Friday, April 11, 2008

Show Support for Deployed Military Troops by Donating BOOKS!

In an April post on the Los Angeles Times’ blog “Jacket Copy,” Tony Perry -- who covers the military for the LA Times -- reported on books he had seen being read by Marines on bases in Anbar province in Iraq.

Perry said that one way to show public support for U.S. troops in Iraq is “by sending them books, lots of books.” Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any information in the post, nor did I get a response from an email, as to how to go about donating books to deployed military personnel.

Frustrated, I turned to “Andi H,” the wife of an active-duty soldier who in 2006 partnered with to create -- “a blog written by military spouses for military spouses.”

Andi’s email reply was prompt: I clicked on the link, and I immediately discovered that the slogan for this website is “Care packages for the mind.”

Go to this website and learn how you can send donated books to military personnel deployed all over the world. (There’s even a place on the website for individual military personnel to request specific books.)

Then I got an email from the president of about a relocation website specializing in community information and “now in over 240 military markets.” When I clicked on that link, the home page had the song “Thank You” by Brad Avery of Third Day and friend Scott Thomas for sale by,“with proceeds going to wounded soldiers and their families.”

I clicked on and learned that Shauna Fleming founded this organization to encourage Americans to write individuals letters to military personnel. Besides instructions on how to do this, this organization’s website provides links to other organizations helping military personnel.

One such link is to This project started in August 2003 as a family effort to help soldiers in one Army unit. On January 1, 2004, the effort was expanded to include “any member of the Armed Forces in harm’s way.” Letters and packages are sent to military volunteers stationed in areas in harm’s way and addressed “Attn: Any Soldier.” Then these volunteers put the letters and packages into the hands of soldiers “who don’t get much or any mail. Everything is shared.”

Regardless of your opinion on the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, you can support individual U.S. military personnel throughout the world by sending books or thank you cards or letters or packages. Do show your support in some way for the people who serve to protect us.

(For more organizations that help military personnel and their families, go to my website at and click on “support military families.”) Thomas

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