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Mike Opelka

Army mom sends Hawaiian shirts to troops - and it's gone viral

a young, attractive male in a colorful outfit ready to travel as a stereotype tourist (porpeller/gettyimages)

On Saturday's "Pure Opelka," TheBlaze Radio host Mike Opelka shared with his audience the story of what inspired a military mom to send Hawaiian shirts and notes of encouragement to our troops serving overseas. It all began when Gwen Pollard's son, Rusty Carty, a soldier currently deployed with the Army 101st Airborne Division, was given a day to relax and wear civilian clothes.

"Most of the guys were reportedly wearing jeans and t-shirts when Carter came out wearing a Hawaiian shirt and a straw hat and all the soldiers laughed," Opelka reported.

In response Carter called his mom and asked that she send Hawaiian shirts for his unit, saying it would put a smile on their faces. Pollard and her step-daughter immediately began gathering as many Hawaiian shirts as they could, including a handwritten note of encouragement in each shirt pocket. The pair also started the Facebook page, "Hawaiian Shirts for Deployed Soldiers."  The project has since gone viral.

"They have had shirts sent to them from California, Hawaii, Louisiana, Indiana, Kentucky, South Florida, and other states," Opelka declared. "This has gotten so big you can send either donations, if you want to send cash, I'm sure they take it but they'd rather have those Hawaiian shirts. So wash it, and fold it up, and put it in an envelope, and send it."

To see more from Mike, visit his channel on TheBlaze and listen live to “Pure Opelka” weekdays 7–10 p.m. ET & Saturdays 6–9 a.m. ET, only on TheBlaze Radio Network.

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