KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany (Army News Service, Aug. 31, 2007) - The Army and Air Force Hometown News Service from San Antonio once again will have a camera team traveling throughout Europe in September and October recording holiday greetings for broadcast on stateside television and radio stations. The camera team will also be taping holiday greetings to send to relatives in the 50 states and U.S. territories.

Those eligible to participate in the holiday greetings program are active duty, government civilians, retirees, Department of Defense Dependent School teachers and Family members stationed overseas who won't be home for the holidays.

Staff Sgt. Scott Malone, the European team chief who produced more than 400 holiday greetings in the Kaiserslautern military community last year, said the primary thing to remember while taping holiday messages is to relax.

"Try to smile and have fun with it, and don't worry if you make a mistake because we will shoot it until you get it right," he said. "So, please don't be nervous."

Staff Sgt. Malone also gave the following tips on how to make the most of the holiday greetings taping:

What to wear'
Active duty members must be in uniform. Civilians should be in appropriate attire. "They can wear something festive that makes you think of the holidays," Staff Sgt. Malone said. However, he recommends Families not wear white, pink or striped-colored shirts to the holiday tapings. "This really causes issues with our cameras and can produce a kind of flicker effect," he said.

What to bring'
Participants should bring address books along, because the more information people can provide to the hometown news crew improves the chance of the greeting airing. They will need information like names, addresses including ZIP codes and phone numbers. ZIP codes are crucial in marketing the greetings stateside.

What to say'
Participants need to say five things within the greeting: Who they are; where they are; whom the greeting is going to, recipients' location; and some sort of holiday message. There is no maximum or minimum length on greetings, though the best greetings are about 15 seconds.

Family members must be accompanied by a sponsor, unless the sponsor is deployed. A civilian Family member can make a greeting if the servicemember is deployed, on temporary duty or in the hospital, but they must mention the deployment of the active duty member.

How many'
There is no limit on the number of greetings you can send stateside relatives, as long as they live in different ZIP codes. However, the greetings must be sent to relatives. By the hometown news definition, a relative is determined by law and blood. FiancAfAs are not relatives.

The process.
When you come to do the holiday greeting tapings, you'll be required to fill out a form for every greeting you plan to make. A member of the hometown news crew verifies the information on the forms and will give you a briefing. Following verification, you'll be escorted to the camera to record your greetings.

(Christine June serves with Army Garrison Kaiserslautern, Germany.)

Holiday Greetings European Team Schedule

United Kingdom:
RAF Mildenhall, Sept. 10
RAF Lakenheath, Sept. 11

Spangdahlem, Sept. 13-14
Ramstein, Sept. 15
Baumholder, Sept. 17
Landstuhl, Sept. 18
Kaiserslautern, Sept. 19-20
Ramstein, Sept. 21
Weisbaden, Sept. 22
Darmstadt, Sept. 24
Mannheim, Sept. 25
Heidelberg, Sept. 26
Ansbach, Sept. 27
Schweinfurt, Sept. 28
Bamberg, Sept. 29
Graf, Oct. 1
Vilseck, Oct. 2
Hohenfels, Oct. 3

Vincenza, Oct. 5
Aviano, Oct. 6, 8

Lajes Field, Oct. 10-11