A Jefferson County family is helping kids in Iraq get sports equipment. Operation Soccer Jersey started back in April. Army Captain Chris Guillory, who is stationed in Iraq, helped put up a barrier fence between a village soccer field and the coiled razor wire near their base. Players often kicked balls into the wire, popping them. Sometimes the players even got cut and tangled in the wire. While Chris was putting up the fence, one player asked him to help get the teams some jerseys. That’s where Chris’s father, Ken Guillory, who’s back in De Soto, comes in.
"He sent me an email and asked me if there was something I could do if I could talk to some of the local businesses here in De Soto to see if they would want to provide for the program and that’s how it got started," Ken Guillory said.
Since then Ken’s sent Chris two dozen soccer balls and 180 jerseys.
"He originally asked for just three dozen jerseys and when I started talking to businesses in town here in De Soto no one turned me down and no one turned me down and it just grew from there," Ken Guillory said.
Donations haven’t been limited to just soccer items, Crystal City Junior High donated their old basketball uniforms.
"I thought that was really neat too because they didn’t know what to do with the old ones and the guy happened to see the story in the paper and he called me and said I’ve got some old uniforms if you want them," Ken Guillory said.
Donations of $100 buys 12 jerseys in the donor’s chosen color with the name of the donor’s choice on the front of the shirts and a list of sponsors on the back. UniGroup in Fenton is shipping all the packages free for Operation Soccer Jersey as their way of contributing. To contact Operation Soccer Jersey e-mail Ken Guillory at firstname.lastname@example.org .