Jill Peterson doesn't have any family members in the Persian Gulf but said she started printing an upbeat newsletter and mailing copies to service members there just to show she cared.

The project has now taken on the name "Operation Desert Love" and is drawing participation from several states."There's no mention of the war, just notes on cars, sports, music - it's an upbeat letter for them, so for five minutes they can take their mind off what they're doing," Peterson said. A pen pal section is also included to give military personnel someone to write back to if they want.

Several high schools are helping her with artwork, and the only money being accepted for the project goes to an account for printing services. The only other contributions being accepted are for envelopes and stamps.

"I think we need to let them know how much we love and care about them," she said.

She mailed the first set of 40 or so letters about six weeks ago and hopes to keep a newsletter in the mail twice a month. Even if the conflict ends soon, Peterson said, she plans to keep the project going for a while because of the time it will take for all the troops to get back home.

To contribute information, call Peterson in North Ogden at 782-6552.