Alec Baldwin To Help Iraq-Bound GI

Alec Baldwin, actor, 10-28-06
Actor Alec Baldwin was so moved by the story of an 18-year-old soldier who is scheduled to serve in Iraq, he's going to help pay for her college education after she leaves the military.

A spokesman for the actor says after reading a March 4th New York Times story about Army Private Resha Kane's last day with family and friends before going for training to prepare for serving in Iraq, Baldwin personally tracked down Kane's mother - at a discount store where she works - to offer his assistance.

"I didn't know what to say," Kane said. "And then I asked him if he could send me his autograph. I've never met a star, let alone talked to one on the phone."

Baldwin, who appeared in "Glengarry Glen Ross" and "The Departed" and most recently won a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award for his performance in the weekly NBC comedy "30 Rock," was vacationing in London and could not be reached for comment.

Baldwin's spokesman, Matthew Hiltzik, said when Baldwin read the Times article, it made him think of his own daughter, 11-year-old Ireland.

Hiltzik said the actor will meet the Kane family in Mohave Valley, Arizona, and give them a check, which will be in addition to the $37,000 the Army will give Kane for college. A date for the meeting will be decided next week, he said.

Although Baldwin, 48, has been a vocal critic against the war in Iraq, Hiltzik said supporting the troops who are fighting there is important to the actor.

"He himself tried to find the family, and he was very happy he was able to connect with them," Hiltzik said. "It's a great example that people of different backgrounds can agree on the importance of supporting our troops."

Patricia Kane said when she heard Baldwin's voice on the other line, she didn't know what to think.

"I said, 'No way. You're lying.' I was just blown away," she said. "I am totally shocked and awed this has happened."

Resha Kane said she was just as dumbfounded when her mother told her the news.

"It's very generous," she said from Fort Hood in Texas, where she is undergoing further training before her unit is deployed to Iraq in September. "Actors have all this money, and it's a good thing to see them do something other than for themselves and show some character and use their money wisely."

Kane, a chemical operations specialist in the Army, said she wants to be a biochemist but is not sure what university she wants to attend once she leaves the military in three years.