Operation Tribute to Freedom

The Defense Department is asking towns and organizations across the country to participate in Operation Tribute to Freedom.

The idea is to try and create an Internet clearinghouse for information on local activities. It will also provide a central location where communities can ask for help in developing tributes to returning troops.

At least two dozen events in Alabama have already been listed as part of the project.

Defense spokeswoman Allison Barber says they've developed a task force aimed to provide assistance and to make sure that some hometown troops get to go home and participate in the events.

Barber says she expects the effort to continue from now until Veterans Day in November, with July 4 and Labor Day being peak periods for celebrations.

Local organizers are urged to contact the task force to get help and publicity for their homecoming events. The Internet address is www.defendamerical.mil