Web sites can help patriots send thanks to U.S. troops
I wish to send postcards to our Hawaii-based troops stationed in Iraq. Can you help me with addresses for sending messages of good will?
Answer: The Department of Defense does not want people to send mail or packages to "any service member," no matter how good the intentions.
The concern is for security and because of transportation constraints.
The Defense Department also says it does not want the public flooding the military mail system with letters, cards and gifts in an effort to lift the spirits of troops.
Instead, it points to the Web sites of organizations sponsoring programs to support U.S. troops: See www.army.mil/operations/iraq/faq.html.
Among the suggestions:
Donate a calling card at Operation Uplink at www.operationuplink.org; send an e-mail greeting through anyservicemember.org or www.OperationDearAbby.net; or sign a virtual thank-you card at www.defendamerica.mil/nmam.html.
You can also make donations, such as to Army Emergency Relief at www.aerhq.org; Navy/Marine Relief Society at www.nmcrs.org; Air Force Aid Society at www.afas.org; Coast Guard Mutual Assistance at www.cgmahq.org; Operation USO Care Package at www.usometrodc.org/care.html; American Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Services at www.redcross.org/services/afes; and Gifts from the Homefront at www.aafes.com/docs/homefront.htm.
Another suggestion is to reach out to military families in the community, especially those whose loved ones are deployed.
My lasting debt, gratitude, aloha and mahalo to the people at the Lucy Kalanikumaikiekie Henriques Medical Center of the North Hawaii Community Hospital who were responsible for saving my life: Dr. Niall Scully, surgeon extraordinaire; his nurse, Carol, who always made me smile; Judy at nuclear medicine; the wonderful nurses at ICU; Peggy, respiratory therapists Geri, Mary, Liz, Sue, Bobbe, Joann, Skye, Stacia, Carol, Candace and Vanda; Tom, Pat, Keith, Alex, Ora, Gail; nurses Annie Kawasaki, Jennifer, Jeanette, Geomel and Kalani; Nikki and Ramona in radiology; as well as Nicole Medeiros and Leila Ryasaki. If I missed anyone's name, kala mai (excuse me), but I did not miss your singular and combined aloha that inspires me to deal with lung cancer.
Each night, I go to sleep thanking all of you professionals for your living example of compassionate excellence. Each morning, I awake to face my destiny remembering Ali'i Nui Kapiolani's motto -- "Kulia i ka nu'u" (strive to the highest summit) -- and making every effort to live up to it. Lastly, words cannot convey my aloha for my loving wife, Loke, who was beside me 24/7 and who constantly inspires me to the highest degree. -- Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele ("Uncle K.")
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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