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I was inspired to post this by thereisnospoon's diary. Some of these were mentioned in the comments to that diary, but I figured it might be helpful to put them all in one diary.

Last week, I printed up copies of the following list of 10 Ways to Support the Troops and went and stood outside the local mall to hand them out, before going by the local VA to visit with and thank some vets. Anyway, here's the list, which I compiled from the resources offered on the website of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, which everyone should check out.

10 WAYS TO SUPPORT THE TROOPS

1. Any Soldier

Sergeant Brian Horn from LaPlata, Maryland, was an Army Infantry Soldier with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Kirkuk when he started AnySoldier to help care for his soldiers. He agreed to distribute packages that came to him with "Attn: Any Soldier" in the address to the soldiers who were not getting mail. Sgt. Horn is no longer in Iraq but AnySoldier continues and has expanded to include all branches of the Armed Services in harms way.

2. Books for Soldiers

Books For Soldiers is a soldier support site that ships books, DVDs and supplies to deployed soldiers and soldiers in VA hospitals.

3. Adopt a Platoon

The AdoptaPlatoon Soldier Support EffortTM is a nonprofit 501C-3 organization managed nationwide by volunteer mothers to ensure that deployed United States Service members in all branches of the military are not forgotten by providing needed mail support.

4. Soldiers' Angels

Soldiers' Angels is dedicated to making sure no troop goes unloved.  It was started by a mother whose son requested letters for fellow Soldiers while oversees. You adopt a Soldier, make personal visits, send needed items, or other needed things.  The organization also provides support to families of military personnel who are oversees.

5. Operation Helmet

Operation Helmet provides helmet upgrade kits free of charge to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as to those ordered to deploy in the near future. In addition to providing enhanced blast protection, the helmet upgrades are much more comfortable and stable than the 'strap/sling' suspensions that generally come with standard helmets.

6. Operation Comfort

Operation Comfort's mission is to create a nationwide network of mental health providers and agencies to donate their services, free of charge, to family members who have a loved one serving in the Middle East.

7. Homes for Our Troops

Homes for Our Troops, Inc., is a Massachusetts nonprofit corporation that builds specially adapted homes for our disabled veterans of war.

8. Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund

More than half of the brave men and women who have given their lives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere have left behind a spouse or children. These families must now face their future without a husband or wife or father or mother. In addition to their grief, many of them must also address the questions of finding work, where to live, how to raise their children, how to provide for their education, and even how to get food on the table.

9. Operation Uplink

Operation Uplink is a program that keeps military personnel and hospitalized veterans in touch with their families and loved ones by providing them with a free phone card. Operation Uplink uses contributions to purchase phone cards and distribute them to servicemen and women who are separated from those they care about.

10. Operation Homefront

Operation Homefront was created to channel volunteer support to help the families of deployed military personnel. With hundreds of thousands of service members deployed for war with Iraq, and countless others around the world fighting the war on terrorism, thousands of spouses and children are left behind, many in need. Operation Homefront is there to support military families while their loved ones are deployed.

Originally posted to deselby on Sat Nov 18, 2006 at 05:37 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  More? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thistime, jigsaw68, docangel, maryru

    If people have more resources, post away!

    •  Here's a couple (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      deselby, tigerdog, RosyFinch


      There are a whole bunch of ways:


      First, calling cards.  I could get into a long discussion why someone who's making minimum wage and just has had 2 legs blown off needs to pay for phone calls home to Mom but I won't.  The facts are that calling cards are really needed and they mean a lot to a young man or woman trying to recover from this insane war.


      What I'd like to ask you to do is send calling cards to:


      Walter Reed Medical Family Assistance Center (MEDFAC)

      6900 Georgia Ave., NW

      Washington, DC 20307-5001

      (202) 782-2071 or toll free 1-866-546-1310,

      BLDG. 2, Third Floor, Room 3E01.


      I called MEDFAC and asked what was the best way to do this.  The MEDFAC can't accept cash/check.  They can receive the calling cards.  I was advised that only AT&T and MCI don't expire.


      AT&T cards can be bought at the Post Office, Sams/Wallmart, Eckhard, Best Buy or Office Depot.  They Come in $10, $20 and $30 cards that give approximately 100, 200 and 300. minutes.  MCI calling cards can be obtained at CostCo.


      I know this isn't as easy as a two-click and entering your Visa number. But if you're near one of the above outlets in the coming days and weeks leading up to the Holidays, I can't think of a gift that would be more appreciated.

      Other ideas and ways to help can be found at the Fisher House site which does one of the best jobs going for supporting recovering military while housing their families.


      Thank you.

      (-9.00, -8.92) No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. --Edward R. Murrow

      by craigb on Sat Nov 18, 2006 at 06:38:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  MySoldier (0+ / 0-)

      Prison4Bushco gave us the link for MySoldier, started by an Iraq war vet at Manhattanville college in thereisnospoon's diary. It looks good. I've signed up for it.

      It's primarily for corresponding with troops who would like to get letters regularly, but care packages are welcome too.

      The only thing Republicans do well is take our tax dollars and transfer them to the rich, instead of providing the services we thought we were paying for.

      by Janet Strange on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 10:58:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bring them home. now. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    docangel, sarasson007, RosyFinch

    All 10 are good suggestions - excellent post.  But just to suggest also that the overarching framework should be working to end all military engagement in Iraq and returning the armed to there proper function - defending the people of the nation from attack and not pursuing murderous imperial adventurism cooked up by their criminal political masters.

    "No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it."- Franz Kafka, "Before the Law"

    by normal family on Sat Nov 18, 2006 at 05:58:29 PM PST

  •  Excellent list (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    docangel, tigerdog

    Thanks for compiling this.

  •  11. Bring 'em back alive. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    docangel, RosyFinch

    Otherwise, this list is terrific. Thanks for putting it together.

  •  Thanks so much. My daughters and I have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hairspray, maryru

    decided that this is how we are going to spend our Christmas money this year.  Instead of presents for each other.  It will make it that much easier for us with all these resources.  Thanks!!

    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not." -The Lorax, by Dr. Suess

    by docangel on Sat Nov 18, 2006 at 06:23:13 PM PST

  •  Thank you for posting this.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hairspray

    Great list..and no doubt there will be more posted in the comments...

    Nice to have them all in one place.

    Fear grows in darkness; if you think there's a bogeyman around, turn on the light. -Dorothy Thompson -6.88,-6.92

    by jigsaw68 on Sat Nov 18, 2006 at 07:04:58 PM PST

  •  Operation Uplink Sucks (0+ / 0-)

    Every phone card my DH has gotten from this program expired before he received it, and the VFW is notorious for supporting and funding the Republicans.

    I am also intimately knowledgeable about Operation Homefront.  The San Diego chapter had embezzlement problems in 2004 and the founder, Meredith Leyva, is in the back pocket of Duncan Hunter.  Yuck, yuck, yuck.  

  •  the best support is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tigerdog

    The best way to support the troops now is to bring them home alive and healthy........

    Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.

    by pollbuster on Sat Nov 18, 2006 at 10:27:13 PM PST

  •  Food provision for families at home (0+ / 0-)

    I know I've read several articles over the years telling how the families of deployed troops are having trouble making ends meet, and have to go to Food Banks to get enough food to get by.  Volunteering to help with food provision for military families would help the families and also put their service member's minds more at ease.

  •  Donate Frequent Flyer miles to soldiers (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.heromiles.org/

    From their home page:

    Operation Hero Miles was created by Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger in cooperation with close to a dozen United States Airlines in October, 2003. The program allows troops stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan to fly home on leave for free. It also gives family members of wounded servicemen and women free plane tickets to visit their loved ones recovering at military hospitals across the country. Operation Hero Miles gives ordinary citizens an opportunity to help our troops in a very direct way that makes a real difference in their lives.

    The program is brilliant in its simplicity. Travelers donate their unused frequent flyer miles to the Pentagon and troopAugust 10, 2006lowing airlines are currently participating in Operation Hero Miles: AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Midwest Airlines, Northwest Airlines, United Air Lines, and US Airways.

    Donations are currently being accepted from the following airlines: Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Midwest Airlines, Northwest Airlines, United Air Lines and US Airways.

  •  Thanks for Information (0+ / 0-)

    I read thereisnospoon's diary and immediately thought of it after reading a forwarded "touching e-mail" thinly disguising a conservative message. I found your diary when I went searching for the information in thereisnospoon's diary.

    Since, unfortunately, too many conservatives believe the spin about Daily Kos, I didn't link your diary in my response e-mail, but I did provide the IAVA link. Sorry for not attributing to you in the e-mail, but I didn't want the message to be obscured by people with predetermined -- and wrong -- beliefs about Dkos.

    Basically, it was an e-mail encouraging people to wear red shirts (wonder how they chose the color!) every Friday to force the media to report on the "silent majority" who support the troops. I thought it better that those folks support the troops in ways that matter rather than just showing their red on casual Friday.

    I think I may diary about it later today, and if I do, I'll link to your diary in mine.

    Thanks for the information. That's one of the things I love about Daily Kos -- the ability to have great, factual information at your finger tips.

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