Overseas service members send overseas holiday greetings

By Gabriel Monte: Freedom New Mexico

Though her friends have seen or heard Master Sgt. David Kline greet his
mother on the radio and television, Bess Kline hasn’t seen or heard
from her son in the almost four months since he was sent to Iraq.

So in the last few days Kline has been scanning television and radio
broadcasts hoping to see the holiday greeting from her son that her
friends keep telling her about.

“A lot of people have called, and tell me they’ve seen it,” she said.

Kline is among the 65 New Mexico military personnel sent overseas
who have made holiday greetings for their families, according to Chad
Starr director of the Department of Defense Joint Hometown News Service.

The holiday greetings are only from military men and women serving
overseas, he said. The messages are sent to media outlets because the
service doesn’t have the budget to send them to individual families, he
said. But videos have been posted on the service’s Web site.

The service sends between 8,000 to 13,000 messages every year to local media outlets throughout the country, he said.

Starr said the purpose of the messages is simple: To boost the morale of troops and their families.

“It’s for the moms and dads that give us their sons and daughters to
defend America,” he said. “We get a lot of calls and e-mail and even
letters from parents.”

Bess Kline thinks the service is wonderful.

“It really perks your spirits up because you can’t see them (everyday),” she said.

To view videos of soldiers visit: http://hq.afnews.af.mil/hometown/