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Photo feature: Operation G.R.I.T.S. begins Operation King Cake

Andy Keith, 5, pushes boxes that have been packed with king cake and several other goods for Operation G.R.I.T.S., which is a program to send gifts and necessities to U.S. soldiers in Kuwait and Afghanistan. For five years, GRITS has sent gifts to troops for Christmas, but this is the second year that the organization is sending something during Mardi Gras. “Our goal is to let them know we are thinking about them throughout the year, not just during Christmas time,” said Pattie Reed Jones, Operation G.R.I.T.S coordinator.  (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Andy Keith, 5, pushes boxes that have been packed with king cake and several other goods for Operation G.R.I.T.S., which is a program to send gifts and necessities to U.S. soldiers in Kuwait and Afghanistan. For five years, GRITS has sent gifts to troops for Christmas, but this is the second year that the organization is sending something during Mardi Gras. “Our goal is to let them know we are thinking about them throughout the year, not just during Christmas time,” said Pattie Reed Jones, Operation G.R.I.T.S coordinator. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Andy Keith, 5, put notes on the king cakes being sent to soldiers overseas as a part of Operation G.R.I.T.S. For five years, GRITS has sent gifts to troops for Christmas, but this is the second year that the organization is sending something during Mardi Gras. “Our goal is to let them know we are thinking about them throughout the year, not just during Christmas time,” said Pattie Reed Jones, Operation G.R.I.T.S coordinator.  (sam cause / The Natchez Democrat)

Andy Keith, 5, put notes on the king cakes being sent to soldiers overseas as a part of Operation G.R.I.T.S. For five years, GRITS has sent gifts to troops for Christmas, but this is the second year that the organization is sending something during Mardi Gras. “Our goal is to let them know we are thinking about them throughout the year, not just during Christmas time,” said Pattie Reed Jones, Operation G.R.I.T.S coordinator. (sam cause / The Natchez Democrat)

From left, Rena Pitts, Savannah Pitts, Andy Keith, 5, and Elizabeth Pitts prepare king cakes to be placed in boxes for Operation G.R.I.T.S. For five years, GRITS has sent gifts to troops for Christmas, but this is the second year that the organization is sending something during Mardi Gras. “Our goal is to let them know we are thinking about them throughout the year, not just during Christmas time,” said Pattie Reed Jones, Operation G.R.I.T.S coordinator.  (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

From left, Rena Pitts, Savannah Pitts, Andy Keith, 5, and Elizabeth Pitts prepare king cakes to be placed in boxes for Operation G.R.I.T.S. For five years, GRITS has sent gifts to troops for Christmas, but this is the second year that the organization is sending something during Mardi Gras. “Our goal is to let them know we are thinking about them throughout the year, not just during Christmas time,” said Pattie Reed Jones, Operation G.R.I.T.S coordinator. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)