April 3, 2003

Community Looking For Ways To Support Troops, Nation



Dana Bondurant of The Flower Garden and Danette Clatt of Countryside Flowers showed their support for our troops by decorating the courthouse lawn with a yellow ribbon around every tree. The duo hopes the campaign will catch on across the county with residents choosing to display a yellow ribbon of support at their homes and businesses.

As our community has done so often in the past, people are looking for ways to support our nation and in particular our troops that are fighting overseas to secure our safety.

The obvious show of support is to send a post card or letter to a soldier or sailor, airman or marine. However due to safety concerns for these very people the armed forces are asking citizens not to send unsolicited mail, care packages or donations to service members that are forward deployed. The obvious exception is for mail from family and those with direct links to the family.

The Department of Defense has suspended such projects at "Operation Dear Abby" and "Any Servicemember" which had encouraged the American public in send mail or packages to service personnel in general.

Two area flower shops kicked off a "yellow-ribbon" campaign last week by placing the decorations on the trees in the lawn of the Scotland County Court House. These items can be purchased at a number of businesses in town for display of your support.

Despite the DOD stoppage of the mail projects, there still are options to allow the public to show their support.

You can visit the website www.operationuplink.org if you would like to donate a paid calling card to allow service personnel the opportunity to call home to family and loved ones.

Other internet sites such as www.defendamerica.mil or www.operationdearabby.net to send a greeting or to sign a virtual thank you card that can be viewed online by our troops.

Donations can be made to any of the military relief societies: Army Emergency Relief, Navy/Marine Relief Society, Air Force Aid Society, Coast Guard Mutual Assistance or the Operation USO Care Package.

Other suggested signs of support have included donations to the American Red Cross or volunteering at area veterans hospitals.

Of course the easiest show of support is simply to reach out to friends and family members of service personnel in our community. In an effort to make this easier the Memphis Democrat is asking these folks to contact our office to help us create some form of list of all the local service people to better allow the community to show its support.

Please send us the service members name and other key information, such as military unit, location of deployment as well as local contacts and connections to the community (i.e. a 1998 graduate of SCR-I High School, etc.)

Call 660-465-7016 or fax 660-465-2803. The information may also be mailed to 121 S. Main Street, Memphis, MO 63555 or may be sent via e-mail to memdemocrat@nemr.net.

The newspaper will compile the information and make it available to readers as well as to visitors in the office.

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