Green Bay native helps spread holiday cheer to troops in Syria

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- Action 2 News first reported on Christmas Eve, troops in the Middle East receiving gifts from Operation Holiday Express.

Sgt. Brittany Rockwell delivering packages to troops in Syria.

Now, we've learned one of those people delivering gifts, is originally from the Green Bay area.

Sergeant Brittany Rockwell was part of the coalition spreading holiday cheer to troops stationed in Syria earlier this week.

She's on a nine month tour in Iraq, and was selected to go on the trip to deliver the packages.

Sgt. Rockwell works as a paralegal and has been in the army reserves for eight years.

“My entire military career I've been at a headquarters, so I don't get to go down to companies a lot, I don't see that level a lot,” said Sgt. Rockwell.

They brought packages filled with an assortment of holiday items and necessities, donated by military support organizations in the U.S.

The trip to spread holiday cheer meant even more to Sgt. Rockwell, as it's her first mobilization deployment.

“This is my first Christmas away. It's normally roles reversed, and my brother is usually away for Christmas. It was very hard for me personally,” said Sgt. Rockwell.

Her brother, Brandon Gaura, is a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army. He's the one who inspired her to go into the army.

“He is active duty and I wanted to be a competitive little sister and show that I could do what he did,” said Sgt. Rockwell.

Now that she is, Sgt. Rockwell is realizing the sacrifices her brother has made for her family and his country and how a little holiday cheer can go a long way.

“It was just really humbling to see what the guys on the ground kind of experience. You forget when you're at a headquarters just how far disconnected companies are away from you,” said Sgt. Rockwell.