NORMAN — Jordan Eshbaugh, 14, remembers her father as a fun-loving man who enjoyed grilling, watching football and playing pranks on people. She also remembers him as a man devoted to serving his country in the U.S. Air Force and later the National Guard.
“The military was his life,” she said.
Sgt. Daniel Eshbaugh was killed five years ago in a helicopter crash while on active duty in Afghanistan. While he was deployed, Jordan and her mother, Rachel Eshbaugh, regularly sent him care packages.
Now, Jordan is honoring her father's memory by doing the same thing for the other members of the 45th Infantry's C Company 2-149 unit in which her father served.
The Whittier Middle School eighth-grader organized Jordan's Care Packages, a drive to collect items to send to the 45th Infantry serving in Afghanistan. Beef-flavored Ramen noodles and Propel drink mixes were especially requested. She also collected items ranging from bags of chips to personal care items and stationery.
Donated items were taken to the Whittier Middle School parking lot on Friday and loaded into a U-Haul trailer. Jordan and classmate Allee Alonzo, 14, and Jordan's mother were on site to collect and load the donated items as they arrived.
“I'm very proud of Jordan,” Rachel Eshbaugh said. “She's amazing, and she's determined to get this done. We had talked about picking one person, but Jordan had the idea of sending care packages to all the men.”