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Strom Thurmond, 99, lives at Army hospital

Question: Where is South Carolina's Republican senator, Strom Thurmond, these days? The last I heard, he was at Bethesda Naval Hospital.

Answer: Thurmond, 99, has been living at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington since November 2001. He moved there from his Virginia house so doctors could more closely monitor his health and medications while he continued to go to work at the Capitol.

Thurmond, the oldest and longest-serving member of Congress, was eligible for care at Walter Reed because he's an Army veteran. He is retiring in January and will be replaced by Rep. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who won the Nov. 5 election.

After retiring, Thurmond will move back to South Carolina to live in an apartment suite in a hospital in his hometown, Edgefield. One son and Thurmond's sister, 93, live in nearby Aiken. Another son lives in Charleston.

Thurmond will be 100 on Dec. 5. President Bush has planned a celebration at the White House.

Afghan children's fund

Question: In a speech last year, President Bush asked American children to collect money for a fund for children in Afghanistan. The children in our Sunday school class did that and mailed the collection to an address in Washington. I never heard any more about the fund. What was the money used for, and who distributed it?

Answer: "America's Fund for Afghan Children" has raised $10,312,885. As explained on the Web site kidsfund.

redcross.org/about.html, the money is being used by the American Red Cross, United Nations and other organizations to provide food, water, shelter, clothing, basic health care and preventive health education for children in Afghanistan.

Donations continue to be accepted. Donations of $1 (or more) in cash, checks or money orders can be sent to: America's Fund for Afghan Children, c/o the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20509-1600. Checks should be made out to America's Fund for Afghan Children. Donations also can be made at Coinstar machines at grocery stores nationwide.

Have a question about the news? Colin Bessonette will try to get an answer. Call (404) 222-2002; write him at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, P.O. Box 4689, Atlanta, GA 30302; or e-mail him at q&aajc.com.

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