KLBJ and the Rotary Club buy the cards through AAFES, which turns them over to Ft. Hood to distribute to soldiers deployed overseas. This year, all of the cards are being given to Ft. Hood-based soldiers and III Corps troops serving in Iraq.
KLBJ has received a lot of feedback from American servicemen and women who have used Operation Call Home calling cards. "They are very, very grateful and appreciative," Caesar confirmed. "Many have told us that it means a great deal to them to know so many people back home are supporting them. This is proof of that public support of the troops."
Pattillo is very personally aware of the challenges our soldiers face in the war zone. Pattillo's son, Capt. David Pattillo, served two tours in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division. Col. Pattillo was called back to active duty in 2005 and served as deputy commander of the XVIIIth Airborne Corps support brigade in Baghdad.
Pattillo made this point very clear: "The phone cards go to junior enlisted personnel. That's who needs the cards and who needs to benefit from a program like this."
An "Operation Call Home" can be organized by any local organization, Mark Caesar emphasized. "If a radio station in New York or Arizona is interested in learning how we do it, they can contact us at KLBJ." The point of contact is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Austin Bay is the author of three novels. His third novel, The Wrong Side of Brightness, was published by Putnam/Jove in June 2003. He has also co-authored four non-fiction books, to include A Quick and Dirty Guide to War: Third Edition (with James Dunnigan, Morrow, 1996).
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