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Women bowlers' patriotism unmatched
By Dick Evans

When it comes to being patriotic and supporting our troops, no group has been more avid supporters of our armed forces for more than 60 years than the women bowlers of America.

In 1943, the Women's International Bowling Congress' "Wings of Mercy" program resulted in war bonds being purchased along with a mobile ambulance that was given to Uncle Sam.

In 1944, the WIBC presented two C-47 evacuation airplanes to the Army Air Force.

Since then, women bowlers have spearheaded a program called Bowlers Victory Legion for more than 50 years, which has resulted in about $40 million being donated to hospitalized veterans in VA hospitals across the country.

The WIBC became part of the United States Bowling Congress in 2005, but women bowlers still are busy supporting America's soldiers.

Now comes news that the women bowling writers in California are showing their support for our troops by collecting money for phone cards, which are headed to Iraq and Afghanistan for use for Valentine's Day.

Mary Lynly, who is spearheading the phone-card drive across America, said the California Bowling Writers selected Valentine's Day this time.

"We did this before at Christmas," Lynly said, "but we feel that many groups are sending a variety of gift packages at Christmas, so we thought sending the phone cards at a time so the troops could call mom or wives or sweethearts on Valentine's Day would be a good fit."

Lynly said they find soldiers through contact with military personnel who get the phone cards to the troops. "We put in a note with each card telling them who we are and how they have our support."

Skeptics may think the phone cards are not appreciated, but Lynly said "one of our members was waiting for a plane at an airport when some troops were returning and (of all things) she had her bowling shirt on at the time. The soldier asked if she was a bowler and she said yes, and he said, 'Hey, you're one of those who sent us those great phone cards. Thank you.' "

Enough said. If you can spare $10, $20, $50 or $100 for a phone card for a lonesome GI, then make your check payable to CBW and mail it to Tina Martino, CBW treasurer, 57 Shields Lane, Novato, Calif., 94947-3877.

I know that I was only a child when I purchased a $5 War Bond on March 19, 1945, (about two months before Germany surrendered) and I still have it. At 2 percent interest a month, I don't think it's worth much to me financially, but it's valuable from a sentimental standpoint.

Hopefully it helped the war effort during World War II.

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