Magic Wives Make Call To Help Troops

November 28th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Magic Wives Make Call To Help Troops

USA Today
November 28, 2006
Pg. 11C

Kay Hill, wife of Orlando Magic coach Brian Hill, and several other wives of Magic players and coaches collected money during the team's home games Nov. 18 and 22 to purchase calling cards so U.S. soldiers in Iraq can call home during the holidays.
The project is personal for Kay Hill. Her brother Howard was killed in the Tet Offensive in Vietnam in 1968.
The group took in $10,000, which will buy calling cards for 1,000 soldiers. Hill talked with USA TODAY NBA reporter Roscoe Nance about the project.
Q. How did this idea come about?
A. I had wanted to help the military. We're a small group because so many of our young players aren't married, so I had to come up with an idea that as a small group we could do. One day I was standing in line in the grocery store and saw all of these calling cards, and it clicked. I did some research and found out it was something we could do. The main reason I wanted to do something with the military was my brother Howard. Back then we didn't have the phone capabilities, the e-mail capabilities that we do now. We never got the opportunity to speak to him after he left.
You wanted one more chance to tell him how much you loved him, how proud you were of him. I felt today's families shouldn't be denied that opportunity. The beauty of this project is we're accomplishing two things. First, we're giving the soldiers something they can use. Second, and almost as important, we're letting our soldiers know that we as an NBA team and an NBA community have not forgotten them.
Q. Will the cards go exclusively to soldiers from Central Florida and the Orlando area?
A. Not really. Some of our soldiers have satellite phones and all that. Our idea is to get them to the soldiers who need the calling cards to call their families. We're not going to specify strictly Florida.
Q. How will the cards be distributed?
A. We're ordering the cards and putting them inside a Christmas card thanking the soldiers for their service. With the help of my son-in-law and Sen. Mel Martinez's office, we're going to be working directly with the Department of Defense.
Q. Are the cards just for soldiers in the war zone?
A. Probably. Because this is something we haven't done before, and I didn't know how well it would go, we were concentrating on our soldiers in Iraq. If we do real well, we'll try to get cards to soldiers in Afghanistan as well.
Q. Have you encountered any negativity about what you're doing because of the war's unpopularity?
A. We're not saying we're for or against the war. We're doing this strictly to support our soldiers. We haven't had any negative comments. That's where this war is a little different from Vietnam.

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