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To our favorite service members

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Spring 2006

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Begun February 14, 2003.

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In late 2004, Marine 1st Sgt Bradley Kasal saved the lives of fellow Marines, at the risk of his own.
    After being wounded, he went back to rescue other Marines, getting wounded again. He used his own body as a shield against a grenade, saving another Marine's life.
    Today, he was awarded the Navy Cross and promoted to Sgt Major. He has undergone a series of operations, and his next goal is to return to active duty.

Orange County, California pastor Frank Riley saw members of his congregation join the Marines, and he wanted to follow them. Overcoming age and weight requirements, he's been accepted as a Navy chaplain, and will be going on duty in the next couple of months

In Natchez, Tennessee, Sammy Lee Rice has all 7 of his daughters at home - for a change. Four of the daughters are in the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The fifth recently left the service to get married.
    One daughter, Ceressa, was nominated for Airman of the Year, and another, Samina, is a member of the White House Color Guard. Two were born in Turkey while he was on duty there.

About 60 members of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Orange, California, got together one Sunday afternoon to turn out about 650 gaiters - in this case, fleece tubes for soldiers to wear around their neck, mouth and nose, to protect from desert wind and dust.

Kay Lebowitz doesn't just support the troops - she hugs them as they return. 90-year-old Kay, and a few dozen other greeters, many of them veterans, come to the airport to greet troops, both returning and departing.

Seven hundred veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan received scholarships of $5,000 each from the Horatio Alger Military Veterans Scholarship program.
    The program is administered by the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, founded in 1947.
    A local Orage County serviceman, Casey Wayland, is one of this year's recipients. He served a year in Iraq, and is now attending Chapman University.

Nineteen daughters of servicemen were treated to a royal reception at Disney Holiday On Ice.
    The event is one of several organized each year by the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, California.

More than 5000 Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit are helping relief efforts in the Philippines, recently hit by a massive mudslide.