Santa’s soldier: Granger boy sending care packages to deployed military


GRANGER (WNDU) — Ever since Tristan Badia was a little boy, he had a giving spirit. It started with feeding little sister Haylie.

“Always getting out, getting her bottles — stuff like that, and it just kind of pushed on and on from there,” said Jason, Tristan’s father.

Now, it’s on to Operation Make Their Day, the second year the 12-year-old from Granger is making care packages for deployed service members. Last year, when NewsCenter 16 met Tristan, he sent 26 cardboard boxes of goodies overseas. In 2016, he and Haylie have compiled 30 packages — and the mission isn’t over.

“We’re already going to pass that by a lot,” said Tristan.

Each box contains a board game or ball, spices, hot chocolate mix, magazines, notebooks, playing cards, and a personalized letter. This year, students in the Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation helped Tristan write.

“I feel a lot more people could send them letters just make their day, a couple minutes to send a letter to make their day,” echoed Tristan.

After all, it is an operation of appreciation.

“I would like to help make their days because I feel sometimes (soldiers) feel forgotten and that they need to know they aren’t going to be forgotten,” said Haylie, Tristan’s sister.

If you know any locally deployed service members, message Tristan at the Operation Make Their Day Facebook page. There, you can learn more on how to donate.

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