'Adopt a Soldier' to benefit sailors affected by USS Fitzgerald crash


Seven United States sailors killed last week were honored Tuesday with a memorial service.


The sailors were onboard the USS. Fitzgerald when it collided with a ship in Japan.  Now the Northeast Wisconsin community wants to help those who survived the collision. 


"They lost seven of their brothers and so he's grieving," said Dina Bass about her son.


Bass' son survived the crash aboard the USS Fitzgerald.  She said her son and his shipmates are in need and have lost their belongings.


"As a mother to hear the pain in his voice… I want to make it better for him,” said Bass.  “I want to make it better for them in any way that I can."


Bass reached out to Nancy Hutchinson, President of Adopt a Soldier Door County.


“There are so many troops that are deployed that don't get anything from home for whatever reason and we don't want them treated that way,” said Hutchinson.  “We want everyone of their troops to know at least Door County cares about them."


Hutchinson said over the past nine years they have sent over 4000 care packages to military members to lift their spirits.


"We do it because it's the right thing to do," said Hutchinson.


Now donations are coming in for the sailors on the USS Fitzgerald and local businesses have joined.


"We want to give back to the community and who better to help then our military personnel that is right now in need," said Verchelle Dehn Customer Relations Manager at Gandrud Chevrolet.


She said a vendor gave 48 blue teeshirts and 24 blue sweatshirts.  


Donations drop off locations are Gandrud Auto in Green Bay, and Midwest Communications in Bellevue.


Hutchinson they're in great need of clothes, toiletries and snacks. Gift cards can also be donated.

She said they need the following items the most:

  • Underwear (men's boxers size med-2x, women's briefs small-large)
  • Undershirts (dark/navy/white short-sleeve, no pocket)
  • Socks (black boot socks and white regular socks)
  • Shoes (men's size 9 and up, women's size 6-10)
  • Flip-flops/shower shoes (various sizes)
  • Toiletries (toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, deodorant, shower gel, feminine products)
  • Snacks (any kind)
  • Visa and American Express gift cards
  • Men's jeans and khakis (size 30x32 and up)
  • Women's jeans (med-large)
  • T-shirts, polos, button-down shirts
  • Hoodies/Sweatshirts


Investigators are working to learn what caused the collision. The NAVY has not commented because of the ongoing investigation.

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