By Justin Bowen, Bowen Law
With the holidays in full swing, it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of it all. There are travel plans to make, family gathering logistics to deal with, and of course - last minute shopping and wrapping. This year, why not take just a few minutes and a few dollars, and really do something special: remember a deployed American soldier.
With more than 350,000 American troops overseas across the globe, a “thank you” letter, an encouraging email, or even better a holiday package will do wonders for troop morale. Consider the following as easy ways to honor and remember our troops:
Soldiers Angles strives to let soldiers know that they are always remembered; that are thinking of them during the winter Holiday Season, and that we are grateful for their service. You can help by:
Donating to help cover the cost of shipping 100,000 care packages
Send items for packages through “Six Months of Christmas”
Make a Blanket of Belief (they have a no-sew-option)
Donate a complete care package
Give 2 the Troops
Give 2 the Troops started out as a personal project of love from a wife for her husband and has since evolved into an ongoing community and nationwide effort. Their mission is to support the physical, moral, and spiritual health of America’s armed forces deployed in combat and disaster relief zones around the world with letters and packages prepared and shipped by caring volunteers. You can help by:
Donating to help cover the cost of sending letters and shipping care packages
Donating items for care packages (see their “Items Requested” page)
Sending in your used cell phones and empty ink jet cartridges
The USO fulfills its mission of lifting the spirits of America’s troops and their families through donations. Through the USO, you are able to touch the soldier’s lives through an extensive range of programs at more than 160 locations in 27 states and 14 countries, and at hundreds of entertainment events each year. Thousands of USO volunteers do everything possible to provide a home away from home for our troops and to keep them connected to the families they left behind. You can help by:
Donating in one of the many ways to help their cause
Going to their “Wishbook” (web link above) and purchasing one of the Wishbook items
Join “Team USO” and organize or participate in an event to raise money for the troops and their families
Get involved with your local USO Center
Adopt A Platoon
AdoptaPlatoon strives to provide a better deployment quality of life by sending cards, letters and care packages to lift the morale of Troops as they serve far from home. AdoptaPlatoon provides an on-going mail support system, creates projects that meet the need of military requests, and establishes special projects that benefit deployed Troops representing all branches of the U.S. military.
A great way for your law firm to help is by adopting a platoon. You can choose the size of your commitment (from 4 individual soldiers up to platoons of 35 soldiers or more). You also choose the type of support you wish to give: pen pal (writing weekly cards/letters) to adopting (writing weekly cards/letters plus sending one care package a month).
There really is no better time than the holidays to remember our soldiers. I challenge you and encourage you to make the effort to remember the brave young men and women who leave behind everything they know to keep our country safe. Happy holidays!•
Mr. Bowen’s brother, Sgt. 1st Class Collin Bowen, of the Maryland National Guard was killed in Afghanistan in March of 2008 by an IED. He was on day ten of a ten day mission – his very last mission before he was to ship out and come home. He left for the mission on Christmas Eve. He fought in a burn unit in Texas for 70 days before he died leaving a wife and three young girls at home.