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A Salute to the Troops

Online retail giant Amazon.com said it has teamed with the U.S. Department of Defense in an effort to let Americans buy holiday gifts for members of the Armed Forces.

Seattle-based Amazon said that in conjunction with the Defense Department, it has created an online destination at its site where customers can purchase a gift certificate to be delivered to a man or woman serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines.

Amazon said that visitors to the Amazon.com/Salute Our Troops page can purchase a $20 Amazon.com gift certificate and have the opportunity to share a personal note of support that goes along with it. The gift certificates will be distributed by the Defense Department.

"Many people have asked how they can express support for our men and women in uniform," said John M. Molino, deputy assistant Secretary of Defense for military community and family policy. "... we are especially grateful for Amazon.com's initiative as a way for the American people to show their appreciation to those who selflessly serve their country."

Armed forces gift certificates will be available for purchase through Dec. 26, and are valid through January 2003. Amazon said it will donate the equivalent of 10 percent of all gift certificates that are redeemed as of Jan. 31, 2003, as well as 100 percent of all gift certificates that are unredeemed, to the USO.