07 September 2006

Dallas Is Love

While we’re bragging about people, I want to introduce 18-year-old Tania Foster. I interviewed Tania for our October North Texas Teens, and I’m completely in awe. In my excitement, I don’t want to give her story away too soon, but I did want to share what won’t make it in the magazine.

Tania started a web site Dallas Is Love.org to show love to American troops in South Korea. Her grandfather was a lieutenant colonel and her grandmother is Korean, hence her connection to the country. Through Dallas Is Love, you can donate money which will be converted to gift certificates through the Army and Air Force Exchange Service that the servicemen and women can use anywhere in the world.

After several visits to South Korea to visit her mother’s family and military personnel, Tania decided to amp up her campaign to raise a quarter of a million dollars to show the troops that they are appreciated. Her philosophy that all troops need support, but that they're not concentrated in one small area of the world, as we often assume, is refreshing.

The Fosters also met and befriended Sgt. Allen Cottone while in South Korea. Cottone will be coming home just in time for Christmas, and has not seen his wife in two and a half years (they’ve been married for three).

He asked if he could pay the Fosters a visit while he is on leave, and the generous family said they would be happy to have him. Meanwhile Tania has arranged for Dallas Mavericks tickets and is working on securing a room at the W Hotel, donations from local restaurants, etc. to make sure Sgt. Cottone and his wife have an amazing time in Dallas. After all, who knows where the army could take him next.

Tania has also organized an event at Potbelly’s in Garland (Firewheel Mall) on October 3. She has arranged for KISS FM and possibly Miss Dallas or Miss Texas USA to be there to drum up support. I know I will be there.

Since “Dallas Is Love,” I wanted you all to know about this incredible young woman.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am Staff Sergeant Allen Cottone, and just wanted to highlight your word "incredible", as you reference Miss Tania. I think, and so do the soldiers of the United Nations Security Battalion-Joint Security Area, that she is amazing. She is a Senior in High School, and instead of doing normal things that young adults do, she is contributing her time to make sure that the soldiers here in Korea don't feel forgotten. Even though there is no fighting going on here in Korea, there is no peace treaty in place, just an agreement to cease the fighting. So our mission is an important one, and Tania reaizes that. I want to thank you for interviewing her and letting the people in Dallas know what a wonderful person that Texas calls its own.

SSG Allen Cottone
US Army