Alec Baldwin: College tuition surprise gift for GI

Son of Long Island, New York, Alec Baldwin was so moved by the story of an 18-year-old female Army soldier who is scheduled to serve in Iraq, he personally looked up her mum in Arizona and offered to pay the soldier’s entire college tuition costs after she leaves the military.

Baldwin was prompted into action by a New York Times story about Pvt. Resha Kane’s final moments with her family and friends before going for training at Fort Hood in Texas.  According to AP reports, Baldwin himself, not his “people”, tracked down Kane’s mum at a store where she worked to offer his support and good wishes.

“I didn’t know what to say,” Kane said to AP reporters in Arizona. “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 was brilliant as the world weary Boston cop Ellerby in “The Departed” and who most recently won a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award for his performance in the NBC comedy “30 Rock,” was reported to be on holiday in London and could not be reached for comment by the AP.

Baldwin’s spokesman, Matthew Hiltzik, told AP reporters that Baldwin had read the Times article, and it made him reflect upon his own daughter, 11-year-old Ireland.

Baldwin, according to Hiltzik, will meet with the Kane family 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 to the AP.

Despite his vociferous opposition to the Iraq war and Bush policies, Baldwin, 48, cares deeply about the troops who are putting their lives on the line for their country, despite the actor’s opinions of the perceived mistakes at the top.

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

Mother Patricia Kane was in shock when she received the call. 

“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 also reported to the AP of her complete surprise and shock at the largesse of the talented actor.

“It’s very generous,” she said from Fort Hood in Texas, where the AP reports she is training before her unit is deployed to Iraq. “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, tells the AP she wishes to become a biochemist.


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