‘Raegen’s Relief’ getting ready for annual veteran’s Christmas

KCRG-TV9's Brian Tabick spoke with her ahead of the event in this week's Show You Care spotlight.
Published: Dec. 11, 2022 at 10:31 PM CST
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BENTON CO., Iowa (KCRG) - Seventeen-year-old Raegan Junge’s “Raegan’s Relief Veterans Christmas” returns in person this week after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Junge started hosting the Veteran’s Christmas when she was 6, at the beginning of her nonprofit.

“It’s a staple in my life,” Junge said.

The big difference since she created the annual event is the size. Junge said when they started, they had about 30 veterans. She expects more than 100.

“I see them every year, and it’s exciting,” Junge said. “We have families that bring their children, and I’ve watched them grow up.”

In years past, she handed outdoor prizes, gift cards, and other presents. But this year, she’s giving out something even more special. Each veteran will get a medal, and Vietnam veterans will be singled out.

“This is part of the growing process,” Junge said. “The Vietnam Veterans weren’t honored the same way as other veterans.”

Junge said she was still looking for more donations of food ahead of Friday’s event. It will be held at 1:00 p.m. at the local 308 Union Hall in Cedar Rapids.

“It’s always been something big for me,” Junge said.

For Raegan, she said it was the least she can do.

“It’s a fight, it takes a lot of confidence to go into the army, and I have a lot of respect for veterans and people who’ve served,” Junge said.