What do servicemen and women want most while out on patrol in the Iraq desert? Beef jerky, granola bars and gummy bears, among other munchies. What do they want when they get back to base? A heaping helping of hand santizer. That's what state Rep. Bryan Lentz says. How does he know? He was there.

Now Lentz, a major in the Army reserves who served a tour of duty in Mosul in 2004, has launched a holiday snack food and toiletry drive for the troops. "Beef jerky is easy to pack when you're on patrol and hand wipes are great when you get back to remove the dust that cakes on your face," he said.

So, he decided to put out a call for an array of snack foods and personal items among them:

Instant coffee

Pumpkin/sunflower seeds

Tuna in pouches

Pre-packaged rice krispie treats

Baby/foot powder

Lip balm

Bug spray

Sunblock

Yo-yos and playing cards

Lentz said he came up with the list based on his own experience and what he learned talking to other returning war vets.

Donations are being accepted at VFW Post 928 Herbert W. Best, 1805 McDade Blvd. in Folsom through Dec. 23. See the full list of items here.

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