Virginia Newspaper Prints Letters to Soldiers From Home

By: E&P Staff The photograph has Sgt. Jason Finkel dressed in uniform against a forest
backdrop. Underneath his boyish face are the following words:

"I am so proud of you and how you have handled yourself over the last 4
years, especially with your 2 deployments. Thank you for all that you do for our country. I love you. Mom.?

First Lieut. Elliot Pernula?s message reads, "I?ll follow where you lead, I?ll stay where you stay, and when I can?t, I?ll wait for you with an eager heart knowing that this is another chapter in the Love Story God?s written. James & I love you."

These are but two examples of the more than 200 messages that were submitted to the Daily Press of Newport News, Va. They are part of a special feature titled "Letters from Home," which the Press printed in its fourth of July edition.

The Daily Press is located in an area with several military bases, including
Langley Air Force Base, Fort Eustis, and Fort Monroe. Through an invitation to the community, the Press was able to collect personalized messages of support and photos dedicated to deployed soldiers. Friends and family members were able to submit the testimonials online free of charge, and for those who did not have Internet access or had technical trouble, the Press set up a help desk for assistance.

The Independence Day edition of the Press with the enclosed "Letters From Home" was mailed to the honored servicemen and women for free, if the family or friends included an APO mailing address.

The "Letters From Home" special issue was sponsored by a local automotive dealer, which helped pay for production and mailing costs in exchange for a full-color ad. It read: "Thinking of you on our nation?s birthday as we celebrate the freedom you provide for us. God bless you and your family."


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