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Sending support for the troops

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May 27, 2005

Albany- Just two weeks ago, hundreds of soldiers from South Georgia left Ft. Stewart for a one year deployment in the middle east. This memorial weekend a supermarket chain is teaming with the community to show those soldiers a little bit of gratitude.

"This weekend, for the memorial weekend, we've got in remembrance of our troops over in Iraq, we're going to do kind of a postcard," said Jimmie Fillyaw, Winn Dixie Store Director.

Winn Dixie is hoping the community will make a connection with our soldiers and fill out a post cards letting them know someone is supporting their efforts.

"The post card is free and the stamps, we'll mail it for you, but if you like you can mail it yourself," said Fillyaw.

The local National Guard Family Assistance Center says these letters of encouragement are helpful for troops and their families.

"We appreciate what you're doing, and we acknowledge it, and acknowledge the families. The soldiers going and they're sacrificing, but so are the families," said Melissa Dalton, National Guard Family Assistance Center.

The center is in the process of setting up a Bainbridge office that will be open Friday to assist more families. They're also trying to round up volunteers who can help families who may need a lawn cut or other maintenance around the house.

"In some of our cases, we just adopt them and act like mother hens, and we take care of them and try and ease some of the burden off of the wife or husband that may be left behind," said Dalton.

She says, these postcards of support will go a long way toward helping with moral, especially when a card comes from a 12 year old who doesn't know anyone overseas, but wants to send his support.

"Because I'm thinking about our troops over in Iraq," said Zack Tucker of Albany.

Zack says, his message will be a simple thanks.

"Thank you for saving our country and helping the people over there who are poor," said Tucker.

The cards will be available through May 30th at all Winn Dixie stores. If you want to make a connection with a local soldier serving, the National Guard says you can contact them in the next two weeks for the address of a guardsman in the 48th Brigade.

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