A Checotah restaurant's effort to support troops in Iraq and Afghanistan

Monday, September 27th 2004, 10:32 am
By: News On 6

With thousands of our family members and friends serving in both Afghanistan and Iraq, there are thousands more here at home doing what they can to support them.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells went to Checotah and to the Katy Cafe.

Irene Morton owns the Katy Café, its lunch time and she's very busy, so busy we were having trouble keeping up with her. Beyond the work in the café, for a year and a half she's been sending regular shipments of love and support to soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. "It started out as just a Christmas present. I was gonna send them boxes for Christmas." That was to 16 guys in Afghanistan, one of them, her niece's husband. The flag is one that flew over their tent.

We sent troops to Iraq; she sent boxes to the troops in Iraq. "Then I started sending toys to Iraq for the Iraqi children, because one of the guys wanted something sent for them and not himself." Her twin grand daughters help her pick out what to send. "Toys, stuffed animals and candy. One of the guys said you should see the look on their faces when they taste sugar, 'cause they've never had sugar."

As so often happens, people who adopt projects like supporting the troops, have adopted a habit of community service. Rick Smith who owns the Western Auto store up the street says Irene Morton helps everybody. "I don't know of anything that's happened in town whether it's a family crisis or the war effort and all that, she just steps in."

He says she's like a mother for the whole community and like a mother she supports her sons and daughters overseas. "As long as they're there and I'm here I'll send boxes."

If you'd like to help get those donations to Iraq and Afghanistan stop in and see them in Checotah. The Katy Cafe is near the corner of Broadway and Gentry. It's been there for 102 years, so everyone in town knows where it is.

It's open from 6 AM until 2 PM, and the phone number is 918-473-2535.