Frank J. Gerken: Thanks Wal-Mart

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I would like to publicly thank Mark Mead, the Steamboat Springs Wal-Mart and the store's patrons for making our school support mission possible.

On Feb. 27, 10 U.S. Army personnel and I made a support visit to a local school in Afghanistan. At the school, we distributed 450 notebooks and more than 1,000 pens and pencils donated by your Steamboat Springs Wal-Mart as part of a larger supply effort.

With the Wal-Mart donation, we were able to give notebooks, pens and pencils to every student in the girls' grades one through four and one class of first-grade boys. These students now have some of the supplies needed to attend school and learn.

We chose the girls' classes because of Taliban policies regarding the education of girls and women. We think that if we can teach today's little girls how to read and write, the future of Afghanistan will be much brighter.

Once again, thank you Wal-Mart and your patrons for making life a little better for these children.

Lt. Col. Frank J. Gerken, U.S. Army
Jalalabad, Afghanistan

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