National Guard soldiers visit Walmart to make birthday wishes come true

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Around 40 Tennessee Army National Guard soldiers visited a Walmart location off Walbrook Drive in Knoxville Friday afternoon. The soldiers donated their time to shop for children across the country who have lost a parent in combat.

“So believe it or not, this is our 151st Walmart shopping event, so we teamed up with the Tennessee National Guard, that’s all the soldiers you see today shopping for 262 kids who have lost a military mom or dad and they have a March birthday,” said Daryl Mackin, A Soldier’s Child founder and executive director.

Mackin tells us that the groups main goal is to answer questions families may have when they lose a loved one to combat. Did it matter, and does anyone care?

“We’re going to spend $35,000 and over 1,500 gifts for all these kids, answering the two big questions, yes it did matter and yes we do care,” said Mackin.

Men and women in uniform stormed the aisles looking for gifts for kids of all ages up to 18. Filling up trash bags with an assortment of gifts. From toys and electronics to clothes and even perfume. These soldiers did everything they could to make these kids’ birthday wishes come true. “This is the heartbeat of our country. Many of Americans care about these kids but there is nothing tangible for us really to do for them until now A Soldier’s Child Foundation,” said Mackin.

The toys that were bought will go to the Tennessee Army National Guard Armory to be wrapped on Saturday, then shipped across the country in time for children’s March birthdays.

If you would like to know more information about A Soldier’s Child or would like to donate click here for more information.

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