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Words of warmth for warriors

Though the mall has had the project in mind for some time, the image on the card comes from one of the mall's tenants: Snapshots Portrait Photography. On one evening, owner Jaime Pawlinga snapped a shot that captured the proper mood.

"It was kind of a slow night for me.I had a new filter on the camera and the decorations in the mall were so beautiful and I wanted to capture that," said Pawlinga. Now her photograph will bear holiday greetings to 1,000 wounded soldiers.

MCW Facility Services, the mall's maintenance contractor, has agreed to pay shipping on the 1,000 cards.

There are still several hundred cards waiting to be signed at the mall despite a community outpouring already.

"It was stirring, the way people were walking up and signing them," said Townsend. "They start to say 'happy holidays,' and by the time they finish writing something has happened.""

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