Project will help troops going to Iraq

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 31, 2004

Some of our hometown soldiers soon will be leaving for Iraq, and their Natchez families are anxious both for their safety and their morale. Members of the Army National Guard 155th Infantry are now completing training in Fort Irwin, Calif., and are expected to depart for Iraq soon after the first of the year.

These soldiers are equipped to handle their mission. They are well trained, skilled and dedicated to their jobs as infantrymen. Families must put their trust in that training and know that military and civilian leaders are working to ensure their loved ones are equipped with all the safeguards possible in combat situations.

One thing the government cannot do alone, however, is ensure their soldiers maintain high morale. That’s where families and friends come into the picture, both by sending cards and letters along with photographs &045; and e-mails when possible &045; to the soldiers working in dangerous war zones.

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Natchez-area families want to raise as much money as possible to buy small items for the soldiers. These will be useful things such as lip balm, breakfast bars, deodorant &045; personal items and small gifts unavailable to them in Iraq.

Imagine the boost it will be to the infantrymen to open boxes from home and see how much their families and hometown friends care about them. Could we do anything less than this worthy project to express our thanks to them for their sacrifices?

Members of the 155th family support group will be at the entrance to Wal-Mart on Friday and Saturday. They will be collecting money to help purchase the items to ship to Iraq. They want as little time as possible to lapse between the soldiers’ arrival in Iraq and the arrival of special packages for them from home.

This is an easy way to show our caring and our respect for the National Guard’s service. Drop by to make a donation this week. If you aren’t able to get to Wal-Mart to make the donation, contact Sharon Goodrich, 601-446-6345, or Myrna Washington, 318-336-9813, to find out another way to donate to the cause.