Christine McKelvie: Make a difference

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— Can one man make a difference? When that man is Navy Lt. Jobe Galli, the answer is an unqualified "yes."

Lt. Galli, who is a good friend of my son, Navy LTJG James McKelvie, is stationed in Afghanistan. As a member of the Navy's Civil Engineer Corps, he is helping to rebuild this war-torn country.

Last summer, Lt. Galli became aware that his Afghani carpenter's son, a 2-year-old boy named Hibrahim, had a congenital heart defect. After much research, the lieutenant discovered a way to get Hibrahim life-saving cardiac surgery.

Within a month, he raised the necessary funds from family and friends and sent Hibrahim and his father to Pakistan. Hibrahim is healing and thriving; the details of this daring and sometimes dangerous story would warm anyone's heart.

Now, two other families have asked Lt. Galli for help. A 2-year-old girl, Rashida, and a 14-year-old boy, Nassir, also need surgery. And once again, the Navy officer is seeking help to send these children across a rugged, mountainous border to the hospital where surgeons and medical professionals will donate much of the cost of the surgery.

I know that Steamboaters have big hearts. I am asking your readers to either give me a call or go directly to the International Children's Heart Foundation Web site at www.babyheart.org.

There, you will find a photo of Lt. Jobe Galli and details of his humanitarian mission. Anyone who wants to donate via this Web site needs to write "The Galli Fund" in the comments section in order to help Rashida and Nassir.

If, like me, you really want to support our troops, you could choose to contribute to international good will, one child at a time.

Christine McKelvie

Steamboat Springs

P.O. Box 770664

Steamboat Springs, CO 80477

(970) 879-2854

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