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Supporting the military abroad

Molly Shore

For residents displaying Old Glory and tying yellow ribbons to show

support of the troops stationed in Kuwait or fighting in Iraq, there

is still another show of support that will directly benefit the men


and women of the armed forces.

Residents can send personal messages, along with food, toiletries

and stationery supplies through the city-sponsored Hands Across the

Battlefield project to military personnel stationed abroad.


“Right now we can’t ship to Kuwait, but we are still taking

donations of goods, and we will ship things when the opportunity

arises,” Veterans Commemorative Committee Chairman Mickey DePalo


Soldiers are especially in need of powdered soft drinks such as

Kool-Aid, as well as Gold Bond powder, DePalo said. Out in the field

with no access to cold drinks, flavored Kool-Aid is a welcome change

from drinking water, DePalo said. The Gold Bond powder helps keep the


soldiers dry, he said.

Other suggested donations are nuts, sunflower seeds, hard candy,

gum, moist towelettes, playing cards, and comic books or crossword

puzzle books.

“Our goal is to get [supplies] as close to the front lines as we

can,” organizer and Vietnam veteran Marc Cutter said. “Primarily,

we’re shipping to Afghanistan, but as soon as things settle down ...

we’re hoping to change our focus and ship to Iraq.”


Cutter hopes supplies will begin going to front-line troops within

a month, as soon as the group receives approval from the Department

of Defense to ship the boxes.

Since the beginning of the war, donations have flooded in, DePalo


“I’m going out as far as Agoura and Thousand Oaks to bring things

in,” he said.

Girl Scout troops all over the San Fernando Valley are donating

cookies, he said.