Huntsville restaurant owner creates and sends care packages to soldiers

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.- A Huntsville restaurant owner and Army veteran is sending some kindness to soldiers who are deployed. You can help at Nick's Ristorante on Bailey Cove Road.

"I've been in the Army for 44 years. I know what it's like to be deployed," Nick's Ristorante owner, Nick Mikus said.

That's why Mikus said he began creating care packages for soldiers. He knows how hard it can be to find some of the comforts of home when you're thousands of miles away.

"It could be the smallest of things. Handy wipes, stuff you clean your glasses with," Mikus said.

For years, Mikus has taken up a collection to send some kindness, including goodies and even cigars, to soldiers. He asks diners to help contribute. Mikus said after a $5 donation, you can pick out a cigar to take home.

"Currently, we're supporting three units. One's in Iraq, one in Kuwait, one in Afghanistan," Mikus explained.

He said that anyone is welcome to give as a way to support the troops.

Bill Crawford, a diner whose son is an Army first lieutenant, appreciates the sentiment.

"He actually called me and said, 'Dad, that was so great. We took a little time, I just sat down and enjoyed a cigar from Nick's.' You can't put a dollar value on that," Crawford said. "America has forgotten we're at war. They just have," he lamented.

Mikus says all he wants in return for the care packages are more pictures from soldiers enjoying some rare downtime.

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