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march/april 2008

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BY Frances Cartier
VVA Chapter 185 in Orono, Maine, is collaborating on a new project with American Legion Post 200. The project will provide American military personnel on their way to Iraq with small toys such as Beanie Babies to give to local children.

Returning veterans report that soldiers who give toys to children in Iraq are not targeted as often as soldiers who do not. Recent reports indicate that the toys also are becoming popular with Iraqi teens.

Soldiers traveling overseas usually don’t have much spare room in their luggage. And when they arrive, they prefer to have small stuffed animals in their pockets when they go out on patrol.

Volunteers attach a label to each toy that identifies VVA and provides an Internet contact address. Volunteers meet the troops as they are leaving for Iraq at Bangor International Airport to present them with the toys.

Frances Cartier is AVVA Region 1 Director. She can be reached at Learn more at



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