CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - U.S. Soldiers, assigned to Co. A., 27th Brigade Support Battalion can't be with their family members during the upcoming Valentine's Day, but they've figured out the next best option.

The 'Rough Rider', 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Soldiers sent video-taped messages through a program called 'Heart To Heart' here Feb 9.

"It boosted my morale to be able to do something like that," said Spc. Gary Bush, a native of Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., "It made me feel good to be able to show my appreciation to my family while we're out here."

The program was coordinated by the 27th BSB Chaplain's section so the 'Rough Rider' Soldiers could record messages via DVD mini disc, and send it to their family members in time for the holiday.

Two camcorders were donated through the 'United-Through-Reading' program and the USO. The Soldiers could choose to either record a personal message to send back home, or they could read a book aloud to send to their children.

If the Soldiers chose to read a book, the book was also mailed home so the children could follow along while the DVD played.

Although the disc was small, it can be played in any DVD machine. Each disc holds up to 30 minutes of record time.

The 27th BSB command team donated hundreds of mini discs for the event, and the books came courtesy of the USO.

"Heart to heart is a program I came up with to help ease the tension and separation for Valentine's Day," said CH (CPT) Howard Bankston, the 27th BSB Chaplain. "The family members back home could also video a message for their family over here in Iraq, therefore, keeping family members connected through video for Valentine's Day."

Once the Soldiers completed their recordings, he or she received the necessary mailing material to mail the disc (and book if applicable) back to their families.

"It's another great tool that we have during this deployment to show our loved one's that we think about them and care about them-especially for Valentine's Day." said Pfc. Christopher Dotson, from Los Angeles, Ca.