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Operation DVD needs you; the time to get on board is now

Have you heard about Operation DVD?

If you have, you’re surely ready to be part of it.

If you haven’t, the time is now, says Gene Ritchie, chairman for Operation DVD campaign in this area, and that means helping the AMVETS — the American Veterans — provide safe entertainment for America’s troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Safe entertainment is a concept that’s difficult at best for soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in those countries. Even baseball and softball games are no longer possible because of snipers, mines, bombs and other terrorist activities, Ritchie says.

A resident of Gold Hill, he’s an active member of the AMVET Post in Rockwell and is taking a lead role in an appeal to Americans here to donate new and used DVDs that will then be shipped to fighting men and women overseas through the efforts of the USO and the Boys & amp; Girls Clubs of America. Libraries of DVDs will be established at all bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as military hospitals in Kuwait and Germany.

The goal is to get 1 million new and used DVDs that will then go to the central USO headquarters in Ohio to be shipped to America’s fighting men and women overseas.

“Our servicemen are doing so much and making so many sacrifices. Something to boost their morale and at the same time keep them safely occupied during down time is the least we can provide for them,” Ritchie says.

So a gift of a new or used DVD — or many DVDs — can make life much better for America’s servicemen and women, says Monroe Poplin, commander of AMVETS Post 845 in Rockwell.

And the timing couldn’t be better.

Right now a DVD — or many DVDs — that you can give will be Christmas gifts that will keep on giving American servicemen some relief from war in countries halfway around the world.

The Rockwell AMVETS Post has already distributed boxes to a number of other posts in Rowan County and to the Rockwell Rural Fire Department, East Rowan YMCA, Rockwell Town Hall, Movie Gallery, First Baptist Church in Rockwell, F & amp;M in Rockwell and Granite Quarry, Johnny’s Restaurant in Rockwell, Cozart Lumber and Supply, Tilley’s Harley-Davidson in Salisbury, Freightliner, Kennedy Hall American Legion Post 106 and will distribute them to other areas of the state as more boxes become available.

Collection points will be set up all over this area to collect DVDs for adults and children as soon as the boxes get here from California. The DVDs for adults will be shipped to soldiers overseas, while the children’s DVDs will be sent to Boys and Girls clubs.

Other drop-off places may be added at any time. If your business or organization wants to become a part of this campaign, call the Rockwell AMVETS Post at 704-279-6812 after 2 p.m. You can pick it up there or the box will be delivered and set up for you, says Poplin.

“The state was asked to get involved by national headquarters at the national convention in August,” says Gene Ritchie, and the Rockwell post jumped on board quickly.

Now they want everyone to jump on with them so that libraries of DVDs will be established at all bases in Iraq and Afghanistan soon.

This may be the only safe entertainment some will have on their tours of duty.

“Children’s titles will be distributed to servicemen’s families in the United States through the Family Readiness Group with the assistance of AMVETS all over the country.

Contact Rose Post at 704-797-4251 or rpost@salisburypost.com.

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