Vienna Sausages bring smiles to deployed |

Vienna Sausages bring smiles to deployed

by Sarah Hauck

A Gardnerville resident has been sending care packages overseas to deployed Nevada Army National Guard members for the last 15 years.

Of the more than 2,000 boxes Gold Star Mom Sally Wiley has packed, her most recent returned like a boomerang, in a different way.

"In all the years I have been sending care packages I have never gotten a response like this," Wiley said. "Seeing their reactions and posing with the boxes was just so sweet."

Thirty-three boxes stuffed with basic toiletries, playing cards and various edible comforts before being shipped overseas.

A trio of deployed units was recipients of the packages packed by Wiley's team that included Katy Weber, Brenda Robertson, Caroline Steinbacher, and Janet Freixas.

"I have a great group of ladies that help me pack these boxes every time I do it," Wiley said. "Also a large number of the same services groups continues to contribute."

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Services clubs donate not only their time to prepare the boxes, but also items to stuff them.

Anything that can be stuffed in a pocket or backpack are welcomed, Vienna Sausages one of the recipients' favorites Wiley said.

The most recent boxes were filled with not only food and toiletries, but also cards from the Boys and Girls Club.

Those groups include the Sierra Nevada Republican Women, Douglas County Republican Women, Douglas County Republican Central Committee and Welcome All Veterans Everywhere, just to name a few.

Service clubs also provide the baked goods that go into the boxes as well as the funds it takes to ship the completed packages.

Social media posts from the deployed units that got the boxes reminded Wiley as to why she spends the time and effort to put them together.

"As a unit, we would like to express our gratitude to you Mrs. Sally Diamond Wiley, and your husband's as well, for everything you have done. Words cannot express how amazing you are. Our team salutes you for your service," read one of the posts.

"We just wanted to say thank you Mrs. Sally Diamond Wiley for everything. Immediately when we received the care packages we can see that you put in a lot of care and time into them and we do appreciate it. After a long day these care packages were a huge morale booster for the team. People like you are our heroes."

"Sorry if some of us have our eyes are closed it's been a long day but your packages were a big pick me up," read several other posts.

What started as a kind of therapy after losing her son, Army Sgt. Sean Darrel Diamond in 2009, Wiley now strives to send a group of boxes every three months.

Wiley has dedicated her time to helping veterans within the area, the care packages a mere blip in her service schedule.

"Sending these boxes has been a kind of therapy for me," she said. "Sean loved his men and loved his care packages. I just seemed like the logical thing for me to do. I wanted to do something to stay close to him. When I first started doing this it kind of magnified my loss, but not it is a joyous part of my healing."

The goal is to have another group of boxes ready for a summer shipment.

"As long as the Nevada National Guard has people deployed I will send boxes," Wiley said.