Army recruiters seek gift items for desert force


U.S. Army recruiters are looking for a few good . . . razor blades.

For that matter, they also could use little bars of soap, toothbrushes, combs and white socks -- personal items to be sent to soldiers on duty in the Persian Gulf.

Yesterday at Fort Meade, members of the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion Baltimore staged a ceremony to kick off their Operation Desert Care -- a program intended to "show the soldiers that their recruiters are still concerned about them," said Constance R. Hill, the battalion's public affairs officer.

Ms. Hill said the battalion's recruiters and civilian employees -- about 250 people -- hold a campaign to help the community every year. "This year we decided it was time we took care of our soldiers," she said.

"Our recruiters have all been soldiers in the field," Ms. Hill said. "They know what they need, what they miss the most. Packages of small shampoo bottles, soaps -- the kind you get at a hotel -- and the little packages of gum and playing cards."

Although it was intended to be a "soldier-to-soldier" program, Ms. Hill said contributions from the public are welcome.

Other suggested items are small boxes of laundry detergent, small packets of facial tissues, and food that is well-wrapped, non-perishable and labeled with the date of preparation.

Prohibited are alcohol, firearms, literature with political references to the Persian Gulf crisis, and pornography. Also banned are chocolates or chocolate chip cookies -- they melt.

Donations may be sent to: Operation Desert Care, U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion Baltimore, Building T-563, Chamberlin Avenue, Fort George G. Meade, Md. 20755-5390.

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