While puttering around my traditional blogosphere route, I came upon yesterday's post by Irina over at The IgNoble Experiment. Irina muses a little over the war and mentions that a fellow blogger, The Bow-Tied Blogger's Thomas, was now in Iraq. One of her commenters mentioned that it was all very well to say "Support the troops," but what can we specifically do? That got me thinking, so I've been searching a little while for ways to show your support, not for the war itself, but the troops.
Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am firmly undecided on anything and everything. Both sides of the congressional aisle anger me almost everyday and I have within drawn from politics in general. However, my views on the war are pretty set. My goal here is not to sway anyone in any direction. It is my opinion that the troops should not suffer the anger we direct at our government. As I said on Irina's blog, you cannot blame the cogs for the mistakes of the machinist. All I want to do it to bring some options to your attention so you can make your own decisions on how you wish to show your support.
Soldiers' Angels- This organization sends letters and packages to soldiers overseas, most of whom don't have anyone to write to them. If you have the funds, you can adopt a soldier with the understanding that you will send him/her a letter per week and at least one care package per month. I particularly like this organization because, when I was a camper, I adored letters and packages. It made me feel like someone was thinking about me. I can't imagine what a letter must mean to a kid so far from home.
Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund- Donating money to this charity will provide financial assistance to marines and sailors suffering from injuries or life-threatening illnesses. Money will also go to help pay for specialized equipment, such as handicap vans and modifications to homes.
AnySoldier.com- This is much like Soldiers' Angels, but without the commitment. The organizations have contacts within the army who distribute packages and letters to those who don't receive mail. There is also AnyMarine.com, AnySailor.com, AnyAirman.com, and AnyCoastGuard.com.
National Military Family Association- With a monetary gift to the NMFA, you can send a child of a deployed soldier to camp, help soldiers' spouses get scholarships for college, or many other forms of assistance. The NMFA can apparently also use volunteers to work at the headquarters. So if you have the time and money, this is a worthy cause.
The Fisher House™ Program- This organization provides comfortable homes near military and VA hospitals so that family can always be nearby to a person in need.
Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund- Money donated to this organization will go to support the families of fallen soldiers. The money recently went to a state-of-the-art medical center in Texas.
Jewish War Veterans of the United States- JWV is running the SOS Programs, which sends care packages to Jewish servicemen and servicewomen . The packages are distributed by the chaplain attached to the unit.
Alright, there are a bunch of charities to show your support for our troops overseas and at home. Please, if you have any other charities that you'd like me to mention, leave a comment and I will post it.