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Cosmetics giant aids war effort with merchandise for soldiers

FORT WORTH, Texas—The Army's 3rd Infantry Division, which has captured much of the spotlight cast on the ground attack in Iraq, also has attracted the attention of Mary Kay Cosmetics, which was looking for ways to support U.S. troops.

The Dallas company, famous for the pink Cadillacs awarded to top sales consultants, has shipped more than 15,000 tubes of shaving cream, hand lotion, foot and leg lotion, sun block and lip protector to relatives of the infantry members. It hopes the donated merchandise will cheer up military families and find its way via care packages to the soldiers who are facing chapped lips and sunburn in the desert.

The indirect route is necessary because of security procedures for shipments to the Persian Gulf, said Randall Oxford, a spokesman for Mary Kay. The company was concerned that a direct shipment might get stuck at a warehouse or in a hangar while awaiting security clearance for shipments from companies without military ties.

After consulting with Maj. Gen. Kathryn Frost at the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, the company decided it would have a better chance of reaching the troops through separate packages from the soldiers' relatives, Oxford said.

Within days, a truckload of goods arrived at Fort Stewart, Ga., home of the 3rd Infantry.

"We are told by Major General Frost that when they opened the back of the 18-wheeler, people just screamed—they were so delighted," Oxford said.

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(c) 2003, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

Iraq

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