Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Have you hugged a GI day?

Today is National Hug a GI Day and I thought about what could I do be serve as a hug? The GIs I know are too far away for a hug. Then I remembered there are many organizations which help send cards, letters, care packages and many other services to the U.S. service men and women and so much more. I’ll feature each one with a brief description of the services they provide and the websites for more information on how to get involved.

A Million Thanks This organization provides support and appreciation to active duty and veteran service men and women through letters, granting betterment of life wishes and helping fund college scholarships for their children.

Adopt a Platoon This organization provides ongoing mail support for service men and women and their families. Individuals or groups can pledge to write letters or send care packages to one service member or as many as entire platoon. Their mission is to ensure that all service members are not forgotten.

Blue Star Mothers This organization is made up of mothers, stepmothers, foster mothers and legal guardians of service men and women. Their goal is to support each other and their children during their time of service. Their mission is to make sure that no service member, veteran or fallen warrior is forsaken or forgotten.

Books for Soldiers This volunteer organization sends care packages of books, DVDs, games and relief supplies as requested by the soldiers. This network of volunteers is operated by Red Grail Ministries, an interfaith relief church whose main goal is to provide comfort, counseling and fellowship to individuals in crisis situations.

Cell phones for Soldiers This nonprofit organization recycles donated cell phones and turns them into calling cards for active duty service members and veterans. They are dedicated to providing cost-free communications.

Homefront Hugs This organization serves the troops and their families. Their mission is to ensures that no hero is forgotten as long as freedom means sacrifice. They have many programs for individuals, groups, as well as kids and teens to get involved in.

Operation Gratitude This organization sends care packages to new recruits, veterans, first responders, wounded warriors, care givers of wounded, and to individual service members. Their mission is to lift the spirits and meets the needs of active duty and veteran communities. They help allow all Americans to express their appreciation.

United Service Organizations The USO has been serving men and women of the military since 1941 and their mission is to lift the spirits and support military men and women and their families until everyone comes home. The USO offers many ways for individuals in get involved in support of our troops.

The various mission statements of these organizations have the same theme: to ensure that our service men and women as well as our veterans are thanked, appreciated and never forgotten as they serve to protect our nation and come home to heal from the wounds of war. I have pledged myself to start writing letters to the as many service men and women as I can as well as send care packages when I can. I remember writing to a soldier in Operation Desert Storm when I was in fifth grade. It was an experience that has stuck with me and I want to be send a piece of home to someone serving to protect me and my family.

Many thanks and virtual hugs
To all the service men and women in the
United States Armed Forces