News of the Day


by Craig Altschul

How do families back home stay connected to soldiers serving in Afghanistan? Clarendon residents and students from grades 2-6 have a two-pronged answer, says the “Rutland Herald. First the children recorded a song entitled “Box of Kisses,” written by Rutland musician James Mee and fellow artist Michael Mugrage, which then was made into 200 CDs. The song was posted on the Internet and aired on public access TV. “The kids are singing their hearts out, many who skipped recess and lunch…singing like that just melts your heart,” says Mee. Some of the children’s mothers or fathers are serving overseas. They made boxes using paper and crayons, filling them with personal notes and red, white, and blue candy donated by the Vermont Country Store. The CDs and boxes are being airlifted or parachuted to troops in areas of the Middle East. Mee’s song has caught the attention of Americans, people from 177 countries, a candy company, a Texas-based radio station serving a million military personnel, and a New York music industry professional. The project helped families keep their away-from-home soldiers much closer to home.

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About Craig Altschul

Craig Altschul is Editorial Director of He is a veteran snow journalist, having covered the sport for more than 40 years. His syndicated snow sports humor column, Ski Tips, ran in newspapers across the country for 20 years. He was Global Editor-in-Chief for OnTheSnow for 12 years and has written for a variety of magazines and newspapers. Altschul is past president of both the Eastern Ski Writers Association and the North American Snow Journalists Association.

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