A family from rural Alberta has dipped into their pockets this yeartohand deliver and mail thousands of"We support our Canadian troops"pens and calendarsto those serving in Afghanistanand to their families.

John Myslicki of Niton Junction,west of Edmonton,says he doesn't know exactly how much the project cost his family, butit was probably "a few thousand dollars," and was well worth the time and money.

Myslicki, his wife Marg and 26-year-old son Lanny handed out 7,000 pens and 12,000 wallet-sized calendars this year.

Myslicki recalls dropping off a a pen at one house andhearing someone calling him as he was walking away.

"It was the [soldier] that came out and he said:'I just wanted to let you know that nothing like this has ever happened before and we just appreciate your support so much.' And he had a tear in his eye.

"That made the whole day worthwhile."

Myslickisaidhe began the project in January and the response has beenoverwhelming, with the family still gettingletters of thanks.

On Christmas Day, a soldier who had returned to Edmonton from Afghanistan called toexpress hisgratitude.

"It just kind of blew me out of the water. It was a short conversation because it kind of caught me by surprise," said Myslicki.