NORWALK - The Kiwanis International Club of Weston hosted an event Saturday that allowed Connecticut residents to speak with troops in Baghdad by phone.

The event, which was organized by Gil Sanborn of Weston, allowed people in Connecticut to talk with troops in the Blackhawk Brigade to find out more about their perspectives on the war. Sanborn was inspired by the tragic events of Sept. 11 to ?adopt an army.? He now continuously supports the Blackhawk Brigade by organizing fundraisers and other events to provide for the troops and their families.

According to Sanborn, connecting directly to the troops gives residents a feel for life while serving in Iraq and a new vision of the war on terror. It also allows residents to ask questions and personally thank the troops for their service.

?It is a boots-on-the-ground type of perspective,? Sanborn says. ?It goes far beyond what a reporter might provide.?

For his work in linking Connecticut residents to the troops in Iraq, the secretary of the Army appointed Sanborn to the post of civilian aide for the state of Connecticut.