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Family of fallen Woodbury soldier stuffs stockings for Red Bull troops

Family and friends of Spc. Dan Drevnick of Woodbury, who died in July while serving in Iraq, stuffed 200 stockings to send to members of Drevnick's 34th "Red Bull" Infantry Division. Pictured (clockwise from left) are Bri Beasley, Shelby Freese, Roberta Freese, Nikki Montgomery and Charles Freese. Submitted photo.

Some Minnesota National Guard soldiers in Iraq will receive a special Christmas present.

Stuffed stockings are headed to about 200 troops, compliments of fallen Spc. Daniel Drevnick's family.

Relatives and friends of Drevnick, a Woodbury native who was in Iraq with his 34th "Red Bull" Infantry Division when he died in a July rocket blast, filled stockings with treats, toiletries and photos for other Red Bull troops.

The stockings are expected to arrive on Christmas Eve.

Dubbed "Operation Dan," the effort provides soldiers with token pleasantries of home - including Chapstick, beef jerky and Kleenex - and brings together people who want to participate in a random act of kindness, said Drevnick's mother, Roberta Freese.

"People feel good when they're doing something that shows caring for others," she said.

The idea came to Freese before Thanksgiving. She settled on stockings because Drevnick's family has a tradition of filling stockings with fun, whimsical gifts.

Drevnick's family stuffed the troops' stockings with toothpaste, ear plugs, candy canes, socks and sweets. They also made 18 batches of "puppy chow" snack food.

The shipment includes a Santa hat to be worn by the soldier who distributes the stockings. Drevnick always handed out gifts at Christmas, and the stockings