Service sends holiday greetings to hometown newspapers

1 Oct 2004 |

The Army and Air Force Hometown News Service will open its Internet print holiday greeting program to servicemembers of all branches worldwide. The program, now in its fifth year, opens for submissions Oct. 1 through Dec. 5.

The program is Internet-based to allow any servicemember to send a formatted holiday greeting to newspapers serving his or her relatives’ community. The program is free to both the servicemember and his or her community newspaper.

Servicemembers can access the fully electronic print greeting program Oct. 1 by visiting HometownLink at and clicking the print greeting image. Access to the program is restricted to dot-mil and dot-gov computers. People will not be able to access the program from a home computer system.

“Once a greeting is filled (out) and submitted, the data is stored in our news-release database,” said Gerry Proctor, HNS chief of marketing. “We use a program that will assemble all of the greetings by state and e-mail the greetings en mass on Dec. 6 to the newspaper editors serving that state.

“Newspaper editors are very receptive to seeing the greetings for their hometown troops,” Mr. Proctor said. “The only real concern they’ve expressed to us about the program is that they don’t receive enough, or any, greetings for their circulation area.”

Hometown news workers have continually improved the submission method and made the Internet form easier to use.

Mr. Proctor highlighted one of the strongest features of the program.

"Each person can submit as many greetings as he or she wants,” Mr. Proctor said. “You can send holiday greetings to your parents, in-laws, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and anyone who is a relative as long as you have their city, state and ZIP code. You can craft one or 100 greetings."

Marine Corps Forces Europe & Africa