killed, Army Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Tessar asked his older brother to help his wife send holiday care packages to the 250 soldiers under his command in Iraq. After weeks of late nights and nearly round-the-clock work since his Oct. 31 death, the mission of Sgt. Tessar Operation Care Package has been completed. “It’s really an honor not just to my brother, but all the guys who have lost their lives and continue to fight in Iraq,” said his brother, Bill Tessar of Simi Valley. “We’re reaching out and trying to do something and understand all the liberties we have don’t come without sacrifice.” The drive began almost immediately after the 36-year-old Green Beret was killed in Iraq. He died when a bomb detonated near a Humvee carrying him and three other servicemen. He was just months away from retiring and joining his wife, Nancy, and their three children in Kentucky. last_img

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