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How To Send Help And Aid To The Troops And Their Families: |
Defense Department officials asks people to use alternative means of aiding troops other than sending unsolicited care packages.
Federal authorities discontinued several care package programs due to heightened security measures and concerns of possible terrorist attacks.
The restrictions are due to Defense Department standards, and packages and mail sent to "any service member" will probably be returned.
Groups planning to send multiple packages to one service member for disbursement throughout the entire troop are being discouraged by DOD officials from doing this for the cited security reasons.
Federal officials are asking only family members or close friends to send care packages and mail to troops.
Support Groups for Troops:
- Operation Uplink: http://www.operationuplink.org/ -- Sends prepaid phone calling cards to troops.
- USO Cares: http://www.usocares.org -- Sends DOD pre-approved care packages to troops.
- Operation Dear Abby: http://www.OperationDearAbby.net -- Send an email message to the troops.
- Any Service Member Organizaton: http://www.anyservicemember.org
- Defend America: http://www.defendamerica.mil/nmam.html
Aid to Military Families:
- The Defense Commissary Agency: http://www.commissaries.com/certificheck/index.htm -- Donate a bag of groceries to a military family.
- Gifts from the Homefront: http:// www.aafes.com/docs/homefront.htm -- Government program that allows families and friends to purchase gift certificates for troops.
- Army Emergency Relief: http://www.aerhq.org/
- Navy and Marines Relief Society: http://www.nmcrs.org
- Air Force Aid Society: http://www.afas.org
- Coast Guard Mutual Assistance: http://www.cgmahq.org
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: http://www.va.gov
Family members and friends can send mail and care packages as outlined below:
- Packages must have a service member's full name, unit and Air/Army Post Office or Fleet Post Office address if one is addressed to the soldier.
- The mail must include the nine-digit ZIP code if one exists for the soldier.
- A return address must be on the package with the recipient's information listed on the lower-right portion of the package and the sender's address on the upper left.
- Certain items are prohibited according to DOD standards:
- Obscene and pornographic material, including naked photos.
- Religious items that may be contrary to the Islamic faith.
- Unauthorized political materials.
- Pork or pork byproducts are banned.
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