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How To Support The Troops

| 55 Comments | 35 TrackBacks

(published March 24, 2003; last updated November 11, 2005)

Stuck on the home front, but still want to make a difference in the War on Terror? Well, one of the unique features of our Internet and 4th Generation Warfare is that you can. The explosion of direct citizen-soldier and citizen-citizen assistance opportunities is unprecedented - and you can be a part of it!

The U.S. Dept. of Defense keeps a list of organizations at America Supports You. We continue to update our compilation here because [a] it includes troops from other nations and related efforts as well; [b] we offer explanations and personal recommendations, not just a list; and [c ] we offer resources they don't - such as advice for gay members of the U.S. military. With that said, there are many worthy organizations at AmericaSupportsYou.com and we recommend it as a resource.

Meanwhile, I'm still updating this list, validating its links and accepting new submissions. On with the show, this is it...

Advice for Charities on This List

  • FYI, A reader has a message for many of the organizations listed here: If your organization is a registered U.S. nonprofit (usually 501c3), please head over to http://www.guidestar.com and input your organization's EIN and information. This will help alert people to who you are and what you do - an EIN # is needed for those people who work for corporations that give matching gifts.

Battlefront Aid

  • If you want your assistance to make a difference on the battlefield, it can. Just Adopt a Sniper via American Snipers, which began as an effort by law enforcement SWAT/sniper personnel to help their reservist buddies. Click on the link and let a soldier in 1st Stryker Brigade tell you why this matters. This program has continued to grow, and does great work!
  • Led by decorated combat veteran Lt. Col. Robert Ledee, The Armor 4 Troops Foundation, Inc. is 501c3 charity providing pieces of gear to National Guard soldiers, particularly protective anti-ballistic eyewear, under armor-armor and combat emergency multi-tools that are not always provided by the military to National Guard units.
  • I'd also forward this thought from regular reader "Klaatu". Maybe you want to consider sending one of these to Iraq:

"Check this out from Stars and Stripes. This is a book I've sent several copies of to 'son of klaatu' to pass around in Iraq: "Modern Iraqi Arabic," with 6 audio CDs. Or "Your First 100 Words in Arabic," which is cheaper ($9.00), and has tear out flash cards with pronunciation."

  • To improve first response on the home front, consider a donation to
    Chevra Hatzalah. This non-profit corporation is the largest all-volunteer Ambulance Service in the United States, providing premium quality pre-hospital emergency medical treatment and transportation at no cost to all who need it, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. Their performance in New York on 9/11 was truly remarkable, and they respond to over 75,000 other medical emergencies within 2-4 minutes. They save lives, period. (Hat Tip: Colt)

Extending a Helping Hand Abroad

  • Winds of Change.NET has been working closely with Spirit of America. They're assisting the U.S. Marines deploying to the Sunni Triangle with toys and other helpful giveaways, helping Iraqi women start small businesses, helping Iraqi men enter building trades, giving IRaqi bloggers Arabic tools, etc.
  • The Chief isn't alone, and several organizations are focusing on schools. IraqiSchools.com is another soldier-based effort, designed to being desperately needed school supplies to the children in several large zones in the heart of Baghdad. Similar efforts are underway via Iraqkids.org (American Aid for Children of Nineveh, a 501c3) and Iraqikids.org (run by a unit of 1st Cav).
  • Actor Gary "Lootenant Dan!" Sinise (Apollo 13, Forrest Gump) has started Operation Iraqi Children. Through the School Supply Kit Program, American children, church groups, and other organizations can help Iraqis by gathering school supplies in local drives, assembling them in kits according to our instructions, then sending them to the OIC Warehouse for transport to Iraq, where American soldiers will take them to Iraqi villages. (Hat tip: reader Dave H.)
  • In Afghanistan, soldier/blogger Sgt. Hook is running Operation Shoefly to give Afghan children shoes for their feet.

Getting It There

Some of the organizations in this roundup will take your donation of money or goods and take care of the shipping themselves. If that isn't the case...

  • The U.S. Post Office will give free packing materials to spouses, families and friends of military members deployed overseas, and offers some instructions and tips on mailing packages overseas.

Australian Forces

British Forces

  • The UK Forces Gulf Fund has been set up to provide welfare support to UK Service Personnel taking part in Operation Telic in the Gulf and their families. It's run by the Veterans' Agency of the Ministry of Defense. The donations page is here. (Update Hat Tip: Eddie Cochrane)
  • Books for Soldiers, match up Amercan & British troops with the spare books, novels, et. al. we donate.
  • "This Bulletin Board is provided by the British Forces Post Office to enable the public and friends and family to post messages to our troops serving all over the globe. Upon receipt, these messages will be reviewed for appropriate language and content and you may experience up to 24 hours delays for posting and viewing."

Canadian Forces

The Canadians are currently based in Kabul, Afghanistan, with a contingent of around 1,700 plus 200 elsewhere. They are part of the ISAF multinational force, and are easily distinguished by their green camouflage uniforms. Here is the Operation Athena Home Page.

  • John Macdonald says: "Maybe you can post this site [for sending support message to the troops] along with the sites for troop morale that you already have listed. Thanks!" Non-Canadians are also welcome to post, of course.

Danish Forces

Ole Sanvig writes:

  • "Stumbled across the post today, and just thought I'd add in the mail adresses for the Danish forces in Iaq and Afghanistan. Iraq: IRAQ-DANCON{at]MIL[dot}DK or NSEIRAQ[at}MIL{dot]DK. Afghanistan: ISAF[at}MIL{dot]DK. Should anyone feel compelled to drop a line to the 700 or so Danish soldiers serving these missions, I'm sure they'd be happy."

Israel

These causes seem to be fairly popular in the blogosphere:

  • Want to send a pizza, a burger, or even nutritious vegetable soup to some Israeli soldiers? Thanks to the magic of the Internet and PizzaIDF.org, you can.
  • Hatzolah-Jerusalem is a volunteer, non-profit Emergency Medical Service (EMS) that assists all victims of terrorism and other medical emergencies (including road accidents and more "normal"emergencies) throughout Jerusalem and its suburbs. They're often called "The Orange Vest Brigade", and in this war the title fits. They have other chapters elsewhere, like Yehuda-Shomron.

Polish Forces

United States of America

  • The GI Bracelet program works with a number of organizations (including several listed here), and the entire purchase price of each GI Bracelet is donated to support the troops and their families! As their site notes: "This endeavor is not for the red states or the blue states. It is for the United States of America and the men and women who make the sacrifices for our country." (Hat Tip: Joel "No Pundit Intended" Gaines)

U.S. Forces: Care Packages & Gifts

First of all, big thanks to readers Mike Daley and Blackfive for their blanket help with the entire U.S.-related feature.

  • Want to know what to send, how to get it there, etc.? Anysoldier.com tells you what and how. They have grown to over 3,616 Military Contacts (approx. 2959 Army, 414 Marine, 179 Air Force, 64 Navy, and 0 Coast Guard) who are helping approximately 113,714 soldiers!
  • Operation Military Pride is an umbrella organization that claimed to coordinates messages and care packages, and provide assistance to others who wish to do so. At the time, I said: "Note that OMP do not appear to be a registered charity, but they are listed on the U.S. Department of Defense America Supports You site and I receive their e-newsletter."

*They were recently the subject of an Illinois Attorney General investigation and court judgment (Case Number: 2006CH0114 Filed: January 04, 2006), and were ordered to pay back nearly $310,000.* Moral of the story - if it isn't a registered charity, 501c3, et. al., be very, very cautious about giving.

  • Operation Gratitude takes donations, and sends care packages. It started as a one-woman operation... but read their thank-you letter to us, and you'll see that they've come a long way.v They've made even more strides since that letter. The organization is a 501c3 onon-profit, EIN # 20-0103575.
  • Team Stryker points to Books for Soldiers, who matches up American & British troops with the spare books, novels, et. al. we donate. Paul says: "I know that I welcomed the occasional box of books we got from "back home" when I was deployed to the sandbox, and I'm sure the folks deployed today are no different in that regard." (Hat Tip to Angua's First Blog for noticing the broken link)

U.S. Forces: Communications

  • Donate a calling card to help keep service members in touch with their families at Operation Uplink;
  • U.S. troops deployed to the Persian Gulf region and other overseas locations can now receive messages from family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues and supporters via the pages of Stars and Stripes Magazine. "Messages of Support," a daily section that debuted March 17, gives family and friends of deployed service members a chance to pass their greetings, words of encouragement and announcements free of charge.

U.S. Forces: Family Assistance

  • Helping Our Heroes Foundation' is a 501c3 charity that makes small cash grants to needy families of injured troops. They also undertake morale programs for the patients and staff at Walter Reed hospital.
  • The Military Child Education Coalition is a 501c3 non-profit, world-wide organization that identifies the challenges that face the highly mobile military child, increases awareness of these challenges in military and educational communities and initiates and implements programs to meet the challenges. MCEC's goal is to level the educational playing field for military children wherever they are located around the world and to serve as a model for all highly mobile children.
  • The Fisher House Foundation is described as "Ronald McDonald House for wounded soldiers and their families." It donates comfort homes built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury. And you should really read Kim du Toit's report of actor Denzel Washington's May 2005 visit to a Fisher House - he asked how much it cost to build one, then took out his chequebook and donated that. Impressive..
  • As reader Glen Wishard notes, The Wounded Warrior Project assists men and women of the U.S. armed forces who have been severely injured during the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other hot spots around the world. Many of the injuries are traumatic amputations, gunshot wounds, burns and blast injuries that will retire these brave warriors from military service.
  • The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Inc., is a one of a kind non-profit Veteran Service Organization offering hope, healing, comfort and care to thousands of American armed forces families facing the death of a loved one each year. TAPS receives absolutely no government funding, but through the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, all families faced with a death of one serving in the Armed Forces receive information about TAPS and our military survivor programs. Ben Stein writes about a Memorial Day event with them, and what it meant to him.
  • M. Simon pointed us to Project Linus, based at Lockheed-Martin HQ in Marietta, GA. They make and distribute comfort blankets for children of fallen warriors. If someone you know has just lost a family member, contact Project Linus.
  • The North County Times newspaper in northern San Diego County has a scholarship fund for local children (Camp Pendleton, Miramar Air Station) who have lost a parent in the war. Editor Kent Davy writes that they've raise about $1.2 million to date and given out about $900K in savings bonds to kids through the Armed Forces YMCA. The paper carries all administrative costs, so all money raised goes to the kids.

U.S. Forces: Foundations & Memoriam

  • The Special Operations Warrior Foundation provides scolarships for the children of SpecOps soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who have lost their lives, in training or in combat. As Blackfive notes, a few dollars would go a long way in providing for the children of those who have died defending America. That goes double for Special Operations troops, who risk more than most. The Navy Special Warfare Foundation is also organizaed along these lines, albeit with a more specific focus.
  • Are you a big NFL fan? If so, consider donating to the league's Intrepid Foundation's Fallen Heroes Fund, which provides an immediate $10,000 gift to families who have paid the ultimate price with the loss of a family member in Iraq or Afghanistan.

United States of America: Other Aid

  • Soldiers Angels comes highly recommended by noted bloggers like Blackfive, Hugh Hewitt, and Michelle Malkin. Their programs run the gamut, from up-armoring Hummvee jeeps to aid packages to communication with the troops, and more.
  • Blackfive has kicked off a blog fundraiser for Soldiers Angels' "Project Valour-IT", which gets voice-activated computers for wounded soldiers to use as they rehab and readjust. Initial reactions show that this one's a winning concept.
  • Reader "shib" notes that Sew Much Comfort provides specialized clothing for to injured vets to wear over the splints and specialized "fixators" when they come back with serious injuries requiring long treatment. "We are sewing adaptive clothing for each soldier to wear... we are using a standard pattern and adapting it to fit around the "fixators". We are seeking your help with donations to buy the materials to make and ship the clothing, and volunteers to help us make the clothing to keep up with the demand." All credit for the hat tip goes to Patti Bader from Soldiers' Angels in this comments section.
  • If you know of good corporate citizens on the home front who are going the extra mile for the reservists who work there, let Mike and Susanna of Home Front know.
  • Finally, this is amusing: former soldier Christian Bauman's post on what really matters to soldiers, courtesy of Neal Pollack's site. Y'all know what to do!

U.S. Forces: Re-integration & Speaking

  • Are you someone who wants to help others hear from the troops directly? A soldier who wants to talk about you've experienced? Operation Tribute to Freedom can help. "By working with Army Public Affairs Officers (PAOs) around the country, OTF identifies ongoing media, speaking, and recognition opportunities to ensure that homecomings last longer than one day and that American Soldiers stay connected with the American public." And vice-versa. A very nice combo option if you're running a support event for any other cause listed here.
  • Unions are getting in on the action, too. Helmets to Hardhats is designed to help soldiers make the transition into a stable career in the trades, once their military service is done.

United States of America: Civilians in the War Zones

  • Civilians In Iraq is a Yahoo! group that has come together as a support service for civilian contractors who are working in Iraq.

Add to Our List!

Does anyone know what other credible, proven options British, Australian, American, Canadian, and Polish citizens have, or want to add a country that isn't represented yet? Email (joe, over here @windsofchange.net) or leave comments, and I'll add them too.

35 TrackBacks

Tracked: March 27, 2003 12:44 AM
Charities from /dev/clue
Excerpt: Sgt Stryker and Winds of Change both have collected lists of charities to donate to if one wants to support the American troops. I will be posting links to organizations that are and will be providing aid to the Iraqi...
Tracked: March 28, 2003 12:17 AM
Common Human Decency from Caerdroia
Excerpt: I frequently hear anti-war Americans (and Brits, for that matter) claim "We support the troops, but not the war." My take has been, how? Are you arguing that showing common human decency, by not spitting on soldiers or throwing rocks at them constitute...
Tracked: July 15, 2003 1:46 AM
Excerpt: Looks like we'll not only be sending in additional troops to Iraq, but now the return of thousands of soldiers is delayed: WASHINGTON -- Thousands of U.S. Army troops initially scheduled to come home from Iraq during the next two months are being told ...
Tracked: July 15, 2003 6:45 PM
Excerpt: Spouses of soldiers in Iraq have an indefinite wait for the return of their loved ones. As the U.S. army postponed a summer homecoming for disappointed thousands of troops, the top civilian administrator said the length of the U.S occupation was in Ira...
Tracked: December 1, 2003 4:55 PM
How to support the troops. from a little ludwig goes a long way
Excerpt: Winds of Change.NET: How To Support The Troops -- great set of links....
Tracked: December 3, 2003 1:04 AM
How to support the troops. from shawn's blog
Excerpt:
Tracked: December 22, 2003 12:46 PM
...And a Happy Hanukkah Too from The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
Excerpt: ...since it's that time of year. We've decided to do a special version of Pizza for the IDF and shamelessly...
Tracked: December 26, 2003 3:02 PM
Share the Warmth from Right On! Blog
Excerpt: Joe at WOC has an update to his link on how to support the troops in the Middle East - Canadians too. The Canadians are currently based in Kabul, Afghanistan,
Tracked: January 15, 2004 2:55 PM
Excerpt: Language tapes for troops in Iraq - excellent idea. Check this out from Stars and Stripes. This is a book I've sent several copies of to 'son of klaatu' to pass around in Iraq: "Modern Iraqi Arabic," with 6 audio...
Tracked: May 31, 2004 8:37 PM
In Remembrance from Balloon Juice
Excerpt: I would like to take this post to remember all those who have lost their lives in the defense of
Tracked: May 31, 2004 11:43 PM
Remember the living too from cut on the bias
Excerpt: It's Memorial Day, a time to remember the Americans who died on battlefields across the world and at home to...
Tracked: June 1, 2004 2:12 AM
NewsWatch from Benefitsblog
Excerpt: Some Memorial Day reminders: The President's Memorial Day ProclamationFrom the Evangelical Outpost, "The Red Poppy." From Winds of Change, an exhaustive list on "How to Support the Troops." One reason boomers aren't saving is made clear in this article...
Tracked: June 1, 2004 5:51 PM
Excerpt: Well, good! You really should and almost no matter where in the world you are, you can help support the full spectrum of Coalition troops. I had been in the process of trying to put something together on this, when...
Tracked: December 1, 2004 7:54 AM
giving thanks from andunie.net
Excerpt: A few days after Thanksgiving, but still in the spirit of that holiday (and also of Veterans' Day, just a few weeks past). Go here first, for a fitting tribute: Until Then. (Via American Digest) The Defense Department has a...
Tracked: December 9, 2004 1:22 PM
Supporting The Troops from Villainous Company
Excerpt: I stumbled across this post from Left2Right, a liberal blog formed to foster debate between the Left and Right. From their inaugural post: In the aftermath of the 2004 Presidential election, many of us have come to believe that the...
Tracked: December 9, 2004 10:25 PM
Excerpt: This is an email forward. Yellow ribbons tied around trees and red, white and blue stickers on the backs of SUVs saying "Support our Troops" are things that make civilians feel good but do nothing for the men and women...
Tracked: May 30, 2005 4:34 AM
How To Support The Troops from Winds of Change.NET
Excerpt: Want to know how to support troops fighting in the War on Terror (American, Australian, British, Canadian and Polish, plus some Israel-related links)? We offer working links to key organizations that will help you make a difference.
Tracked: May 30, 2005 4:57 AM
How To Support the Troops from Defense Industry Daily
Excerpt: Winds of Change.NET offers a comprehensive roundup of links to organizations that support troops in the field and their families. The list includes American, Australian, British, Canadian, Danish, Israeli, and Polish troops; plus organizations acting o...
Tracked: May 30, 2005 8:11 AM
Excerpt: Legacy.com has set up a moving tribute page to honor service members who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. The company set up the site free of charge and launched it in March. The Guest Book sections are must...
Tracked: May 30, 2005 2:11 PM
How To Support the Troops from Defense Industry Daily
Excerpt: Winds of Change.NET offers a comprehensive roundup of links to organizations that support troops in the field and their families. The list includes American, Australian, British, Canadian, Danish, Israeli, and Polish troops; plus organizations acting o...
Tracked: May 30, 2005 4:20 PM
Happy Memorial Day! from Classical Values
Excerpt: A lot of people are probably traveling, and I'm not going to be around much today. So I'll leave a travel tip based on something that happened yesterday when I wasn't looking. When you're packing, be sure to check the...
Tracked: May 30, 2005 5:01 PM
Reading 'Round the Web from Democracy Project
Excerpt: As you would expect, many blogs have both excellent posts, along with loads of links, to mark Memorial Day. Blackfive reprints a moving letter about a Marine killed May 9 in Iraq. He advises those of us who remember such...
Tracked: May 31, 2005 5:01 AM
Around The 'Sphere from The Moderate Voice
Excerpt: Our occasional linkfest giving you interesting reading from sites representing varying viewpoints. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opin...
Tracked: May 31, 2005 2:05 PM
Memorial Day from M.A.W.B. Squad
Excerpt: A big thank you to all of America's troops for the freedom we enjoyed on Memorial Day and every other day. If you'd like to act on your thanks, Winds of Change has a comprehensive round up of links: How
Tracked: June 17, 2005 4:55 AM
DefRev Memorial Day Message from Self Defense Max
Excerpt: by David Cranedavid@defensereview.com On this Memorial Day, DefenseReview would ask that all of our readers say a prayer for the safe return (at the end of their tour) of all of our troops in harm's way. After you've done that, please click over t...
Tracked: July 1, 2005 2:35 AM
Happy Canada Day! from Defense Industry Daily
Excerpt: Today we wish all of our Canadian readers a Happy Canada Day! Our special good wishes go to all members of the Canadian Forces serving abroad in Afghanistan, and in peacekeeping duties around the world.
Tracked: July 4, 2005 3:29 PM
Happy Birthday, America! from Defense Industry Daily
Excerpt: DID offers our best wishes to our American readers on another Independence Day birthday, and thanks to the troops serving at home and abroad. If our readers want to do concrete to show that support, Winds of Change.NET offers a comprehensive roundup of...
Tracked: July 5, 2005 1:45 PM
Dawn Patrol from Mudville Gazette
Excerpt: Iraq Does anybody want to answer this guy for me? [Assumption in Command - in Iraq] Benny Layton, a new commenter here, has written some comments, while in a polite tone, I don't agree with: The unprovoked invasion of Iraq...
Tracked: July 12, 2005 4:59 AM
Iraq Report from Stryker Brigade News
Excerpt: Winds of Change has published its weekly Iraq Report, with links to news and analysis of recent events there. They have also updated their long list of resources for those looking to support the coalition forces. To their list I'd...
Tracked: July 12, 2005 5:04 AM
Iraq Report from Stryker Brigade News
Excerpt: Winds of Change has published its weekly Iraq Report, with links to news and analysis of recent events there. One of the links included is an analysis of recent armor added to certain Stryker variants in Iraq. They have also...
Tracked: July 20, 2005 7:54 AM
How to Support the Troops from The Command Post
Excerpt: Want to know how to support the troops? We offer working links to key organizations that will help you make a difference.
Tracked: August 16, 2005 4:39 PM
Imagine. from Ace of Spades HQ
Excerpt: With all due apologies to John Lennon, but not Yoko! Imagine that Sunni Muslims begin to protect their Shia brethren in Iraq. Imagine that Iraqis turned their anger at all the foreign Jihadis invading their country. Imagine that the people...
Tracked: November 11, 2005 2:02 AM
Remembrance Day/ Veteran's Day, 2005 from Defense Industry Daily
Excerpt: On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, the guns ceased. Today, the British Commonwealth countries remember those who came before, and those who came after, and all who have given in their nation's service....
Tracked: November 11, 2005 8:49 AM
Excerpt: It is on this day that the Great War (World War I) ended and so everyone thought all wars would come to an end. And, it is for this day we commemorate Veteran’s Day. But, unfortunately, wars are still being fought…and now we are fighting in the ...
Tracked: November 12, 2005 3:17 PM
Dawn Patrol from Mudville Gazette
Excerpt: Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics - from the MilBlogs, other blogs, and the mainstream media. If you're a blogger, you can join the conversation. If you link...

55 Comments

Where can I donate money towards ammunition?

Let's not forget about www.adoptaplatoon.org!!!

Oldham, maybe the NRA has an "ammo for the troops" program. Give it a look-see and let us know. Inkgrrl, I'll check that out immediately.

On one of my email lists, there was a 'magazine drive' - apparently a number of the SOG folks were going back to 1911's, and there was a shortage of good quality magazines for them.

I'll inquire about whether this is still going on...

A.L.

I just heard about the Polish soldiers-- it's nice to have another reason to be proud of being of Polish descent!

HOW CAN MY HUSBAND AND I FIND SOMEONE THAT HAS NO FAMILY OVER IN THE WAR WITH IRAQ THAT NEEDS SOMEONE TO BE THERE FOR THEM? WE HAVE 5 KIDS AND 6 GRAND CHILDREN AND WOULD LOVE TO HELP THOSE WHO ARE GOING THRU THIS THAT NEEDS SOMEONE TO BE THERE FOR THEM AND TO SEND THEM CARE PACKAGES. WE REALLY WANT TO HELP AND IT SEEMS LIKE THERE ARE SO MANY SITES TILL ONE GETS CONFUSED WHO TO TRUST. CAN YOU HELP US PLEASE

Marjorie, my strong recommendation is to contact Adopt-A-Platoon. They seem to be right up your alley. Good luck!

Anyone know anything about this one?
www.operationmilitarypride.org

As a Navy wife, maybe I can offer some more ideas on this subject.

1)Keep in mind that a lot of our currently deployed troops, particularly activated reservists, spend time volunteering in their communities. Things like coaching ball teams, acting as Girl/Boy Scout troop leaders, etc., are activities that may be particularly missing these troops right now. So volunteering your time in this capacity is also a wonderful way to support the troops. Another organization that A LOT of military members volunteer time to is Big Brother/Big Sister, and children especially need mentors at times like this one.

2)If you have old computers with internet capability that you are planning to get rid of, contact any of the numerous groups that deal with military families to see if they know of anyone who could use one of these. Email is often times the only line of communication open to military families, and access to public computers is limited. Check with the Aid Societies, USO, and Spousal Support Clubs.

3)Take part in local Support Our Troops Rallies. While I realize that public approval is extremely high right now, the most vocal group of people are still the anti-war activists. That can be very disheartening to the troops who catch an occassional snippet of news.

4)Even though the troops deployed to the Middle Eastern region are receiving the most press right now, please do not forget that there are still many other units/ships that are not serving there, but are still working just as hard to keep our country free. If you think their jobs are easy because they aren't in Iraq, imagine the tensions in places like the Korean Peninsula. ALL of the troops need our support right now.

5)Do NOT send out packages or letters addressed to "any soldier/sailor/marine/airman"! These items will be returned or destroyed due to security concerns, and will only serve to clog up the military mail system. The military community appreciates your desire to support the troops, but please follow the appropriate channels, such as those listed above to show your appreciation.

6)If someone in your community must face tragedy, ie. a family member captured, wounded, or killed, reach out within your community to see if there is anything you can do to help. A good place to look into this is your local churches, which can sometimes provide a wealth of information on community efforts to help these families in their time of need.

7)Remember that the military member is not the only one making a sacrifice. The families of these troops are also making large sacrifices and deserve your support. If you know a military family personally, show them your support. And even if you don't know a military family personally, remember that as you publicly voice your opinions (which the troops are more than happy to fight for you to do), to keep in mind that the person standing nearby hearing you may be a military family member, and it hurts them to hear their spouses, children and parents called "killers" or to hear that the sacrifices they are making are serving an unethical purpose. Feel free to voice your opinions, but also try to be sensitive to others who may be hurt by the manner in which you voice them.

And thank you so very much for wanting to know how to support the troops! They, and their families, are all more grateful than you will ever know!

Lisa Bragg

the thoughts and prayers of me and my family go out to the brave men and women risking there lives, so the we may live on peace.thank you all

Help to young girls support our troops. Visit their website www.operationsandbox.com

The URL for the UK Forces Gulf Fund has changed, it is now http://www.veteransagency.mod.uk/links/gulffund.htm
and there is an on-line donations site for it at
http://www.ukforcesgulffund.org/

I tried the link for donating books but got the "Refresh" page. Could anyone help us? We really want to donate books: we have hundreds of novels purchased from library sales just perfect for light reading. All we need is an address. Thanks.

K Yost: Go directly to http://www.booksforsoldiers.com/
They are often looking for specific books, but will also take whatever's available.

Joe, you may want to include this link.

For those who sew, knit, and crochet:
http://www.wtv-zone.com/kjsb/bataan.html

This group sends out handmade goods to the soliders overseas, such as socks, hats, slippers, etc.

Note to people involved with the admin of these organizations:

If your organization is a registered nonprofit (usually 501©3), please head over to http://www.guidestar.com and input your organization's EIN and information. This will help alert people to who you are and what you do - EIN # is needed for those people who work for corporations that give matching gifts.

Right now, if I put military+Iraq for keywords, I get fluffy-fluff think tanks that promote peace and understanding by sitting around talking.

Thank you so much for including Operation Gratitude: www.opgratitude.com-- in your Support the Troops section. I want to give you an update! While I did start this as a one-person operation, we have now linked forces with the California Army National Guard, 746th QM BN out of Van Nuys--where we do our warehousing and staging. During our major Support the Troops Rally in November, we had over 200 volunteers help assemble almost 4000 packages in one weekend. Since then, we have ~25 volunteers on a weekly basis helping at the Armory, thousands of supporters around the country contributing items, letters and funds, and we have now sent over 7000 packages! We will continue sending up to 500 packages per week throughout the year and plan another mass event in the spring! To all the teachers out there whose students provided holiday letters and cards for the troops: MANY THANKS!! And keep those cards and letters coming--especially for events such as Valentine's Day! And Girl Scout troops: we would love to include your cookies in our weekly packages! Many thanks to all of you everywhere who have helped bring a smile to thousands of troops' faces this holiday season through Operation Gratitude care packages!

Another Canadian-related link: http://www.mercuryhope.com/

If you want to support an individual military person serving in/around Iraq (or several persons), a great organization is OPERATION MILITARY PRIDE. They put you in touch w/ an individual, to whom you write and send goodie boxes. They also provide lists of sample goodies that are in high demand. It's free; they do solicit donations to help w/ the admin costs.

Here's another site, Soldiers' Angels:

http://www.brandonblog.com/Adopt-A-Soldier.html

Here's a fabulous story about a reservist who is asking families to adopt a fatherless Iraqi child...

www.estripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=19998&archive=true

take out your kleenex!

AnySoldier.us was started by a soldier's dad after the proscription against "ATTN: Any Soldier" mail. He works with individual contacts who agree to receive and distribute packages throughout their units or platoons. The mix of units changes as people are moved around, but right now he's got addresses for Iraq and Afghanistan. http://www.anysoldier.us

Prayers can help - can place a family member in list or adopt a soldier to pray for:
http://www.presidentialprayerteam.com/
Also see:
http://www.snopes.com/rumors/prayer.htm

http://www.web-books.com/Classics/Poetry/Anthology/Kipling/Tommy.htm

"Send letters of support to Tony Blair."

I wasn't aware Tony Blair was presently serving in the armed forces.

Hello I am the Moderator of civilians in Raq we have almost 100 members. I created this group for civilian contractors working overseas and their families and supporters here is the link

I am the spouse of a civilian contractor currently working in Iraq.

There are thousands of them who do not receive any support or assistance like the military does regarding letters of support and care packages. Many of them are prior military. Granted the wages are good , however that does not replace letters of support or the comforts of home. American items can be scarce as are letter of support since there have been so many negative articles in the media regarding contractors.

There are also soldiers supporting the CPA from Nepal and many other countries and hundreds of Iraqi nationals risking their lives daily to support the cause.

The donations received would go to the civilian contractors and Iraqi families and children in need. My husband has bought 26 pairs of shoes for Iraqi civilians since he arrived there in April.

We are seeking donations of items from individuals and agencies that would like to contribute to these care packages in some way. Please contact me if you can offer assistance or publish this information. It would be greatly appreciated. Below is a partial list of items needed or requested.

Please contact me if you have additional questions and be sure to email if their are specific instructions for your donations.

Here is the link if you want to donate using paypal.

Here is the list :

I will be ading to this list so please check for updates.

> > 1. Baby wipes
> > 2. mens,women and childrens:
> > shoes
> > socks
> > various sizes
> > 3. first aid supplies:
> > bandaids
> > triple anti-biotic cream
> > alcohol
> > q-tips
> > etcetera
> > 4. foot powder
> > antifungal ointments
> > 5. postage stamps to defray cost of shipping
> > 6. calling cards
> > 7. Toiletries for men and women:
> > cologne
> > deodorant
> > shampoo
> > conditioner
> > soap
> > razors
> > 8. childrens items:
> > toys
> > 9. insect repellant
> > 10. sun screen
> > 11. sunglasses
> > 12. hats or baseball caps
> > 13. Powdered Kool-Aid and Gatorade
> > 14. Batteries
> > 15. Magazines
> > 16. Beef jerky
> > 17. Hand-held games
> > 18. CDs and CD players
> > 19. DVDs and DVD players
> > 20. Paperbacks
> > 21.Cookies ( most requested are girl scout cookies and oreos)
> > 22. Snacks of any kind (especially ones that don't melt)
> > 23 Tobacco products
> >
> > thank you for your consideration.
> >
> >
> > Sincerely,
> > SW: moderator:civiliansinraq

Here is the link if you want to donate using paypal

We are a new 501©3 org. raising money to build specially adapted homes for our returning severely disabled soldiers. Please help us in our efforts. We have been getting great media coverage. The American people are coming forward it great numbers. We have much info listed please check our site.
Sincerely
John Gonsalves

I would like addresses of the soldiers that don't have anyone to write them could you get me alist? thank you

I too was looking for a way to say thank you. And one day I came across Soldiers Angels. It has been a wonderful experience for me and my family. Please check out our site and then make a decision. So far we have nothing but positive feedback. We have the options of epals, penpals, and adoptions. We also have alot of postings for help whether it be for birthday greetings, our wounded at Landstul or here in the states, out troops that have lost everything. Or someone that needs a few people to tell them we are thinking of them and we are proud of them. There is always something that we can do to show our support of our troops. We are also a 501 c3 non-profit organization.
Sincerely,
Melinda Firestone

I come from a long line of military members through out my family history. Being a bratt, I learned to always be supportive of the men and women that offer the ultimate sacrifice. I want you all to know that I appreciate all you and your family has sacrificed for the continuation of our freedom, as well as giving the people of Iraq the opportunity to have a better life.

I do wish that when we do find a pen pal to correspond with, or send care packages to that they will have respect for their spouse / family, show enough respect for us, and have enough honor in them self to be honest, and not lead women on.

I met a soldier in a regular chat, and hit it off, talking about everything like classic mustangs, car shows, movies, a lot of things... trying to help him think of things other than what you all are dealing with on a daily basis.

He gave his word, made me believe, as well as several other women, that there was a chance of a connection in the "right" direction once he returned to the states around the first of Sept. of this year.

I got e mails from women I did not know, once he was in Kuwait, as well as a personal, reply he sent about detailed plans his wife was planning on his return, he forward to me. Of course she says she did not send that e mail, but she did send pics to confirm they are married. Oh and he is a new daddy of a 4 month old that he had never held until he returned.
I understand all soldiers don't act this way, but I ask that you (the ones that act like this) take a moment to think of the people this behavior will hurt. It still puzzles me...the unknown of why an adult in his position and status would behave this way.

Label me as a fool if you must. Wont be the first time, and I know it wont be the last time! All I am requesting is some respect, and consideration. People like myself do things out of the kindness of our heart to help people, show them that there are people that care. That the world still has some good...that the world that isn't only filled with selfish people. That there are sincere thoughts and prayers going to all over there, and their families...it's my nature to care. There is nothing stating we are required to support our troops.

I guess I am asking for the ones that have this compulsive behavior is to think before you hurt people.

I come from a long line of military members through out my family history. Being a bratt, I learned to always be supportive of the men and women that offer the ultimate sacrifice. I want you all to know that I appreciate all you and your family has sacrificed for the continuation of our freedom, as well as giving the people of Iraq the opportunity to have a better life.

I do wish that when we do find a pen pal to correspond with, or send care packages to that they will have respect for their spouse / family, show enough respect for us, and have enough honor in them self to be honest, and not lead women on.

I met a soldier in a regular chat, and hit it off, talking about everything like classic mustangs, car shows, movies, a lot of things... trying to help him think of things other than what you all are dealing with on a daily basis.

He gave his word, made me believe, as well as several other women, that there was a chance of a connection in the "right" direction once he returned to the states around the first of Sept. of this year.

I got e mails from women I did not know, once he was in Kuwait, as well as a personal, reply he sent about detailed plans his wife was planning on his return, he forward to me. Of course she says she did not send that e mail, but she did send pics to confirm they are married. Oh and he is a new daddy of a 4 month old that he had never held until he returned.
I understand all soldiers don't act this way, but I ask that you (the ones that act like this) take a moment to think of the people this behavior will hurt. It still puzzles me...the unknown of why an adult in his position and status would behave this way.

Label me as a fool if you must. Wont be the first time, and I know it wont be the last time! All I am requesting is some respect, and consideration. People like myself do things out of the kindness of our heart to help people, show them that there are people that care. That the world still has some good...that the world that isn't only filled with selfish people. That there are sincere thoughts and prayers going to all over there, and their families...it's my nature to care. There is nothing stating we are required to support our troops.

I guess I am asking for the ones that have this compulsive behavior is to think before you hurt people.

Maine Made Christmas was recently contacted by Mr. Lane, Environmental Coordinator at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, OH (former Lima Army Tank Plant and home of the Abrams Tank) about being involved in a program called "Operation Phone Home" to provide prepaid phone card's to our troops serving overseas in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

We are proud to be involved in this effort to bring the sound of a loved ones voice to our soldiers serving all of us and would encourage spreading the word.
Click here for more info.

Thanks,
Curt

I've been linking to a project which started as a local effort to support the unit with which the coordinator's son is serving, but which has caught on and gone national. Take a soldier to the movies

This one is dear to my heart:

Injured Marines Semper Fi Fund

Battle-injured warriors return home after being stabilized at military hospitals in Germany. Upon arrival, critical care is typically provided at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Depending on the severity of the injuries, continued hospitalization occurs at other hospitals located throughout America. Hospital stays can extend for months and rehabilitative care for years.

Loved ones travel great distances at a moments notice to be at the bedside of their wounded family member. Family members take leave from their jobs, often without pay. They also incur additional expenses lodging, travel, food while trying to meet obligations at home. It can become difficult for families to make ends meet while helping their Marine recover. Few are prepared for the expense.

The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund helps Marines, sailors, and their families meet their financial needs during difficult times. The Fund works closely with the Marine Corps, the Navy, and hospitals nationwide to identify and assess the needs of specific families. The application is easy to complete, the evaluation process is thorough, and assistance is typically delivered within 72 hours of the request.

To all you soldiers, I just personally want to thank each and every ONE of you for all that you do over there and for puttin your precious asses on the line to get it done and for promoting our freedom. I am 43 years old and have never served, but im old enough to appreciate the magnitude of the awesome job you all have to do over there and the terrible losses it's costing us. That pain I see, feel and try to share with you and I extend my love, gratitude, mind and spirit to each and every single one of you!!! Keep up the good work and let me remind you that there is no one better in this whole wide world than YOU!!! May GOD bless you my brothers and sisters. SALUTE!!!

Also The Wounded Warrior Project, started by Gulf veterans, and consider buying through Shop For The Troops.

I am a volunteer at booksforsoldiers.com. It's a support organization where soldiers can request items or letters.

Polish soldier's link is mislinked or missing: I get a funny but off-topc page regarding the IRS.

Don't forget GI Bracelet. 100% of the purchase price goes to the charity of your choosing. Soldiers Angels uses them too!

WRT supporting Israeli forces, perhaps a link (or links) to the various Magen David Adom charities would be appropriate, as well as Hatzalah.

Thanks for the update, Joe.

A new one - for USA wounded - all donations go to help them:
http://www.saluteheroes.org/redesign/

Thanks, DF. Threre are a few well-established charties in our list filling this slot, and this is a new organization. The good news: founders have been in the charity fundraising business for a long time. This also gives me pause. I'm going to do a "wait and see" on them.

I can't thank you enough for including the Semper Fi Fund, Joe :)

Our Marines provide only 11% of the forces currently serving in Iraq, but take 30% of the casualties. They are fighting hard for this nation.

Anything we can do for these big-hearted guys and for their families is greatly appreciated.

Operation Iraqi Children

Founded by actor Gary Sinise and author Laura Hillenbrand to provide, primarily, school supplies to the children of Iraq. You can either purchase the supplies on their list or send $10 to cover the cost. Click on the Donations link.

Recommended by my son's finance, from her post in Bagdad. She wanted to be out helping people, but the Army has her behind a desk. Follow the link, if I haven't screwed it up, to see those she wants to help.

Amateur Radio Military Appreciaion Day

A very unique way of support for those that serve in the military LIVE over Amateur Radio.
ARMAD allows expressions of thanks, and appreciation from the people of our communites worldwide to those that serve.
Visit the ARMAD web page to find out more about events, and our mission.
Thank you very much.

Lets "Ham It Up For The Troops."

The CCD has a great initiative to say thanks to the Canadian troops in Afghanistan

http://canadiancoalition.com/operationrudolph.shtml

MillionVeteran March 2006 to Support Your Troops by Supporting Their Benefits. Visit http://www.millionvetmarch2006.com

Tunesmith
*is looking for songwriting soldiers in Iraq who have written songs while in Iraq.
tunesmith Productions is putting together a compilation CD of soldier songs to be sold thru the VFW's and American Legions in the US as a fundraiser to provide assistance to families of soldiers.
Please email info@tunesmith.net to help support this project or to send the names of songwriting soldiers in Iraq.*
Thank You,
Nan Cassidy
President/CEO Tunesmith Productions

My best friend/boyfriend of 5 years is headed to Iraq with the U.S.Marine Reservists (from New England) in March. I just want everyone who has posted something on this site know how comforting and helpful it is to know that not every one has forgotten. The "war" maybe be over but its no where near the end for the family and friends waiting patiently at home for their loved ones.

May we never forget-Monica

I am 30 years old and have never served, but im old enough to appreciate the magnitude of the awesome job you all have to do over there and the terrible losses it's costing us. That pain I see, feel and try to share with you and I extend my love, gratitude, mind and spirit to each and every single one of you!!!

Merry Christmas Troops. Sorry you are having to be there in the sand box from hell, but we are sooo very proud of you for fighting for our freedom over there and keep those terrorist on the run. they haven't been able to do anything here at home cause you have them running so hard over there in their front yard. Keep up the good work. thank you for your strong sacrifices for this wonderful country and the freedoms we enjoy. We miss you and want you home as soon as you can get the job done. Blessings to you all. Big repect to you and yours.
Mark Justice

*Merry Christmas * to you!!!!! God bless you!!!
Big RESPECT from everyone here at home. Freedom isn't free. Thanks for paying the price for all of us. You are truly heroes. Our prayers are with you.
Mark Justice Northern California

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