Archive for Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Family of McLouth Marine gets Christmas surprise from anonymous Santa

The Perry family, from left, Nolan, 1, Jake, Gavyn, 3, and Julie, were pleasantly surprised when an anonymous woman who called herself Santa dropped off gifts at their home Saturday. Julie and Jake, a Marine veteran of the war in Iraq, said they were very grateful to the woman and her friends for making their Christmas more merry.

The Perry family, from left, Nolan, 1, Jake, Gavyn, 3, and Julie, were pleasantly surprised when an anonymous woman who called herself Santa dropped off gifts at their home Saturday. Julie and Jake, a Marine veteran of the war in Iraq, said they were very grateful to the woman and her friends for making their Christmas more merry.

December 23, 2009

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Jake Perry and his family got a special gift-bearing visitor this year.

The visitor didn’t come in a red sleigh hauled by eight reindeer. Instead, this Santa came in a red Ford Explorer driven by 200 horses.

On Saturday morning, an unknown woman stopped by the Perry’s home in McLouth to drop off food, toiletries, a $200 gift card and presents to Jake, his wife Julie and their two sons Gavyn, 3, and Nolan, 1.

“We were just sitting at home when we saw the car pull into the driveway,” Perry said. “I walked up to meet her and she said, ‘put your coat on and help me carry some stuff in for you guys.’ ”

Julie said she couldn’t believe what was going on at first and thought they had won a prize.

Jake was also confused until the woman explained that she and her friends got together to donate items for the family. Jake is a Marine Corps corporal who has twice been deployed to Iraq.

Perry’s first deployment to Al Asad Airfield in Iraq was in 2006. When he left then, his baby boy couldn’t talk. When he returned, Gavyn couldn’t stop boasting to strangers, “this is my dad.”

Last February, Perry was sent back to the same airfield in Iraq. On this deployment, Perry had to leave his family, which now included Nolan, who was stricken with acid reflux disease, and a wife who was dividing her time between home and school, where she was continuing her education to become a nurse.

“The first deployment wasn’t too bad because (Gavyn) was too young to know what was going on,” Julie said. “The second was tougher because the boys knew what was happening.”

Things didn’t get much easier for the Perrys when Jake returned in September. As an iron worker for Liberty Erections Inc. in Kansas City, Mo., Perry said the winter weather is the beginning of the slow season, which is made worse by the slow economy.

For a while Julie said it didn’t look like they were going to have much of a Christmas this year.

Then the stranger arrived. Now the empty space under the Christmas tree is filled with gift-wrapped presents labeled “for big brother” and “for little brother.”

Julie thinks she had talked with people about her situation while Jake was deployed. But she definitely didn’t know the Santa, who said she and her friends wanted to remain anonymous. Julie says she respects that.

“We are very thankful for what they did,” she said. “It made our family very happy and it made our Christmas a lot better.”

Comments

Kelly Anderson 5 years, 4 months ago

I love this time of year. It just brings out the best in ALL of us.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 4 months ago

It is great to see those who are good people coming together with those in need who are also good people. Being the recipient of something like this can make you feel like a boulder has been lifted from your shoulders. Thanks to whoever you are.

lfsswimmer 5 years, 4 months ago

i know what this family is going through. I'm preparing to get ready to deploy in ocotber next year. and i'll be leaving a 2 yaer old son and a 5 month old son who is to be born in may. so thanks Corp. Perry for your service.

from on millitary service member to another

A1C braden

Sharon Aikins 5 years, 4 months ago

Great story of how generous and selfless some still are. Merry Christmas to this family.

Kontum1972 5 years, 4 months ago

Christmas, when your in a combat zone really sucks, I do remember the feeling...."Praise the Band of Brothers".

Merry Christmas too all you "Brothers & Sisters in Arms" past and present.

Bless the Lady who came forward ..and did the right thing.

jumpin_catfish 5 years, 4 months ago

Many thanks for your service young man and thanks to this military wife for her support on the home front and big ups to the folks who really did the right thing for this family.

lazz 5 years, 4 months ago

I used to work with Cpl. Perry's mother, Kim, and a better person you'll never hope to meet. I've also had the honor to meet, and interview, her son a number of times, and it was abundantly clear that he is his mother's son. They are literally the very best of Kansas, overflowing with kindness and the spirit of service to community and nation. It's good that they've gotten at least a small gesture of thanks in return.

SWJayhawk13 5 years, 4 months ago

This story absolutely warms my heart, I almost started crying when I read it. Even with things as rough as they are right now with the economy, people still find a way to help others. I hope that Cpl. Perry and his family (and their secret Santa) have a wonderful Christmas!

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