Operation “Dear Abby” is canceled for this year and officials are urging people not to mail cards or gifts unless they have a relative in the service. But for those who want to send a greeting or holiday gift to some random uniformed service person, there’s another alternative: Military-dot-com.t’s a company founded 3 years ago by former military personnel including the boss who’s still in Naval Reserve, and, he claims, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Founder Christopher Michael says the site includes news, links to military services and benefits, information, commercial services, community and each other. You can send e-card messages free, and ordering gift items is just like Amazon-dot-com, easy to do. Michael says anyone can access the site and use it to send greetings to a military member.He says since September 11th people have been asking how they can get in touch with military people, but the anthrax scare cut off a lot of the traditional ways to reach out. Visitors can click the “Care Package” button to send a small pre-packaged collection of munchies, board games, or thoughtful gift items like a disposable camera and picture frame. Michael says he flew during the Gulf War and got “snail-mail” back then, not email, but it was nice to hear from people. And he says there are plenty of Iowans serving today.He says people from the midwest seem to want to get out and see the world, and there are some 20-thousand Iowans who currently are active reserve and guard members. While the site has links for active service people to info about VA loans, the G-I bill and other services, it’s not run by the government. Anyone can visit military-dot-com and you can order a free e-card or credit card care package for a certain person or any randomly chosen service person.
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