News: Programs for troops continue to bring joy on all fronts
BAGHDAD - Service members have been fighting wars on two fronts for nearly nine years, and they continue to get support from thankful Americans back home.
It is seen in programs such as Adopt a US Soldier, Any Soldier and Treats The Troops, to name a few. These programs are designed not only to bring joy to those receiving letters and packages of support, but also for those who have taken the time to sponsor Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed around the world.
"I love our military men and women. They are the best of the best. I hope my little humble boxes just let them know that I represent Americans who feel the same way as I do — that people back home love and care for them and are praying for them," said Janelle Carter, a bookkeeper, healthcare sales representative and volunteer chaplain from Sacramento, Calif.
Carter joined the non-profit organization Adopt a US Soldier program in July, but has been sending packages to troops since the Vietnam War.
"All of my age group was affected in that war. My buddies went, my ex-husband and my cousins," she said.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, Carter said she has sent packages to her friend's children overseas. She explained that her son was already overseas when the attacks happened but, at former President George W. Bush's urging, she continued to get involved and support service members. Carter currently sponsors five Soldiers.
For Kathy Cunningham, a family tradition of military service has played a part in why she, also, sponsors five Soldiers through the Adopt a US Soldier program.
"My family has served in the military for nearly a century, possibly longer, and although I have never served, I still feel a connection to those who give so much. My feelings are, if you and your family can give you to our country, the least I can do is give my time to help and serve you and your family," said Cunningham, a data analyst and project manager for Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Veterans of Foreign Wars volunteer from Jamesburg, N.J.
Although programs may have the word 'Soldier' in them, they are open to any service member who would like to sign up. To sign up, log onto the programs Web site (see box). You will be asked to enter some personal information, such as name, address and a rough estimate of the dates you will be deployed. Depending on the program, a site administrator will contact you after you submit your information or someone who has chosen to sponsor you will contact you directly.
Most sites ask, out of courtesy, you let your sponsor know you have received their letter or package. It is not required to keep correspondence with your sponsor, but Cunningham and Carter agree that it is nice to keep in touch with troops who are deployed.
"The best part about this is knowing that our troops are taken care of and that they know we do stand behind them and they are not forgotten, nor will they ever be," Cunningham said.
The following links are available to all troops deployed overseas: www.adoptaussoldier.org; www.anysoldier.com; www.treatthetroops.org; www.operationuplink.org (free phone cards) and www.booksforsoldiers.com.
Date Posted:01.12.2010 09:23
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