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July 11, 2006

Alumni in Iraq welcome ULM gift packages

Alumni stationed in Iraq are enjoying ULM gift packages thanks to Tommy Walpole, associate director of alumni relations, and the alumni association staff.

"We are very proud of our men and women in uniform and thank them for their service to our country," Walpole said. "When our office was contacted by an alum in Iraq who simply wanted a bumper sticker, we felt we could do a lot more than that, and we did."

Walpole and the alumni association staff have sent four gift packages, each containing a ULM T-shirt, hat, flag, and pennant in addition to several bumper stickers and other smaller items.

The idea began when Walpole received an e-mail request from Major Robert E. Nash, Jr. ('89), an alum currently stationed in Baghdad. Nash asked Walpole for vehicle decals because he wished to proudly represent his alma mater. He wasn't alone. Lieutenant Colonels and fellow alumni Charles "Tom" Tosten ('85), Garry Hines ('84) and Gus Washington ('89) also wanted to show off their school pride.

Hines expressed his thanks via e-mail: "I really appreciate the things that were sent ... I was having a pretty bad day, but when I went to the mailroom and picked up the package, my morale went from low to high."

Tosten echoed the gratitude for communication from home.

"Receiving this gift package from ULM was like Christmas coming early," Tosten wrote in an e-mail. "The heat and wind are constant, the work load seven days a week. The phone system as well as emails have been a lifesaver.

The work being done here is tremendous, and there are countless great stories to be told. When [the work is] done we will all come home! Keep flying those flags!"

For more information about the ULM Alumni Association, contact 318-342-5420 or 866-WARHAWK or go to

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