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Mother sending Silly String to Iraq.

Marcelle Shriver of Stratford, New Jersey, a Philadelphia suburb, is the mother of 28-year-old Army Specialist Todd Shriver, a soldier stationed in Iraq. In October, during a telephone call home to his mother, Todd explained that in the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, where his unit is stationed, his mission sometimes requires entering buildings that might be booby-trapped. Marines in the area had shared some special knowledge with the soldiers, telling them how to detect the nearly invisible trip wires strung across the rooms of buildings by the unseen enemy. Their booby-trap sweeping operations employed a very special device: Silly String!

The Marines discovered that if they shot a stream of Silly String into a room before entering, it would get hung up on any trip wires strung across the room, alerting them to danger. The Army quickly began utilizing this "secret" weapon.

Mrs. Shriver sent some cans of the novelty item to Todd, but also decided that many more service personnel in Iraq should also have this life-saving tool. She obtained the help of two priests and posted notices in St. Luke's Church in Stratford and in the parish bulletin. Parishioners quickly responded and started dropping cans of Silly String into Sunday collection baskets.

Marcelle and her husband, Ronald, now have 1,000 cans of Silly String (and knock-off brand equivalents) in their garage, ready to be shipped to Iraq. They have received support for their drive from Just for Kicks Inc., the manufacturer of Silly String, which has donated product, and from a private pilot who has offered to fly the shipment as far as Kuwait, from which the shipment can be sent into Iraq. (Postal regulations prohibit the shipment of aerosol cans.)

"There's so much that [parishioners] can't do [to help our troops], and they're frustrated, but this is something they can do," said the Rev. Joseph Capella of St. Luke's, in an AP interview.
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Title Annotation:THE GOODNESS OF AMERICA
Author:Mass, Warren
Publication:The New American
Date:Jan 8, 2007
Words:317
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