In response to emailed questions about supporting the troops, I am reposting the support information below:
A lot of you, and I mean A LOT, have emailed me for information about sending care packages to the troops. Some of you may not have really considered "taking care" of an unknown military person before so here's your chance to help.
Soldiers' Angels is a wonderful non-for-profit run by some of the best Americans around - military moms! There, you can adopt soldiers or whole platoons of soldiers, send care packages, emails. You name it. You can even help the wounded soldiers as they come back from overseas.
Hopefully, you know about Spirit of America and all of the great things that they have done over the last few months. Their mission is to expand the abilities of Americans serving abroad to improve the quality of life of people at the grass roots level.
Look into donating money to these two charities:
The SOWF provides scholarships for the children of Special Operations soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who have lost their lives (in training or combat). A few dollars would go a long way in providing for the children of those who have died defending America.
UWSF offers scholarship grants to surviving spouses, along with educational counseling, financial guidance, investment planning, and other programs.
Sgt. Hook started Operation Shoe Fly to get shoes to kids in Afghanistan. Operation Shoe Fly is the culmination of an idea born by a group of crewdogs flying in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. After landing in numerous LZs across the war torn country and seeing many children with no shoes, they thought to help bring them some footwear. We are asking for donations of children's shoes, for both boys and girls ages 14 and under, new or used so that we can deliver them to the future of Afghanistan.
Think about donating your unused frequent flyer miles for a soldier to visit his or her family. Check out Operation Hero Miles.
Operation Gratitude - another site where you can help send care packages to troops in Iraq.
Books For Soldiers - it's one more way to show troops that you care.
Keystone Soldiers also takes care of soldiers by adoption, matching pen pals, or sending care packages.
And Adopt a Platoon - another source for adopting soldiers who don't have someone on the homefront.
The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society is a nonprofit, charitable organization that provides financial, educational, and other assistance to members of the Naval Services of the United States, and their eligible family members and survivors, when in need. To do this, counseling, loans, grants, various services, and referral to other community resources are available. There are no fees for such help. The Society, operating in partnership with the Navy and Marine Corps, administers nearly 250 offices ashore and afloat at Navy and Marine Corps bases around the world.
One last note, there is a fellowship that you can help sponsor in the name of my good friend, Major Mat Schram, who was killed on May 26th, 2003. Some of Mat's family and friends got together to create:
The fellowship, for Florida Institute of Technology's School of Extended Graduate Studies ' (SEGS) Ft. Lee, Va. center, will support U.S. military officers enrolled in the SEGS Logistics Executive Development Course (LEDC)-Florida Tech (FT) cooperative graduate degree program. The program is at the Army Logistics Management College at Fort Lee. Major Mathew Schram graduated from this school in 2001. This is the first fellowship established for a Florida Tech SEGS center.
The endowment will support one or more annual fellowships for military officers. The first fellowship will be awarded for the fall 2004 semester. To make a contribution to the fellowship, call the Florida Tech Office of Development at (321) 674-8962.
Whatever steps that you take to take care of our troops - no matter how large or small - will resonate beyond just one American soldier.
Someone that was referred by this site to Soldiers Angels also was responsible for donating their extra frequent flyer miles to bring a family to see their wounded soldier at Walter Reed. Just some simple actions made all the difference in the world.
So please think about supporting our troops. You can show that you care about their lives while they defend yours.