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Supporting Soldiers on the Web

Boot Camp feature for Friday, March 21, 2003

Supporting soldiers, on the Web. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. With hundreds of thousands of Americans serving in the military now in the Persian Gulf, the Internet is playing a role keeping them in touch with the folks back home. Pamela Bates... a mother of two whose husband Daniel is a sergeant with a field artillery unit ... thought it would be a good idea to start a Web site...

"Initially I wanted to set up some way of supporting just my husband's unit. Actually just his battery, the 200 guys that work directly with him. And set up some kind of network for the spouses to keep in touch because that's a real important thing during the deployment for spouses to be able to stay connected."

What has blossomed is a Web site where thousands of people have adopted soldiers... obtaining addresses where they can send letters and odds and ends from back home...

"It's a little overwhelming at times. I'm really, really happy about how it turned out though because my thought in the beginning was if I could just help one soldier out that wouldn't have gotten a letter from home then I'd be happy. But now I'd see that it's gotten so much bigger and I'm just thrilled with the way it's going. People are helping out, helping to keep us going through support and sending the letters and donations and everything and we're doing real well with that."

You can reach the site through MSN.com by searching for Adopt a Soldier. Bates says she's had requests to expand the site to support British and Australian troops as well. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.