Originally created 12/10/97

Pupils write to soldiers in Bosnia



Somewhere far away, a soldier is playing games against some people who live there and if he wins, the soldier gets to come home to the United States.

In Dominique Smith's 10-year-old mind, the ongoing peacekeeping operation in Bosnia works that way. The game's not always safe, she knows, and the players have to miss the holidays with their families.

"I would like to tell you that I think you are very brave," Dominique wrote on a Christmas card to a soldier on Tuesday.

Dominique and her fellow Houghton Elementary School classmates wrote Christmas greetings on 60-80 cards Tuesday for soldiers serving in Bosnia. Carol Klein, customer relations coordinator for the Augusta office of the U.S. Post Office, came back to the school she attended as a fourth-grader to get children involved in the post office's effort to say hello to the troops.

"I just thought there were probably some soldiers over there that would just really enjoy getting a card from an 8-year-old," Ms. Klein said.

There is no set date for the soldiers in Bosnia to leave, with the original deadlines for removing U.S. troops in danger of being extended. At any rate, "We know they're not going to get home by Christmas," Ms. Klein said.

But aside from spreading holiday cheer, Dominique and her classmates had another reason for writing the cards Tuesday.

"I thought it was going to be fun that we would get to write to another country." Dominique said.

Anyone who wishes to send a Christmas card to a soldier in Bosnia may do so at this address: Any soldier, Operation Deliberate Guard, APO AE 09397-0001.