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 Some ways to support servicemembers

America Supports You
New Defense Dept. program showcases America's support for its servicemembers.

Defend America
Department of Defense site with news and support links

Operation Dear Abby Noted advice columnist's site for sending "any servicemember" messages.

Fallen Heroes Last Wish Foundation Provides funds to help support and educate the children of American servicemembers lost during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Fisher House "Comfort homes" on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers, where family members can be close to a loved one during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury.

Homes for our Troops Building specially-adapted homes for severely disabled soldiers and their families.

USA Freedom Corps Make a difference by volunteering. Web site gives you many options.

USO Care packages Sponsor a care package that includes requested items such as pre-paid worldwide phone cards, sunscreen, travel-size toiletries, and personal messages.

Armed Services Blood Program Supplies blood and blood products for the 1.3 million servicemembers and their families around the globe. Here's information on how you can help.

Wounded warrior hospital fund To provide quality-of-life items for wounded servicemembers at Landstuhl.

Voices from Home Allows serving military members and their families and friends to send and receive immediate voice e-mail messages.

Military Moms Message boards, chat rooms, ways to donate items, information on the military, and much more; a project organized by mothers of servicemembers.

Operation Air Conditioner A military mother's effort to send needed air conditioners (and in the winter, heaters) and other items to troops in the Middle East.

VFW's Operation Uplink Purchases phone cards and distributes them to servicemembers.

Operation Military Pride Volunteer organization, founded by military spouses, sends cards, letters and care packages to troops. Also distributes names and addresses of participating servicemembers for people wishing to send messages or gifts directly.

Operation Package
Send a gift to the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment "Manchus" of the U.S. Army's 2nd Infantry Division.

Books for Soldiers
Ships books, DVDs and supplies to deployed soldiers and soldiers in VA hospitals, via a large volunteer network.

Adopt a Soldier
Support the wounded, injured, and ill troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Adopt a Platoon Several programs, including Operation Holiday Eagle (to send boxes of candy canes to forces deployed to Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, the Balkans and Korea). Information on the Middle East for troops and their families and friends.

Blue Star Mothers of America Group founded by servicemembers' moms during WWII. Site has links to several support programs.

Soldiers Angels "Adopt" a servicemember or send along a gift. A wide-ranging foundation started by a soldier's mom.

Operation Give Coordinates the collection and distribution of toys and other items for Iraqi children

Operation Shoe Box Their goal: "A package for every soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine" deployed overseas.

Operation Call Home Goal: A satellite phone for every platoon in Iraq

Apppreciate our If you buy a mug, a servicemember will get one, too. Also, post photos.

Treat the Troops Home-baked cookies for servicemembers.

SI Yellow Ribbon From southern Illinois, sending packages, cards and letters to the troops

Operation Enduring Response a Texas Red Cross chapter's program enabling kids to write letters which are then delivered to the troops.

Defend America messages At this Defense Dept. Web site, a way to send a "thank you" note to the troops.

Attn: Any Soldier Seeks donations of hand warmers, inflatable pillows, all-weather and emergency blankets, antibacterial wipes and Beanie Babies for soldiers to give to Iraqi tots.

Freedom packages Items for troops in overseas combat zones.

Kitchen Table Gang Encourages sending care packages, phone cards and items like magazine or newspaper subscriptions to hospitalized veterans and troops.

Operation Hero Miles An effort by several airlines allowing the public to donate frequent flyer miles to troops coming home for emergencies or R&R.

Operation Military Care The U.S. War Dogs Association's project devoted to supporting the hundreds of American war dogs and their handlers in Iraq.

Gifts From the Homefront AAFES' project turns donations into gift certificates the troops can use to shop at the 24 exchanges operating in the Persian Gulf area or elsewhere around the world.

Gift of Groceries DECA's program provides gift certificates that can be used at commissaries. Family members can also use them at bases back home.

Operation SAND Box Started by two 13-year-olds, "adopt a soldier" program gets supplies and messages to the troops.

Operation Soldier Support Puts you in contact with participating servicemembers, so you can send messages and gifts.

Operation Gold Bridge Seeking school supplies for Iraqi schools. (Story has contact information.) Send messages to the troops.

Marine Moms Support page for friends and relatives of Marines. Send "fan mail" to servicemembers.

Treats for troops Servicemembers sign up for goodies from home. Letters and care packages prepared and shipped by volunteers.

Carolina Troop Supporters A student-led organization devoted to supporting the U.S. armed forces

Treat Any Soldier Care packages for soldiers serving in harm's way.

Operation Letters from Home "Adopt" a deployed or wounded servicemember.

Request for medical supplies addressed to the stateside medical community.

Operation Show Time "Sky Soldiers" of the 173rd Airborne send DVDs to the troops.

If you know of any other programs that you think should be considered for listing here, or to tell us about a problem with these links, please e-mail

The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by or the Department of Defense of these Web sites or the information, products or services contained therein. Some descriptions of the programs are taken from the organizations' Web sites.


The mail situation ...

Stripes has gotten many requests from people asking about the rules for sending mail to servicemembers overseas. Here's more information:

Defense Department press release

Story clarifying status of "e-mail" programs

Story about government's suggestions on ways to help troops


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