USS VICKSBURG, At Sea (NNS) -- Guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG 69) raffled care packages sent by the Family Readiness Group (FRG) July 19.
Twenty-five boxes filled with gifts ranging from $15 to $130, donated by spouses of the crew and the Family Readiness Group (FRG), were raffled to Sailors to raise money for the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) homecoming celebration for Vicksburg later this year.
"It was a great morale booster for the crew," said Interior Communications Electrician 2nd Class Jay R. Hill, who won two boxes after purchasing 60 tickets in the raffle. "I was excited to see what was in all the boxes. They turned it into a major event and it was good to see such a big turnout."
Hill was one of several Sailors who ended up winning more than one care package.
"I can't believe I won two boxes," said Hill. "I got exactly what I wanted in my boxes."
Hill's boxes were filled with snacks and movies. Sailors who won multiple boxes shared the wealth. Capt. Logan Jones, commanding officer of Vicksburg, won two boxes and gave both away to his crew.
"I gave one of my boxes away so a shipmate could give it to his wife," said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Eric F. Woodruff, who won three boxes after purchasing 25 tickets.
"I was surprised to have won one box, let alone three," said Woodruff. "I mostly got what I wanted, but one of the boxes was clearly meant for females, so I gave it away."
Woodruff's boxes were filled with energy drinks, snacks and a beauty kit.
The opening of the gift boxes was an entertaining event for the crew, but the reason for the raffle was to raise money for a homecoming ceremony for Vicksburg.
"We raised $1,818 from the raffle," said Chief Master-at-Arms (SW/AW) Dennis Mattingly, who was one of the Sailors in charge of the event. "We are looking forward to a big homecoming. It's nice that the [FRG] is doing all of this to keep the troops entertained. We really do appreciate all the support we get from our spouses and loved ones."
Vicksburg is on her final deployment and is currently operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
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