America Supports You: State, Companies Pool Efforts

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America Supports You: State, Companies Pool Efforts

#1 Postby boardman » Wed Dec 15, 2004 11:19 am

America Supports You: State, Companies Pool Efforts
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2004 ˆ Proving that all it takes is a little ingenuity and teamwork to get things done, Orbitz, the Illinois lieutenant governor‘s office, La Salle Banks and Operation Support Our Troops have pooled efforts and resources to support deployed troops.

Eric Schuller, senior policy adviser to Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, said the endeavor began when Orbitz approached the lieutenant governor‘s office. The Chicago- based online travel company had been sending packages to some of its employees’ family members deployed to Iraq. The response was good, and the company felt it wanted to broaden the scope of the project.

“So they contacted our office and said, ‘We want to do this on a bigger scale,'” Schuller said.

The lieutenant governor‘s office had worked with Orbitz before, and the company had been helpful in getting plane tickets to Washington for military families to visit wounded loved ones recuperating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center here and the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Md., he said.

Initially, the thought was to place drop boxes at La Salle Banks in Chicago around Veterans Day and to leave them for a week. La Salle Banks officials suggested that drop boxes be placed in all 125 branches throughout the Chicago area for two weeks.

The response to the request for care package items was overwhelming, Schuller said. Though the donation period has ended, volunteers still are collecting the goods. “So far they‘ve filled about a 2,500-square-foot warehouse,” he said.

An Orbitz offer of a chance to win one of 25 roundtrip tickets for donating goods certainly played a part in the huge turnout. Schuller said a code was given to each donor. That code could then be entered at the Orbitz Web site for a chance at the free airfare.

Various organizations and schools caught wind of the effort and held their own collection drives. At the end of the individual drives, the goods were taken to a participating bank branch.

“We had Fischer Nuts call up and say, ‘OK, we have five palettes of peanuts. Where do you want them delivered to?'” Schuller said.

Now it‘s up to a group called Operation Support Our Troops to package and ship the goods to deployed troops. The group is the Illinois chapter of an organization founded in Rhode Island by a couple of mothers whose sons attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

OSOT, Schuller said, was a little nervous about finding the funds to ship so many packages. It‘s a volunteer group that supports its efforts through fund- raising. They receive no subsidies.

“To their credit, La Salle Bank and Orbitz stepped up and, between the two of them, were giving (OSOT) $9,000,” he said.

The group figures that the $9,000 should cover nearly all of the postage. That‘s at an estimate of $20 a box for roughly 450 boxes, but goods are still being collected.

That just leaves figuring out whom to send the packages to and that, too, is under control. The group works closely with the military chaplain corps. The chaplains supply names of troops who aren‘t getting much mail, or they accept the packages directly and distribute them.

This effort isn‘t a one-time deal though, Schuller said. He said that at least two other banks have expressed interest in participating in a similar drive. He expects to have care package goodies for a while, however, and suggested that perhaps the next collection drive would be in May.

The lieutenant governor‘s office serves as an intermediary between organizations such as the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund and veterans and their families. Many organizations are listed on the Operation Home Front Web site.

Related Sites:
America Supports You http://americasupportsyou.mil/
Operation Support Our Troops Illinois http://www.osotil.org/pages/1/index.htm
Operation Home Front http://www.operationhomefront.org
Operation Support Our Troops US http://www.osot.us
_______________________________________________________
NOTE: View the original version of this web page on DefenseLINK, the official website of the U.S. Department of Defense, at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Dec2004 ... 21506.html
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Links to Support Our Troops

#2 Postby boardman » Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:19 am

Links to Support Our Troops

AAFES Gift Certificates
http://www.aafes.com/docs/homefront.htm
The Army and Air Force Exchange Services is where most servicemen and women do their shopping. You can purchase gift certificates for those in Iraq and those hospitalized.

Adopt a Platoon
http://www.adoptaplatoon.org/
Adopt a Platoon has several ongoing projects to ensure that every soldier overseas does not walk away from mail call empty-handed.

AnySoldier
http://www.anysoldier.us/index.cfm
Any Soldier is a non-profit organization that helps people send care packages to members of the armed services in Iraq.

AOLbyPhone
aol://4344:3449.abpSPLSH.16722104.784567724/
AOL users can record up to a 3-minute voice mail and send it to military personnel who are in their Address Book. The recipient will receive the message as an e-mail attachment and can listen from their computer. This is free through January 15.

Appreciate Our Troops
http://www.appreciateourtroops.org
Purchase a Support Our Troops mug and a free personalized mug will be given to a current or former service member.

Blue Star Mothers
http://www.bluestarmothers.org
The Blue Star Mothers was founded by service members' moms during World War II. Any mother with a son or daughter in the military can join.

Books For Soldiers
http://www.booksforsoldiers.com/
Help the troops escape boredom by donating some books. You can also donate DVDs and CDs requested by soldiers.

Camp Doha
http://www.campdoha.org/
Camp Doha provides valuable information for those about to deploy, their friends and families and anyone who wants to support the troops.

Cell Phones for Soldiers
http://www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com/pages/1/index.htm
Donated cell phones are recycled and turned into cash. The cash is used to purchase calling cards for soldiers in Iraq.

Defend America
http://www.defendamerica.mil/nmam.html
Thank any service member stationed throughout the U.S. and the world with an e-mail.

Fisher House
http://www.fisherhouse.org/
The Fisher House Foundation donates comfort homes, built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury.

Freedom Calls
http://www.freedomcalls.org/
The Freedom Calls Foundation is helping families videoconference with their loved ones in Iraq. You can donate money to help keep this project going.

Groceries for Families
http://www.commissaries.com/certificheck/
The men and women who lay down their lives for us are terribly underpaid. Help a family by purchasing gift certificates to the commissary.

Homes for Our Troops
http://www.homesforourtroops.org/
Homes for Our Troops assists injured veterans and their immediate families by building new or adapting existing homes with handicapped accessibility.

Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund
http://www.intrepidmuseum.org/foundatio ... sfund.html
The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund provides grants to the families of servicemen and women who died in Iraq. You can donate online, through mail or by calling a toll-free number.

Military Moms
http://www.militarymoms.net/index.html
This site provides support to all of the moms out there who has a son or daughter in the military.

Operation: A Bit of Home
http://www.operationabitofhome.com/
Operation: A Bit of Home supports over 150 different soldiers per day by providing necessary and hard-to-get toiletries.

Operation Air Conditioner
http://www.operationac.com/
Operation Air Conditioner provides not only air conditioners but space heaters (the desert is cold in the winter) for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Operation Call Home
http://www.platoonphone.com/
Operation Call Home's mission is to provide each platoon with their own satellite phone.

Operation Dear Abby
http://anyservicemember.navy.mil/
The U.S. Navy and Dear Abby have teamed up. Their site allows you to send e-mail messages of support to service members.

Operation Give
http://www.operationgive.org/
Operation Give provides toys, clothing and school supplies primarily to the children of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Operation Hero Miles
http://www.heromiles.org/
You can donate your unused frequent flier miles to help soldiers travel on emergency leave. They are also used to help families fly to hospitalized soldiers.

Operation Interdependence
http://www.oidelivers.org/
Operation Interdependence supplies care packages to deployed soldiers. You can help out by providing goods, coordinating efforts or donating funds.

Operation Iraqi Children
http://www.operationiraqichildren.org/
Many soldiers are rebuilding schools in Iraq and scrounging around for school supplies. Help by donating a school supplies kit.

Operation Military Pride
http://operationmilitarypride.org
Operation Military Pride is a volunteer organization that sends cards letters and care packages to troops.

Operation Uplink
http://www.operationuplink.org/
Donate money to Operation Uplink. The money is used to purchase phone cards so servicemen and women can call home.

Soldiers' Angels
http://www.soldiersangels.org/heroes/index.php
Become some soldier's angel by adopting a service member.

Treats for Troops
http://www.treatsfortroops.com/

Treats for Troops helps get you provide packages to your loved ones overseas. If you don't know anyone, the Foster-A-Soldier Program matches you with a registered soldier by branch of service, home state, gender, or birthday - or you can choose to sponsor a group of soldiers.

USO Cares
http://www.usocares.org/

You can sponsor care packages provided by the USO with a $25 donation.

Voice from Home
http://voicesfromhome.org/home.html
Voices From Home allows military members and their families and friends to send and receive immediate voice e-mail messages in remote locations around the world.
------------------------------------------------------
Contributed,
YNCS Don Harribine, USN (ret)
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America Supports You: “Homes For Our Troops” breaks ground

#3 Postby boardman » Thu Dec 16, 2004 2:46 pm

America Supports You: “Homes For Our Troops” breaks ground
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2004 -- Joining a groundswell of support for American troops serving in the war on terror is an organization dedicated to making severely disabled veterans’ lives a little easier at home.

“Homes for Our Troops” is a nonprofit organization that builds new or adapts existing homes for severely disabled veterans. The modifications to a home can include ramps, wider doorways, and lower sinks and counters. The homes will be built to accommodate injuries that include loss of limbs, spinal cord injuries, and full or partial paralysis.

The group is set to break ground on its first specially adapted home, for Massachusetts National Guardsman Sgt. Peter Damon and his family, currently of Brockton, Mass., on Dec. 19. The new home will be in nearby Middleboro, Mass. Damon lost his right arm above the elbow and his left hand and wrist.

His home has been made possible through donations of cash, building materials and labor.

“The soldiers are proud and do not ask for anything in return,” Homes for Our Troops officials said in a recent news release, “but people who care for them have contacted us telling us of their desperate situation resulting from their injuries.”

Related Site:
Homes for Our Troops http://www.homesforourtroops.org/

NOTE: View the original version of this web page on DefenseLINK, the official website of the U.S. Department of Defense, at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Dec2004 ... 21616.html
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America Supports You: Program helps military families...

#4 Postby boardman » Tue Dec 21, 2004 5:18 pm

America Supports You: Program helps military families stay connected
American Forces Press Service

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 21, 2004 -- With so many U.S. troops on lengthy deployments overseas, the Family Literacy Foundation is helping ease fear, uncertainty and anxiety in children in military families through a program called “Uniting Through Reading.”

Uniting Through Reading enables deployed parents onboard Navy ships, at air stations abroad, and in tents throughout the world to share their love and support with their children by reading favorite books on videotape.

“We have had amazing feedback about the positive effects of this program,” said Betty Mohlenbrock, founder of the Family Literacy Foundation. “Children read aloud and talk to their parent while watching the videotape. The spouse at home tapes that reaction and sends it overseas. The morale of the whole family is boosted.”

The program has many benefits: children‘s fears are eased, deployed parents get a chance to share their love and support, and children receive essential communication and literacy skills.

Uniting Through Reading offers children a chance to see their deployed parent‘s face, listen to the parent‘s voice and read along as the parent reads them a children‘s story. It also allows them to spend as much time with the deployed parent as they wish by watching the videotape over and over again.

Developed during the Gulf War in 1991, Uniting Through Reading is available on all carrier strike groups, expeditionary strike groups, and Marine Corps expeditionary units and construction battalions, representing approximately 20,000 families on ships and in land-based units.

“Deployment doesn‘t only affect those who have volunteered for service. It affects hundreds of thousands of children as well,” said Mohlenbrock. “Our goal is to lessen the strain of separation and increase bonding through the positive, educational experience that reading aloud provides.”

(From a Family Literacy Foundation news release.)

Related Site: Family Literacy Foundation http://www.read2kids.org

Image

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jim Sample reads a book from aboard the USS Peleliu. Courtesy photo

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Dec2004 ... 08a_hr.jpg
High resolution photo.

_______________________________________________________
NOTE: View the original version of this web page on DefenseLINK, the official website of the U.S. Department of Defense, at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Dec2004 ... 22108.html
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Vail Valley Armed Forces Week

#5 Postby boardman » Wed Dec 22, 2004 2:46 pm

"Supporting our Troops and their Families"

We invite you to experience a fun filled and affordable Military Charity* Ski Week
in the Vail Valley.

Vail Valley Armed Forces Week
Location: Vail / Beaver Creek, Colorado
Date: January 9th - 14th, 2005

The Vail Valley Armed Forces Week, is open to all who currently serve or have served for the
Department of Defense, Army, Air Forces, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, Reserves, National Guards, Defense Contractors, Defense Civilians, plus Law Enforcement Personnel, Family and Friends.

With the ongoing war against Terrorism and in Iraq the Vail Valley Armed Forces Week is designed to raise money to help "Support our Troops and their Families" through four recognized military charities*.

* "Just Imagine!"Experiencing for yourself firsthand the world class atmosphere of Vail and Beaver Creek ski resorts.
* The Magic of reuniting with old friends and meeting new friends.
* Experiencing the pristine snow of Vail and Beaver Creek Mountains, providing terrain for first time skiers to expert skiers and snowboarders.
* Experiencing the mayhem of Vail at night with clubs, apre's ski parties and in combination with Beaver Creek, award-winning cuisine's, shopping, boutiques, art galleries, spas and slope side accommodations.
* If you are not skiing, enjoy the variety of winter activities available.
* Two muster gatherings offering an evening with old friends and new friends over drinks and some food.
* Experience Adventure Ridge, via a gondola ride to the world's highest night-time playground at 10,000ft.
* But most of all, through your participation you will be providing "Support to our troops and their Families"

* 3% of all revenues generated by participating organizations and selected programs, donated to Armed Forces Relief Trust, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, Naval Special Warfare Foundation and Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation
"Every penny raised, is a penny more to support our troops and their families."

Vail Resorts & Beaver Creek Resorts
http://www.vailarmedforces.com/

Winter 2006:
January 8th - 13th, 2006

Please sign up for the Winter 2006 newsletter updates.
Miscellaneous:
Fund Raiser
The Sanctuary, Vail

* Naval Special Warfare Foundation Fund RaiserTwo prizes for a ski day and lunch with Rudy Boesch - Compliments of Coors Light
* Dinner for two with Rudy & Marge Boesch.
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