|Keep our troops in mind this holiday season|
By Jan Rahn
With the holidays quickly approaching, there is much to be done on the home front. One of the things that should be added to the list is taking care of the needs and wishes of our military personnel serving overseas.
Care packages can make a difference in the emotional well being of soldiers stationed far from home.
Not only can military personnel feel connected to their loved ones through receiving items that boost their morale, but they can get a sense of spirit by sharing items with comrades who don’t get mail during holidays.
Care packages bring people together—soldiers can share food and miscellaneous items amongst themselves, and can also affect those living difficult lives in war-torn foreign countries.
Boxes from home bring a bittersweet reminder of home—something easily shared to bring smiles, laughter and boost the mood of those serving their country.
Not only do families feel closer to their loved one by sending a care package and imagining their pleasure when opening it, but American students and various organizations seem to want to get involved in showing a widespread support system for soldiers abroad.
Drawings or photos can be hung and admired by the soldiers, while balls, stuffed animals, small toys, coloring books and crayons can be passed to Afghan and Iraqi children to help bridge the gap toward peace.
Sharing care package items with soldiers from allied nations can forge friendships and lead to a better understanding of military in other countries.
Ways to help
• The United States Postal Service provides free Priority Mail flat rate boxes in various sizes for mailing. A discounted Priority Mail rate is charged, regardless of weight. usps.com/supportingourtroops/welcome.htm
• The USO will send a package to a deployed service member for a $25 donation when valued at approximately $75. uso.org/oucp
• Care packages and letters have been sent to more than 1.4 million troops in 22 locations through AnySoldier.com
• Thousands of injured service men and women can be supported at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. by visiting cause-usa.org for details.
• School supplies and children’s vitamins can be sent to children in Afghanistan through Operation P.E.N.C.I.L. Donations can be sent to Sgt. Jordan C. Blake, c/o Operation Rocky Mountain P.E.N.C.I.L., HHC193RD MP BN, APO, AE 09354.
• For details on a nonprofit charity in California led by a former World War II POW, visit carepackagesfromhome.org