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Forward-Deployed Troops Offered Chance to Show Mom They Care

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2005 – Servicemembers in remote locations may be wondering how they're going to get even a simple Mother's Day card to dear old Mom this year.

Cardstore.com, a partner in DoD's America Supports You campaign, has the answer to that dilemma.

The company is offering forward-deployed troops in Afghanistan and Iraq the opportunity to send their moms a Mother's Day card at no cost.

Just by logging into the company's Web site and taking a few simple steps, starting with picking a card, servicemembers in the two countries can send their mothers a traditional paper greeting card from wherever they may be this Mother's Day.

Servicemembers choose a card, write a message and then tell Cardstore.com when the card should be mailed. The company prints a "high-quality greeting card" and sends it through the U.S. Postal Service.

"They can actually put a photograph of themselves on the face of the card," said Al Hulvey, Cardstore.com's chief executive officer. "They can make it a very personal kind of touch to their mothers."

A special code is needed to access this offer on the company's Web site. Servicemembers serving abroad can find the code in ads that will appear in Middle East editions of the Stars & Stripes newspaper beginning today. Three of those ads will run over the course of a week.

The Emeryville, Calif.-based online greeting card company was looking for a way to reach out and do some good, Hulvey said. He said company officials realized what troops give up while they're deployed in regard to maintaining communication with loved ones.

"When we looked at helping, reaching out and doing something for a group of people, ... we looked at where there was a need and where we could bring our business concept to really help in that process," Hulvey said. "It's obvious that the military folks are sacrificing a lot for this country and it's very difficult for them to ... keep in touch with the people they care about."

It just seemed like a natural thing for the company to do, he said.

The America Supports You team is excited about Cardstore.com's support of the troops.

"We are thrilled that Cardstore.com has joined the team and is supporting our military men and women in the Middle East," Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Allison Barber said in a joint America Supports You/Cardstore.com press release. "We applaud them for helping troops stay in touch with their families back home through this unique Mother's Day opportunity."

Orders can be placed from now till May 8, Mother's Day. To guarantee on-time delivery, orders need to be placed no later than May 2, Hulvey said.

He said the company is looking at more opportunities like this, though there are no concrete plans yet. Hulvey also said that he hoped Cardstore.com's program would emphasize that America supports its troops.

"When you talk about companies, companies are people. And there's people that really care about (the troops) and what they're doing and the sacrifices they're making," Hulvey said. "Our troops are sacrificing for this country, and I think that, although everyone generally appreciates that, I think it's important for people to sort of get out of the bleachers and really do something about that. We just feel really honored that we can do this."

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