The origins of Memorial Day are aimed at honoring our military dead. This is something we should all take time to do, in order to remember the great sacrifices that have been made on our behalf. However, even as we take time to honor the brave heroes that have passed on, we should not forget the brave men and women still fighting today. There are ways that you can support our soldiers and troops.
Send Mail to Deployed Soldiers
There are soldiers that do not receive any kind of support from home. It is possible to send a letter or a card to a soldier to provide inspiration and a bit of a lift. Even in this day of email and instant communication, there is still something about receiving mail. There are web sites that can help you support a soldier. Two of the most well know web sites are:
- Adopt a U.S. Soldier: This web site will put you in contact with a specific soldier. This can be a way to help build morale amongst soldiers. You are connected with a soldier who wants to receive letters from home.
- Cards for Soldiers: This blog/web site will take your cards and send them to soldiers who need them. Rather than corresponding with a specific soldier, you are asked to send a blank card, or follow other rules related to what is needed.
Some general rules to follow when sending cards, letters or other encouragement to soldiers should be followed:
- Send items that ship well. Things that lay flat are easiest.
- Consider that your card or letter may find its way to any soldier, of any age, male or female.
- Realize that some items are prohibited. The U.S. Postal Service offers a look some of the prohibitions. Also, realize that each military/diplomatic ZIP code has its own restrictions.
- Understand that your message may pass through several hands before arriving at your soldier.
During the holidays, the Red Cross has its Holiday Mail for Heroes program. Make sure you go through the official Red Cross site (since there are hoaxes going around). These cards are sent to active duty military personnel, as well as soldiers recovering in hospitals.
Whether you send a note to someone you know, or whether you look to support someone through a web site that helps you find soliders looking for encouragement, your caring and thoughtful message can mean a lot to a brave soldier fighting for your freedom.
Helping Wounded and Recovering Soldiers
In addition to provide support to soldiers serving actively, you can also support those who are wounded and recovering. Due to security restrictions, you can’t just send a letter or care package to “Wounded Soldier” or “Any Soldier” at Walter Reed (or anywhere else, for that matter). However, there are organizations that can help you express your gratitude. Cause USA helps provide packages and recreational activities to recovering soldiers. You can visit their site to help out. Additionally, American Legion Post 270 can help you participate in an Angels of Mercy program to support wounded warriors.
Memorial Day doesn’t have to be just about remembering those who have passed on. Take the time to remember those brave men and women who are still with us — and fighting.