Local military wives gifted Oprah's "favorite things" - Tucson News Now

Local military wives gifted Oprah's 'favorite things'

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -
Two Southern Arizona women were featured on a special edition of the Oprah Winfrey show on Sunday night.
 
The show featured some of Oprah's "favorite things".
 
Both women are very active in the local military community and are among 29 military wives and one husband who are all finalists for Military Spouse of the Year.
 
Mary Reding, wife of USAF Major John Smith thought she was in Washington D.C. for a viewing party, to watch a new military show.
 
"When all of a sudden, Oprah comes in and surprises us with the most ultimate surprise. Her favorite things," said Reding.
 
Her husband said he was appreciative of the sacrifices his own family and others made, and was glad to see it highlighted by Oprah Winfrey.
 
"It takes a toll on them. A lot of families are faced with having to raise a family in just a single family home. The time commitments, the financial commitments, and mostly the time away," said Smith.
 
Erin Whitehead, the wife of a Gunnery Sergeant from the US Marine Corps. could not attend the viewing party held at the Junior League of Tucson building on River Road.  She was selected because of her work in writing and speaking about issues affecting military families.
 
Among the gifts the two women received from Oprah were the brand new Microsoft Surface tablets, an elliptical machine, Tempurpedic beds, new sheets, and a trip to Fiji.
 
In addition to receiving, Reding said they were also "giving" tonight.
 
The Junior League, which Reding is a member of, had partnered with the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce to collect and ship gifts to local men and women deployed overseas.
 
"This year we have a whole squadron deployed from Davis Monthan.  That is well over 400 men and women, so we have our hands full, that's a lot of items to collect," said Ellen Jimenez, chair of the military affairs committee, with the Tucson Chamber.  The military affairs committee is a volunteer committee of the chamber.
 
The groups are collecting gifts until Wednesday.  Drop off points are located at the Junior League building at 2099 E. River Road, the Tucson Metro Chamber, the Radisson Suites Tucson at 6555 E. Speedway Blvd., and the Double Tree Hotel at 445 S. Alvernon Way.

Last year the organizations shipped out about $500 dollars worth of boxes to troops overseas.

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