By Russell Sellers, Army Flier StaffDecember 2, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- A 10-year-old boy who wanted to help Soldiers downrange received a special honor here Nov. 24.
Westin Pellicer of Ormond Beach, Fla., didn't ask for gifts on his 10th birthday in August. He asked for donations of items Soldiers deployed in the Middle East needed.
"I wanted to do it because they're doing so much for our country," he said. "Everyone who donated said they thought it was a nice idea and wanted to help, too."
Those who contributed sent items like toothpaste, tooth brushes, deodorant, shampoo and small snacks, Pellicer said. This was his first time organizing a care package and he said he hopes to do it again.
The packages went to an Army Air Traffic Control unit in Afghanistan who in turn sent something back to Pellicer, which U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence Aviation Branch Command Sgt. Maj. Tod L. Glidewell, delivered personally.
"One of the Soldiers over there was issued a new backpack when he reenlisted, but since he already had one, he wanted to send it to you," Glidewell said to Pellicer. "If it wasn't for people like you who love our Soldiers, we couldn't do what we do."
Jim Erthal, Resource Management Office research analyst and Pellicer's great uncle, said the whole donation idea came exclusively from Pellicer. Erthal also managed to get an Army Combat Uniform for Pellicer, complete with boots and a name tag.
"This is one amazing (child)," he said. "I could picture him being a command sergeant major one day."
Pellicer's parents, Megan and Joseph, made the trip to Fort Rucker as well. The three spent their Thanksgiving holiday here touring the installation and finding out more about Army Aviation.
Megan had been to the installation previously, but it was Westin and Joseph's first time here.
"I really liked it a lot," Westin said. "It's like a mini-city. I hope we get to come back again."
Megan and Joseph said when their son approached them about helping Soldiers for his birthday they felt it was a noble thing to do.
"We figured that since so many gifts go out, this wouldn't be noticed by so many people," Joseph said. "Something like this shows that people support them."
Megan said many of her Family members served in the military and Westin's grandfathers also served.
"He comes from a very patriotic Family," she said. "It's important to him to show support for what the Soldiers do because they sacrifice so much for us."