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Don't forget America's troops

send them some holiday cards

November 09, 2006

The war in Iraq was undoubtedly an important issue in the election just completed, as candidates argued about whether to stay the course or bring the troops home.

But even if the decision to withdraw troops were made tomorrow, it's unlikely that most U.S. soldiers would be home for Christmas.

More than likely, American troops will be there for the holidays, longing for some good news from back home.

Ordinary citizens may be unable to affect the outcome of the war, but there are a couple of things they can do:

Remember that those who are serving did not choose to invade Iraq. But they went when called to do so, and, with a few well-publicized exceptions, have served well and honorably.

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Acknowledge their service and send along your good wishes.

How can you do that? By participating in the South County Military Support Group's annual holiday card drive. Last year, the group, made up of parents of soldiers serving overseas, sent more than 25,000 cards to men and women serving overseas.

The group was hoping to do that again this year, but with two weeks before the Nov. 20 deadline, only 3,000 cards have been collected, compared to 10,000 at this time in 2005.

Why the difference? More than likely, it's because people have been paying attention to the campaigns that were just concluded.

Well, the campaigns are over and now it's time to show our men and women in uniform that they haven't been forgotten by sending a card with a personal message that tells them that the folks back home care about them.

Your cards will be sent by the group, which asks that you follow these rules:

Don't seal your card, because messages will be screened to make sure they are are morale-boosters.

Don't address the cards or add postage.

Cards should be tasteful, but need not be store-bought, although the group is asking that they be standard-sized.

Writers may request pen pals.

If you're not sure what to say, just share news of what's going on in your family or Washington County, provided of course, that's it's something upbeat.

If you don't want to write, you can still help by donating money for postage.

Send cards and/or donations to: South Washington County Military Support Group, c/o Lynn Jones, P.O. Box 223, Keedysville, MD 21756.

Arrangement for pickup of cards may be made by calling Jones at 301-432-4979, or e-mailing her at LALollie2278@aol.com.

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