There are many ways to support the heroic efforts of military soldiers abroad and at home. For some, paying tribute comes in the form of writing letters, donating supplies to soldiers and military families and raising funds for wounded vets who need medical assistance.
For others, honoring vets is about making a statement. Find out how Americans are declaring their respect, patriotism and support of the courageous troops who protect our country.
Want to support the troops? Here’s a list of ways to do it:
1. Help Kaylee Radzyminksi show ’em you care– send CDs and DVDs to troops serving overseas. For more information, visit Tunes 4 the Troops.
2. Troops in the field use silly string to help locate trip wires around explosive devices. They spray the string across a room. If it hits the floor, then there are no bombs close by. However if the the string hangs in the air, then the potential of an explosive is very present. To help, Send donations to Marcelle Shriver at St. Lukes Church.
3. Here’s a great way to help the families of service members and wounded soldiers. Through Operation HomeFront, you can send the troops a care package loaded with essential goodies (visit the website for suggestions), volunteer at a local center, or raise funds right in your community that will support the work that Operation HomeFront does.
4. You can send your personal message of support to troops to firstname.lastname@example.org. The email is provided by Stars and Stripes, a newspaper distributed to the troops overseas. So, you may see your very own words in print. Just remember to limit your message to 50 words or less.
5. The Fisher House organization provides inexpensive lodging for families of injured service members. To help, you can volunteer at your local Fisher House.
6. You can make a difference at home by volunteering your time and compassion with a Veterans Administration hospital. It is a great way to tell a veteran, “Thank you for your service.” For more information, visit the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
7. One detail that many troops often overlook is what to do with their pets while they are away. This is where you come in. You can take their pets into your home through an organization called the Dogs on Deployment. Military personnel are matched with caring foster homes that will look after their pets until their safe return.
8. Teen Shauna Fleming started a campaign to collect a million “Thank you” letters to send to forces around the globe. She and a team of volunteers collect and sort the letters, CDs and DVDs to send to the troops. To learn how you can help, visit A Million Thanks.
9. Support the troops’ humanitarian efforts with Operation Crayon. AdoptaPlatoon and Army soldiers serving in Bosnia founded the project in 1999. Military units adopt needy schools or orphanages in places such as Bosnia, Iraq, Kuwait and Kosovo and provide them with much needed supplies. You can lend a helping hand by sending winter clothing, toothpaste, toothbrushes and school supplies. So, check out the website to see just how much your future care package will be appreciated.
10. Help those serving overseas phone their loved ones back home by donating to Cell Phones for Soldiers, an organization that gives troops prepaid calling cards. You can donate cash or old cell phones and/or phone batteries that are then recycled and sold for money to buy the calling cards.
11. Donors buy gift certificates that can be redeemed by troops’ families at various stores. Donate at Commisscries. com.