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PLAYBOY ENTERPRISES REACTIVATES ITS 'OPERATION PLAYMATE'; CENTERFOLDS TO RENEW SUPPORT OF U.S. TROOPS WORLDWIDE

Tradition Dates Back to Vietnam War, Previous Persian Gulf Conflict
 LOS ANGELES, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- With U.S. servicemen en route to support positions in the wake of increased hostilities in Iraq and thousands more already in position performing humanitarian duties in Somalia, the Playboy magazine Playmates are reactivating their highly successful "Operation Playmate" communications campaign, it was announced by Hugh M. Hefner, founder of Playboy Enterprises Inc. and editor in chief of Playboy magazine.
 The tradition of playmates supporting American servicemen through an extensive letter-writing campaign dates back to the Vietnam War, when the centerfold models represented what many a soldier said gave combat troops "a reminder of what we were fighting for." In 1966, Playmate of the Year Jo Collins made history by becoming the first civilian to tour the Vietnam combat zones, making an extensive trip to meet with U.S. servicemen in the field, at hospitals and at staging areas.
 Two years ago, when the United States first sent troops to the Persian Gulf, the Playmates received thousands of letters from servicemen and penned countless personal replies, prompting the operation's Commander in Chief Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf to write to thank them for their "unwavering support of Operation Desert Storm.
 "Your letters have been a real morale boost for our troops," the general said. "You are all true patriots."
 A group of Playmates was also invited to be a part of the gala "welcome home" parade in New York City for Persian Gulf troops.
 Most recently, a contingent of Playmates journeyed to South Central Los Angeles during the civil unrest of April/May 1992 in a demonstration of their solidarity with National Guard troops assigned to keep the peace.
 According to Playboy's Hefner, "The Playmates have expressed their desire to show their support for our troops wherever and whenever they go in harm's way.
 "As a company, we can do no less than to assist them in this voluntary, heartfelt and compassionate effort."
 Servicemen in the Gulf and in Somalia who wish to correspond with the Playmates are encouraged to write to them at "Operation Playmate," c/o Playmate Promotions, 9242 Beverly Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210. For logistical and security reasons, phone calls requesting participation in Operation Playmate cannot be accepted.
 -0- 1/28/93
 /CONTACT: Bill Farley, (Los Angeles) 310-246-4000, Cindy Rakowitz, (New York) 212-688-3030, or Elizabeth Norris, (Chicago) 312-751-8000, all of Playboy Enterprises/


CO: Playboy Enterprises Inc. ST: California IN: ENT PUB SU:

BP-KJ -- LA006 -- 0084 01/28/93 09:10 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 28, 1993
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