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Local effort made to send Christmas cards to troops

You would expect the families of soldiers to send them all kinds of things for Christmas. Surely, soldiers would get Christmas cards from the people they love.

But, there are some soldiers who may not get Christmas cards from anyone, and even if they do, a few extras surely wouldn’t hurt.

Dick Kirkpatrick, of Demopolis, organized the gathering of hundreds of Christmas cards to send to American soldiers serving overseas.

“I belong to the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) down in Linden,” he said. “About three years ago, I got the idea of sending Christmas cards overseas for the soldiers. I proposed it at the meeting, and everybody thought that would be a good idea.

“I asked them to bring in cards, and I would find out where to get them mailed. It went fairly well, but there aren’t a lot of members, so we only got a couple dozen.”

Last year, Kirkpatrick expanded the idea to include his Sunday school class at First Presbyterian Church. Then, Elaine Carr, a teacher at Demopolis High School and the wife of First Presbyterian minister Tommy Carr, told students about it in the school.

“This year, it really took hold,” Kirkpatrick said. “Quite a few classes have taken it as sort of a project. Some of them must have come from a Spanish class, because they are written in Spanish.”

Kirkpatrick said he wanted to gather the letters by Nov. 22 so they could be sent during the first week of December to get to the troops on time.

“I collected all of the cards that we got, and we’ve got about 600 cards,” he said. “It’s going to take more than one box to ship them; maybe two or three boxes.”

A World War II veteran, Kirkpatrick said he never received Christmas cards from people he didn’t know while serving overseas, but said it would be a great boost for morale to anyone serving their country.

“Anything that reminds you of home or the United States is important to you when you’re over there,” he said.

Those who want to send a card to soldiers overseas at any time should sent it to:

Chaplain Light Shin

HHT, 4-73rd CAV

FOB Farah

APO AE 09382

“Anybody with that address can send them a card,” Kirkpatrick said. “Who knows? Maybe people will read about this and want to send them a card or two.”

There are many soldiers who may not hear from anyone in the United States for whatever reason. Thanks to the help of people and students here in Demopolis, many of them will get at least a Christmas card and a message of thanks this holiday season.