Look for Homefront Journal -- a collection...


Look for Homefront Journal -- a collection of information, local events and Marylanders' efforts around the Persian Gulf war -- daily in the Today section.

He seeks pen pals for the gulf troops

Michael King, a 41-year-old accountant in Baltimore, doesn't know a single soldier in the Persian Gulf war. That's one reason why he started the Maryland Letters to the Troops Campaign.

"Millions of Americans do not know anybody over there. But they want to show that they care, and this gives them a way to do it."

The other reason, he says, comes from his memory of the Vietnam War. "I saw how the public felt less favorable about the war and they took it out on the soldiers. I wanted to make sure we separated our support for the troops from our feelings about the government's policies."

So he's encouraging people to write to soldiers, as well as urging companies to ask their employees to write.

Here's how to participate in the letters campaign: Write a letter and address it to Any Soldier, Operation Desert Storm. Drop it off at one of the following places: any Hecht's Co. or Farm Fresh store throughout the greater Baltimore area, Pronto Press at 700 Reisterstown Road in Pikesville or the Greater Annapolis Chamber of Commerce at 1 Annapolis St.

The letters don't need stamps; the Department of Defense will ship them free. But don't use this campaign to try to reach a specific soldier. Says Mr. King, "If you write to your cousin Bob, you gotta do it on your own."


Schwarzkopf asks public to just send small packages

Mail is making its way to troops in the Persian Gulf at the rate of some 328,000 pounds per day and, at least stateside, there's no backlog, said a U.S. Postal Service spokesman.

While the post office will send packages to the gulf weighing up to 70 pounds, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, U.S. field commander, has asked the public to limit mail to letters, audio cassettes and small packages under 11 ounces.

"It's a voluntary restriction based on the limited transportation assets they have over there," said Maj. Will Lachappelle, USMC, a spokesman for the Military Postal Service Agency. The average delivery time for letters and other first-class mail is 12 to 15 days. *The Jewish War Veterans, Maryland chapter, is collecting paperback books to send to U.S. troops in the gulf. To donate paperbacks -- which must be non-religious and non-sexual in content -- contact Senior Vice Commander Larry E. Shugarman at 358-1432.

rally to support U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf will be held tomorrow at noon at Fort McHenry in Baltimore. Sponsored by the American Freedom Coalition of Maryland, the rally will feature speakers including U.S. Representative Helen D. Bentley, R-2nd, schedule permitting) and WCBM radio talk show host Tom Marr. Similar rallies will be taking place around the country tomorrow.

Send listings of events related to the Persian Gulf war to Gulf Events, Features Dept., Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278; or fax it to (301) 782-2519.

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