Local News

Florida soldier thanks Raleigh girls for care packages

Posted March 29, 2011 9:59 p.m. EDT
Updated March 30, 2011 6:53 a.m. EDT

— Inside a Raleigh home Tuesday evening, anxious girls from the Dancing Daisies Y Tribe waited to meet their hero.

His name is Dennis Volpe, a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy and a total stranger to the young ladies, who decided months ago to do something kind for the soldier they didn't know.

"We had a little extra money," said Brennan Elms, one of the Dancing Daisies. So, the tribe bought candy, foot powder and anything else they thought a soldier might need in the desert of Afghanistan and crammed it into a box.

"It was kind of hard. We had to fit them where each thing fit," Elms said.

The girls wanted to say "thank you" to troops fighting overseas and sending them the comforts of home seemed like a good way to do it.

"To think he would go all the way over there and fight for our country," said Dancing Daisy Gretchen Stanicek.

Volpe, who has since returned from Afghanistan and is living in Florida, said some of the best days in his year overseas were when the girls' care packages arrived. He shared them with the troops serving around him.

"(You're) away from the stuff you are used to," he said. "You will have a package there or you won't. And when you do, it brightens your day."

On Tuesday, Volpe returned the favor, driving to Raleigh to thank the girls in person and bring them a flag that flew over Afghanistan in honor of their small tribe.