Bursting with pride and joy, Mary Catherine Warren stands beside her granddaughter, Catherine Warren, packing up boxes to be sent to Unit 228th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade in Afghanistan.

Catherine Warren, 26, recently returned from a sixth-month tour of duty in that country, and has resumed visiting her grandmother at the Mountain View Retirement Village several times a week.

In honor of National Assisted Living Week, Sept. 11-17, Mary Catherine Warren and other residents of the Mountain View Retirement Village, 7900 N. La Cañada Drive near Oro Valley, started collecting donations to send to troops overseas more than a month ago.

Because her granddaughter was one of those soldiers, the group said the obvious choice was to send the gift boxes to her unit.

A handful of the retirement village residents gathered on Sept. 13 to fill the boxes with everything from toothpaste and deodorant to puzzle books, pencils and cookies.

“It’s very gracious of them to spend their time and money for these soldiers,” said Catherine Warren. “It is really important for soldiers at the smaller bases who don’t even have showers over there.”

With a big smile, Mary Catherine Warren said she is very proud of her granddaughter.

“I was in the room when she was born, and I have adored her every single day since,” she said.

Hildegard Butler, recreation and transportation director of the retirement village, said the response for the project was so good that they will make it a monthly program.

“Something like this is just so important when you have someone so close such as Mary’s granddaughter serving,” said Butler. “Catherine has really become like an adoptive granddaughter to all of us here.”

Catherine Warren has served in the U.S. military for four years. She has served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, working to establish communications, such as arranging Internet and telephone connections.

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