MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) – At Hard Rock Stadium it was a makeshift assembly line Friday morning as more than 100 employees of the global health service company Cigna volunteered their time because many said they get to spend Christmas with their family, unlike many service members overseas.

“It’s hard and hits home because I have a lot of close friends that were veterans that were out there and have been in this situation and they’ve told us it makes a big difference to receive these little things,” said volunteer Natalia Aguirre.

Candy, chips, and cards with handwritten heartfelt messages from home are headed to service members overseas. The Miami Dolphins in partnership with Cigna got together to send 4,500 care packages to members of the military all over the world.

“We’re just trying to give back, obviously they’re out there in the world protecting us, think about we, you and I, can go to 7-Eleven tomorrow and get a candy bar, something sweet that we want. You really can’t do that if you’re in Afghanistan stuck in the desert so this brings a little bit of home to them,” said Scott Evelyn, Marketing Manager for Cigna South Florida.

Retired Dolphins cornerback Pat Surtain, whose father served in the US Army, was also on hand as a volunteer. He said he understands the kind of sacrifice families make and it’s time to show some appreciation.

“We use a term lightly as football players, going to war every Sunday, but those guys are actually putting their lives on the line for the freedom of us over here,” he said.

Rielle Creighton

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