- You are not supporting the troops by parading around with a magnetic yellow ribbon on your car.
- You are not supporting the troops by wearing a particular color one day a week.
- You are not supporting the troops by clapping for them in airports.
- You are not supporting the troops by hollow gestures that can and will be as forgotten as the names and faces of the 3,351 you didn't know and will never be able to know.
My friend lifeasicit said it best when he told me "There is a big difference between supporting the troops and not supporting those who run the war. There are many circumstances that cause a person to enlist and it is not for us to understand why, only to let them know we care and have not forgotten them." Having served in the military himself, he echoes my feelings perfectly, which is why I am trying to be proactive.
We need to remember them and properly mourn them when they die so senselessly, but that is not enough. We need to do more to support those in harm's way. If the powers that be won't, then it is up to the citizens of this country to take care of our own. They are our children and they are in harm's way - what more motivation does one need?
- Write a service member
- Donate Frequent Flyer Miles
- Military Family Support
- Scholarships (my friend Keni Thomas' website)
- Adopt A Platoon
- Help their children
- Cellphones For Soldiers
- Operation AC
- Foster A Soldier
- Soldier's Angels
- Donate money for care package services
- Pre-paid phone cards
- Send books
- Fisher House - This organization provides housing for military family members near where their loved ones are hospitalized and/or while they are doing long-term physical therapy.
- Caring Bridge - Not specific to the military, but this organization provides free web sites where family members can post about the recovery process of an injured soldier and keep a large group of family and friends informed.
Put Heat On Our Government Officials To BRING THEM HOME SAFE AND SOON
- Write Your Representative
- Write Your Senator
- Organize meetings with U.S. Representatives and Senators
- Attend public events where members of Congress and other politicians will appear
Make A Care Package & Send It Yourself
This is easy, requires little time or effort, and will really make a difference. You can even go in on items with a friend, get together a group of people and go shopping for items, make a night of it. Tell people what you're doing and explain how they can do it as well.Link to this post:WHAT CANNOT BE SENT:
Pork products, Alcohol, Pornographic materials, liquid hand sanitizer, or Aerosol cans. Due to the extreme heat, chocolate is not mailed during the summer months.WHERE TO SEND:Canned Items
Visit the USPS at http://www.usps.com to learn more about APO/FPO mailings and view sizes of postal boxes available. Call 1-800-222-1811 to order free shipping supplies. Visit the Military Postal Service Agency to learn even more http://hqdainet.army.mil/mpsa/mid.htm.
chicken and/or packs; pop-top
peanut butter / jelly
tuna and/or packs (tuna in pouches are best)
salsa (don't forget the taco chips)
salt/pepper, sugar packets
Sweet N Low/Equal/Splenda packets
Ground Coffee / Tea / Hot Chocolate
(if they have a coffee-maker),
hot chocolate mixes
(if they have a microwave)
Mac & Cheese
various mini dinners
instant soups / soups in pop-top containers
Powdered Drink Mix Singles
beef Jerky / beef sticks, summer sausage
cheese spreads / small Velveeta cheese blocks
crackers for snacking
energy bars / Cereal Bars / high protein bars /
gum, Hard Candy wrapped (no chocolate in
Little Debbies & other snack cakes
nuts (all kinds)
Advil, Tylenol, Cold/Cough drops, Sinus Meds
Antibiotic Cream (Neosporin)
Baby Oil, Baby Powder
Bath/hand/wash towels (dark colors)
Blankets for cooler weather
Body Wash / soap (be sure to triple pack the
soap and not put it near the food as it leaves the
smell of soap on the food)
Contact Lens Cleaner
Disposable hand and feet warmers
DUSTING CLOTHS for removing the sand from
everything and every surface
Feminine hygiene products (multipacks of tampons, maxipads, cleansing wipes)
Foot Inserts for boots
Hair bands/pony tail holders
Insect Repellent Wipes/ non aerosol spray
with Deet (need in spring/summer)
Laundry Soap / Fabric Softener
Magazines (make sure they're current)
Toothbrushes (& the mini travel ones in their own cases)
irana adds: "If you're just sending a generic box, please specify if it is for a woman. Also, write a letter, a short note, something to make it personal. Mail call sucks when you don't get mail, and even a short "I hope you can use any or all of these and it helps you relax" freaking kicks ass when you get it."