Join Operation Front Line

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 9, 2003

While soldiers and other military personnel fight half the world away in the Middle East, one Banks woman wants to do what she can to help the war effort.

Michell Brown has not spoken to her brother-in-law for almost three weeks. Troy resident John Brown is in the 101st Airborne and is near the front of the fight.

"We haven’t been able to talk to him in about two or two-and-a-half weeks," Brown said. "We watch the news because that’s the only way we can find out any information."

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Brown remembers the last time she spoke with her brother-in-law, and what he told her impressed her to start trying to find ways to bring the soldiers along the battlefront some comfort.

She devised Operation Front Lines, a donation drive that seeks to send non-perishable goods to men who are at the front of the battle.

"We want to start with the 101st Airborne," she said. "We have their addresses and we want to start there. There are a lot of those men who don’t have families and we want to send things to them."

She checked with the postal service and talked with John and came up with a list of 60 items that can be donated. John Brown told her the most important things were baby wipes and hand lotion.

"He said they never get a chance to bathe, so they want the baby wipes," Brown said. "They also need the lotion because their skin gets so dry."

Other items include eye drops, canned food, bug spray (non-aerosol) mouthwash and reading materials.

The reading materials have some limitations on them, though.

"We can’t send anything that is against the Muslim religion," Brown said. "You can send Bibles, but no material that attacks Islam."

Any magazine or picture cannot depict nudity for the same reason. All items are subject to customs inspections and pornography is not legal in the Muslim countries. Similarly, alcohol and pork products are also forbidden.

Goods donated will be collected weekly, Brown said and drop-off centers are located all across the county.

In Troy, people can drop off goods at Portrait Designs, The Printing Press, Ladies Room, Troy School of Dance, Kokomo Tanning & Gifts, both Troy Fire Stations and the Pike County Chamber of Commerce.

In Goshen, people can donate at the Farmer’s Co-Op. In Banks, the place of donation is Banks Buy Rite, and in Brundidge, people donate at Abe’s Antiques and First National Bank of Brundidge.