SOLDIERS deployed in the Middle East have been given a taste of home, thanks to care packages from local aged care residents.
Uniting McKay House in Tamworth wanted to do something special for the troops on Anzac Day, and supported a Department of Defence initiative to send packages overseas to serving soldiers.
Now, they have finally received replies, all the way from the Middle East.
Uniting's lifestyle co-ordinator Sally Abra said there was a lot of emotion among the nursing home residents when the letters and emails arrived.
"They [the residents] felt really proud the soldiers had taken the time to respond ... the connection has been formed and we'll definitely be thinking of them again."
Ms Abra said the packages sent by McKay House were shared among deployed troops, who passed on some classic Aussie treats to the locals.
"We packed items that would remind the soldiers of home, like Tim Tams, Vegemite, even a photo of the Big Golden Guitar," Ms Abra said.
"The soldiers said that when they opened the parcels, they shared what was in there with the locals."
In one of the letters sent back from the Middle East, the soldiers attached a photo where they were all wearing crocheted poppies the residents had included in their packages.
Coincidentally, one of the soldiers had a family connection to the city of Tamworth.