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Auxiliary welcomes soldiers home

A warm welcome was waiting for two soldiers returning to Chino last week.

Navy Corpsman 2nd Class James Nyberg and Army Sgt. 1st Class Antonio Gomez were honored March 19 at a reception hosted by the Chino Valley Medical Center’s Senior Auxiliary. Lunch and cake were served and the two men got a chance to meet seniors who had been corresponding with them, sending packages filled with treats and special items not otherwise available to the soldiers.

Corpsman Nyberg is the grandson of auxiliary member Maxine Nyberg. Sgt. Gomez is the brother of Lulie Lara, who works in CVMC’s X-ray department.

The program, founded in 2002, is “Adopt a Soldier,” headed by Gareth Wybenga, who collected donations and miscellaneous items from hospital staff, auxiliary members and their friends and families. Care packages are sent to soldiers serving in Iraq.

Since its inception, the auxiliary has provided for 75 to 100 soldiers. The auxiliary has a special holiday gift drive in October in order to send Christmas packages.

Soldiers are chosen from names provided by hospital staff and auxiliary. Currently, four soldiers are receiving packages from the auxiliary.

Sgt. Gomez recently returned after serving 15 months in Iraq, and sent the auxiliary a U.S. flag that was flown over the First Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment headquarters located at Camp Taji, Iraq.

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