Ways to Support our Troops by Randy Rowley


Any Soldier

Sergeant Brian Horn from LaPlata, Maryland, an Army Infantry Soldier with the 173rd Airborne Brigade was in the Kirkuk area of Iraq when he started the idea of Any Soldier 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.

Brian completed a tour in Afghanistan and is now home, but Any continues.

Any Soldier Inc. started in August 2003 as a simple family effort to help the soldiers in one Army unit, thus their name.  However, due to overwhelming requests, on 1 January 2004 the Any Soldier effort was expanded to include any member of any of the Armed Services in harm’s way.

Any Soldier Inc. has helped approximately 91,188 Service Members including 2927 Military Contacts (2053 Army, 543 Marine, 178 Air Force, 143 Navy, and 4 Coast Guard).

They have Soldier contacts on their Where to Send page.  Click through the names and select the one(s) you wish to support.  They list what the folks they represent want and need.  They even have a search capability so you can easily identify what the troops need most.

All the Soldiers involved in this effort are military volunteers stationed in areas that are in harm’s way. You send your support (letters and/or packages) addressed to them and when they see the “Attn: Any Soldier” line in their address they put your letters and packages into the hands of Soldiers who don’t get much or any mail first.  Everything is shared.

They have What to Send and How to Send pages to help you properly send letters and packages, and a FAQ page, please read these.  This effort is 100% voluntary.  You send your support, and maybe some stuff, directly to whatever unit or units you want.

For more information see

Books for Soldiers

During the first Gulf War, several reservists and were activated to fight the Iraqis.  Once the soldiers were deployed, they were faced with massive downtime and were restricted to their base due to the travel limitations set by the Saudi government.

The founder of Books for Soldiers (BFS) is a voracious reader.  At the beginning of the Gulf War, he had a closet full of paperback books that were not being used.  Instead of selling them at the used book store, he packed them up in small care packages and sent them out to all the soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen that he had addresses for.

Within a few weeks, he ran out of books before he ran out of addresses.  Friends and family members began donating their paperback books and in the end, over 1000 books were sent to the Gulf.  After the war, they received many thank-you notes from soldiers who got one of their books.  Unless it was time for them to fly back home, mail-call days were one of the most anticipated events of deployment.

With the initiation of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, BFS is more active than ever before.  Regardless of why the military is deployed, the men and women of our armed services are there for us.  They deserve our support.  Providing books, magazines, DVD’s, games, and relief supplies to them are ways to make their deployments easier.

To provide more security for our troops, they require their volunteers to fill out a notarized application and mail it in.  Once your application is approved, you will be able to send gifts to our troops.  You will also have access to their Pen Pal area and Post Card Jamboree.

Currently, BFS is a non-profit corporation, operated as a ministry of a non-denominational church in North Carolina.  On average their volunteers fill over 1000 requests a month.

For more information see

Gifts from the Homefront

Please consider sending a Christmas Gift Certificate to an individual military family member, friend, or loved one.  You can also designate that they be used “for any soldier” deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, or for wounded or hospitalized soldiers.  The Christmas Gift Certificate can be used at any military exchange (AAFES, NEX, MCX, Coast Guard Exchange) retail store around the world.  For more information on this program see


Give2TheTroops® is a nonpartisan, non-political, non-profit, patriotic organization formed to support the physical, moral, and spiritual health of America’s armed forces in combat zones around the world through letters and care packages prepared and shipped by patriotic volunteers.  Deployed and wounded troops in harm’s way in all branches of service are supported.  They are incorporated and certified as a non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity charitable organization.

Since December 2002, Give2 has supported hundreds of thousands of deployed U.S. troops.  This was made possible only with the help of tens of thousands of generous and patriotic friends in the U.S. and abroad.  They believe that this is the least we can do to show our troops how much we appreciate the sacrifices that they make for us.  This is about giving back to those who give all.

Donations to Give2TheTroops are tax-deductible; however, donors should consult their independent tax experts and advisors to appropriately determine and verify all charitable contribution deductions.  Monetary donations given to Give2TheTroops are used to pay for postage to mail the care packages and/or to purchase special items requested by our deployed troops.  99% of all donations go to our troops.  They have no paid employees.

They accept food, snacks, toiletries, entertainment items, sports items, and cards and letters (they cannot accept home-baked food, glass bottles, aerosol sprays, expired food, canned items, lighters, hotel samples, or hard-cover books).  They have packages for 20,000 troops ready to ship but don’t have the funds to ship them.  They accept donations via credit cards, PayPal, personal checks, and money orders.  Please mail checks or money orders to Give2TheTroops, Inc., P.O. BOX 445, Canton, CT, 06019-0445.

For more information see

Homes for our Troops

Homes for Our Troops is a non-profit, non-partisan 501 (c)(3) organization founded in 2004.  This organization is strongly committed to helping those who have selflessly given to their country and have returned home with serious disabilities and injuries.

They assist injured servicemen and women and their immediate families by raising donations of money, building materials, professional labor, and coordinating the process of building a new home or adapting an existing home for handicapped accessibility.

All services provided by Homes for Our Troops are at no cost to our veterans.

Since breaking ground on our first home in December 2004, they have made great strides in helping our military families adjust to a new way of life as well as providing tangible opportunities for all Americans to support our troops.  In just over two years, they have provided barrier-free adaptations and complete handicap accessibility to homes for many veterans and have over a dozen additional projects underway in cities and towns across the USA.  Help comes from many sources, so the community benefits along with the veterans and their families!  Community spirit thrives when Homes for Our Troops is in town!  People put their differences aside and roll up their sleeves and work together to help our wounded American Heroes!

Homes for Our Troops is currently working with veterans throughout the country.  With more than 18,000 injured to date in the War on Terror, many veterans are in urgent need of help.  They continue to grow their network of professionals in the building industry, building material manufacturers, and generous donors from across the USA to provide this vital service at no cost to our veterans.

For more information see

Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund

To date over 18,000 men and women have been wounded in operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Most of these troops are ultimately returned to duty.  But some suffer injuries so severe that they require extensive medical care and years of treatment and rehabilitation.  Their future quality of life, their ability to care for themselves and provide for their families, and their very survival depends on the treatment and rehabilitation, they receive following their injuries.

The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is constructing a world-class state-of-the-art advanced training skills facility at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.  The center will serve military personnel who have been catastrophically disabled in military operations as well as military personnel and veterans severely injured in the normal performance of their duties.

The center will encompass a $35 million 60,000 square foot structure, providing ample space and facilities for the rehabilitation needs of the patients and their families.  It will include top of the line indoor and outdoor facilities.

As of April 17, 2006, The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund successfully reached its goal of $35 Million dollars.  Although sufficient funding has been received for the construction costs, the Fund is accepting donations to provide additional services to the patients who will be treated in the Center and their families.  These services may include facilities for patients’ children, additional medical equipment and supplies, medical research to improve the care of patients, or other areas relating to the Center’s activities including the patients and their families.

One hundred percent of contributions will continue to go to these services, with nothing taken out for the Fund’s administrative costs.

For more information see

Let’s Say Thanks in Support of our Troops

To honor U.S. military personnel and increase community morale, Xerox Corporation has created Let’s Say Thanks, a national program designed to deliver millions of free personalized printed postcards with messages of support to deployed U.S. military personnel stationed overseas.

Their website gives you the opportunity and means to send as many postcards as you desire.  It shows your support and appreciation for their service to our country.

Postcards sent through will be delivered to men and women from all military branches deployed on active duty.  If you would like to mail a postcard to a relative or personal friend, downloadable files are available for each design once a card is selected off the homepage of this website.

The postcards, depicting patriotic scenes and hometown images, were selected from a pool of entries from children across the country.

All you have to do is click on your favorite design, either select the message that best expresses your sentiment, or draft a personal note and then hit “send.”  You can send out as many postcards as you desire.  Xerox then prints the postcards and Give2TheTroops® mails them in care packages on a monthly basis.

The response has been tremendous.  To date, they’ve received over two million messages of support to share with military personnel serving overseas.

For more information see

To Our Soldiers

To Our Soldiers is a service that provides an opportunity to send a message of support to Soldiers who are serving in the War on Terrorism.  Messages are posted on the website.  The website is not designed to be a letter writing service, instant-messaging service, e-mail service, bulletin board, or general chat service.  It is designed as a means to leave messages to the troops at large, rather than to individuals.  All messages are viewed and edited or deleted based on content.  Profanity and violations of operational security, privacy, and propriety will not be posted.  Soldiers around the world appreciate your thoughts and feelings of support.

For more information see

Wounded Warriors

Wounded Warriors was founded in March 2003 to support the soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines who were evacuated from Afghanistan and Iraq to the Landstuhl (Germany) Regional Medical Center for treatment for injuries and wounds stemming from Operations “Enduring Freedom” and “Iraqi Freedom.”

Because of financial contributions, Wounded Warriors was able to support other military hospitals in the States and Iraq by purchasing laptop computers and other morale items to be used by the staff and patients.

Their new mission is to provide families of our young warriors who have been severely injured or wounded something they may never be able to afford – a vacation.  To facilitate this Wounded Warriors owns two fully furnished two-bedroom condominium units (one in Orlando, Florida, and the other in Galveston, Texas), for the use of qualified soldiers, reserves, veterans, and their families.  Military personnel are entitled to a one-week stay.  Wounded Warriors also pays for theme park tickets for veteran’s dependents.

A new endeavor is to establish a family-oriented Wounded Warriors’ Retreat in Western Nebraska.  Activities will be designed to bring families closer together by providing memories that will last a lifetime.  These will include horseback riding and hiking in the rolling hills, swimming, campfires, and more.

Because of generous friends like you, Wounded Warriors already has entered into a contract to purchase this property.  Their goal is to build a central lodge, six two-bedroom cabins, a swimming pool, and a horse barn, with construction starting in the summer of 2007.

Your tax-deductible gift to Wounded Warriors will help make it all possible.

For more information see

Categories : Services

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