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The Harvard Republican Club this week extended its hands from the steps of Widener to the battlefields of the Middle East, starting a campaign to send letters to American soldiers in the Persian Gulf.
Members of the club asked students to write postcards to soldiers and hostages, and to wear yellow ribbons as a symbolic show of support for hostages in Kuwait and Iraq. The group received addresses of military personnel from the Department of Defense.
"We definitely plan on standing behind our soldiers," said Harry Wilson '93, a club member and organizer of the campaign. "We're trying to show support for the hostages and servicemen in the Gulf fighting for our interests."
Club members estimated that during the two-day campaign, more than 500 people signed up to write letters and more than 1000 yards of yellow ribbon were distributed.
Suzy M. Fehskens '93, a member of the Navy ROTC program who spent a large portion of her summer in San Diego on the USS Denver, which is slated to be deployed to the Gulf in November, said her experience had taught her the importance of home support for military maneuvers.
"I know first-hand how hard it is," Fehskens said. "The guys on the ship are really upset about going, so I was very happy about the letter-writing."
Most students who stopped by the table wrote a few lines on a notebook page or postcard in the form of a joke or sentiment of support.
"The soldiers over there appreciate hearing from everyone in this country, and especially young people," said David M. Ackley, vice president of the Republican Club. "The response we've gotten has been overwhelmingly positive."
Ackley said that the club's campaign is non-partisan, explaining that even students who opposed the U.S. presence in the Middle East were glad to write an encouraging note or wear a piece of yellow ribbon to lift the hopes of Americans in the Gulf.
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