The Clatsop Association of Realtors is embarking on a project which is both local and international. It's called "Operation C.A.R.Cares." The Realtors group is adopting a squad from the U.S. Army Reserves serving their country in Iraq. The squad leader is Staff Sergeant Kelly Sowder, son of Michael Sowder. The squad is stationed in Baghdad and performs duties such as settling disturbances, chasing dissidents, patrolling the area, keeping the peace and performing humanitarian deeds. They are in the midst of the action and constantly in harm's way.

The project entails sending the squad needed supplies and comforts including insect sprays and lotions, flea collars for their wrists and ankles to ward off biting insects, cheap sunglasses, foot powder, paper-back books, CDs, baby wipes, non-perishable snacks and pictures and letters from anyone who wishes to communicate.

The C.A.R. Board of Directors has pledged seed money to get the project rolling and already, donations are coming in from association members. In fact, the first care package is scheduled to depart for Iraq this week. It takes an estimated ten to fifteen days for each package to arrive and the realtors are hoping to send packages every week.

Since the squad is expected to remain in Iraq for a year or more, the Clatsop Association of Realtors is enlisting the assistance of area citizens and businesses. C.A.R. President, Ken Karge said, "We are really excited about Project C.A.R.Cares because it not only gives us a chance to support the war on terrorism, but allows us to do it on a personal basis, positively affecting heroes from our area." Anyone who wishes to contribute to the project is invited to take their donations to the Seaside Pete Anderson Realty office located at 2480 S. Roosevelt Drive in Seaside, or checks may be mailed to Clatsop Association of Realtors/C.A.R.Cares, P.O. Box 772, Seaside, OR 97138.

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