Piedmont mom adopts son’s platoon for Christmas

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Instead of stuffing one stocking for Christmas, Melissa McAleer is stuffing 33 – one for her son and 32 for the men in his platoon.

“I had to. I had to. It’s just like adopting another child,” she said.

This will be the first year McAleer and her son Cody will not be together for Christmas.

He’s stationed overseas in Kuwait.

McAleer regularly sends her son care packages, but instead of just sending him something special, she decided to adopt his platoon for Christmas.

“Some of the guys they probably come from broken homes and they don’t have dads,” she said. “They don’t have anybody and they don’t get care packages from family members, that’s just hard being 18 years old and going to a country that is so foreign to you.”

McAleer’s co-workers jumped on board donating food and more than $300 in monetary donations.

The employees will often participate in some kind of charitable cause this time of year.

“We always do something at Christmas and this was the biggest turnout and I am so appreciative,” McAleer said.

Employees signed a card where many wrote, “Thank you for your service.”

Along with treats, snacks, an activity book and other festive items, each stocking included a note that said, “Thank you for your service,” in red, white and blue letters.

The care packages have been mailed.

McAleer’s son knows about the packages, but it’s intended to be a surprise to the other men.