How to help U.S. troops in combat zones

Source: USA TODAY

Soldier's Cup Program

Supporting the troops

Care packages provide a major morale-booster for troops. But not everyone gets a package regularly during their six- or 12-month deployment. Some get nothing at all.

You can show your support by sending a care package through one of the many organizations that facilitate this. For example, at AnySoldier.com, you can request the contact of a servicemember stationed in a combat zone who has volunteered to distribute packages among the troops.

Putting together and sending a care package is easy. The U.S. Postal Service has flat-rate Priority Mail shipping boxes that cost $12.95 to send to American foreign post offices. You can fill them with frequently requested items such as baby wipes, toiletries, snacks, Gatorade/electrolyte drink mixes, large Ziploc-style bags, magazines — and letters are always a hit.

How to reach out

Want to support our troops, but not sure how to get started? This list may help.

  • Any Soldier  – A one-stop shop that explains how to send items, and provides a list of troops in need along with their addresses.
  • eHow Family  – Practical tips on packing items, navigating the postal system and filling out customs forms.
  • U.S. Postal Service  – Doesn’t get better than this site for tips on addressing packages properly and leaving out restricted goods.
  • Marine care packages – MarineParents.com accepts monetary and food donations, and provides tips on holding fundraisers and sending letters Marines in Afghanistan.
  • Foster a Soldier program  – If you’re ready to send a package, but don’t know who to send it to, this organization will match you with someone. They also accept donated goods.
  • Send A Soldier’s Cup of Coffee – Send a premium cup of coffee to our military overseas by clicking on the link. We are sending a slice of home, one cup at a time.

Alternatively, the USO will take a $25 tax-deductible donation and send a care package on your behalf to a random deployed servicemember.

What to send

Have someone in mind for a care package, but don’t know what to send? Here are some sites that may help you, along with organizations that will send items for you.

  • Operation Gratitude  – This organization will pack and ship a care package for you. Just submit a name. Operation Gratitude takes care of the rest.
  • Military Mom at Home  – A comprehensive list of items that troops need, and treats that ship well.
  • Treat Any Soldier  – Care packages of various sizes and prices can be purchased.
  • Give 2 the Troops  – Make a monetary donation, or send used cell phones or items for care packages.

 

You don’t have to wear a uniform to have the pride and patriotism. The military families stationed around the globe just want to feel supported and there are several ways you can be that support system. You see individuals stopping enlisted men and women and offer a simple thank-you. That brief moment, just a few quick words of thanks, instilled enormous gratitude. Service men and women want to know that your commitment to those defending our nation is steadfast, unwavering and unconditional, regardless of your feelings about war and politics.

Speak Your Mind

*