Overseas service members send holiday greetings

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Bess Kline admires a picture of her son Master Sgt. David Kline Thursday in her home. Kline was told of her son’s message but haven’t heard or seen it yet.

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Though her friends have seen or heard Master Sgt. David Kline greet his mother on the radio and television, Bess Kline hasn’t seen or heard from her son in the almost four months since he was sent to Iraq.

So in the last few days Kline has been scanning television and radio broadcasts hoping to see the holiday greeting from her son that her friends keep telling her about.

“A lot of people have called, and tell me they’ve seen it,” she said.

Kline is among the 65 New Mexico military personnel sent overseas who have made holiday greetings for their families, according to Chad Starr director of the Department of Defense Joint Hometown News Service.

The holiday greetings are only from military men and women serving overseas, he said. The messages are sent to media outlets because the service doesn’t have the budget to send them to individual families, he said. But videos have been posted on the service’s Web site.

The service sends between 8,000 to 13,000 messages every year to local media outlets throughout the country, he said.

Starr said the purpose of the messages is simple: To boost the morale of troops and their families.

“It’s for the moms and dads that give us their sons and daughters to defend America,” he said. “We get a lot of calls and e-mail and even letters from parents.”

Bess Kline thinks the service is wonderful.

“It really perks your spirits up because you can’t see them (everyday),” she said.

To view videos of soldiers visit: http://hq.afnews.af.mil/hometown/