INL News Release
Nov. 17, 2008

Lori Priest (208) 526-9154
John Howze (208) 526-9292

INL team seeks Christmas gifts for troops in Iraq

IDAHO FALLS — An INL employee whose son is headed for military service in Iraq is leading a team to provide Christmas gifts to US troops of the 25th Infantry Division, recently deployed to the war zone in Iraq.

Julia Townsend conceived Operation Iraqi Star, a Team INL project now being joined by local residents and businesses to let these infantry service men and women know we support them and are thinking of them in the Christmas season.

"This really strikes you hard when it is your child who is going overseas," Townsend said. "As a mom I can no longer protect my son. Instead, he is protecting me. So I am doing this for all the mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters who have relatives serving in Iraq. We just want them to know how loved they are and how very much we miss them."

Items most requested by troops are for the most part small and inexpensive — movies (both new and used), magazines or other reading material, individually wrapped hard candy, pens, mechanical pencils, deodorant, cookies, beef jerky, salted sunflower and pumpkin seeds, batteries, Frisbees, disposable cameras, vitamins, Tylenol, Band-Aids, socks.

The team will also collect Christmas cards, letters, children's drawings and other messages of cheer to be delivered to our troops in Iraq. Members of the public who want to donate can bring items — including cards and letters — to any of these participating Idaho Falls area businesses:

Phase 4 - East 17th Street next to Kmart
United Way – O.E. Bell Building
Wealth of Health - Broadway and Woodruff locations
Urgent Care - Woodruff
Hollywood Video - Hitt Road (next to Albertson's in Ammon and next to Fred Meyer's on Northgate Mile).

You can also contact the team by e-mail at these addresses:

Team INL projects are public service projects funded in part by Idaho National Laboratory and carried out by community volunteers.

-Team INL- 08-040-

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