What Makayla Sejat wants for Christmas this year can’t be wrapped in a bow under her Christmas tree. The present she wants is stuck down south, 900 miles away. Stationed at Fort Benning in Georgia, drill sergeant Jacob Sejat trains military police.
Sejat’s brother’s platoon was split into three parts a few weeks ago. Although Jacob was required to stay in Georgia, many from his unit were deployed to either Kuwait or Qatar, two countries in the Middle East.
None of the deployed soldiers will be able to take time off of work to travel the 15 hours home to spend Christmas with their families and friends. When Sejat learned of this news she decided to create an Adopt-a-Soldier project.
The project allowed students, parents, and faculty of the Northview community to chose a soldier’s name from Sejat’s brother’s platoon and donate food, toiletries, games, and other items that will be beneficial during their time overseas.
So many people participated in the project that Sejat had to include more names of soldiers.
Ted Burba and his classes participated in the project and chose one of the only women in the unit, Private First Class Guerra who was deployed to Kuwait. Some of the items purchased for her were chapstick, deodorant, a Christmas card, and a shawl as the weather can drop down to 40 degrees.
“It’s wonderful. We’re doing things for people that are away from their families, protecting you and me and the liberties we’ve been given,” Burba said.
Sejat first pursued the project in 2014 when her brother was deployed to Qatar. The same circumstances as this year saddened many of the soldiers’ families.
“This year my brother actually asked me to do it because he thought it was pretty amazing last time,” Sejat said.
The boxes of gifts for the service men and women were collected on December 11th. Although Sejat isn’t receiving the one thing she wants for Christmas, she is bringing joy to many valiant people from a 12x12x5.5 U.S. Postal box.