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Austin Peay creates DVD love letters for families of deployed soldiers

November 11, 2003


Soon, some deployed soldiers will receive seasons greetings from families and loved ones, thanks to Austin Peays Love Letters from Home project.

Faculty and students of the communication and theatre department will record DVD messages from family members during appointments slated for 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday through Friday, Nov. 17-21, and Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 24-26, in the Morgan University Center.
November 11, 2003


Soon, some deployed soldiers will receive season's greetings from families and loved ones, thanks to Austin Peay's “Love Letters from Home” project.

Faculty and students of the communication and theatre department will record DVD messages from family members during appointments slated for 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday through Friday, Nov. 17-21, and Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 24-26, in the Morgan University Center.

Produced by Clean Cut Productions, APSU's student-run video production company, each DVD will include a five-minute personal message following a brief greeting from President Sherry Hoppe.

Dr. Mike Gotcher, chair of the communication and theatre department and project coordinator, came up with the idea. “A parent of a student whose husband is in Iraq wanted to know if there was any way I could help get a message to the husband,” he says.

After researching the possibilities, Gotcher decided to create DVDs, which, unlike VHS tapes, can be sent to the soldiers. “We're excited about this,” he says. “It demonstrates our support of the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

David Wesner, APSU assistant professor of theatre and project coordinator, fully understands the value of such support. “I was in Vietnam, and I remember getting audio messages from my wife and how much that meant to me,” he says.

“[A message from home] is a connection. It's the least we can do.”

Wesner says although the project is scheduled for only eight days, allowing roughly 100 people to record messages, the volume of participants likely will create a need to record more love letters.

Those who schedule an appointment must be punctual, since only 15 minutes are allotted per recording. Participants should report to the UC information desk, located on the ground level.

Messages will be created at no charge. DVDs will be provided by Wal-Mart, 1680 Fort Campbell Blvd., Clarksville.

To schedule an appointment, telephone 6600.
—Terry Stringer