To share your thoughts on this subject or to post information about support programs in your hometown, follow this link: Family Support of U.S. Troops
Care packages are popular with both civilians and troops, but be forewarned: Due to postal safety regulations, mail can no longer simply be addressed to “Any Service Member.” Someone’s name must appear on the package. For details on the appropriate size, weight and content of packages, check out the Web sites below. Each allows you to link directly with military personnel.
• Any Soldier Inc. – www.anysoldier.com – Founded by a military family with a son serving in
• Books for Soldiers – www.booksforsoldiers.com – This organization sends books, DVDs, videos, cards, letters and supplies to deployed troops in various locations and in Veterans Affairs hospitals around the world. You can search the online bulletin board for particular requests from particular locations.
If creating your own package seems daunting, try a service that sends preassembled care packages to soldiers. Through the venerable United Service Organization (www.uso.org ), you can send brand-name products, general care packages and more.
You can also give the gift of communication through the following organizations:
• Operation Dear Abby – http://anyservicemember.navy.mil – Send supportive e-mail to our troops.
• Operation Uplink – www.operationuplink.org – Sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, this project provides free phone cards to troops.
To support efforts on the home front, visit the U.S.A. Freedom Corps Web site (www.usafreedomcorps.gov) for suggestions on how to use your volunteer time and money to aid the families of our troops abroad.