Holidays away from loved ones are never easy, especially if a loved one is stationed overseas with his or her military unit. In recent years, tens of thousands of our soldiers have been deployed to other parts of the world, missing Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas presents. Yet, while they work in a job that offers little opportunity for holidays and vacations, we all benefit from their service as we are able to remain safe stateside and enjoy the gifts our loved ones in the military give us daily – security and peace of mind.

As a nation that is at war, the demands of each soldiers lengthy and ongoing deployment can have an adverse impact on the financial stability their families. There’s no doubt that many of these families suffer extensive income loss and become strained by loans and debts while their love ones are deployed overseas. Our soldiers are devoted to protecting the freedoms we may ignore.  However you and I can make a decision at this time to help the families of these heroes and injured soldiers alike by making a contribution to a variety of support organizations for the families of our soldiers.

Your contribution will not only help support the family members of those that are currently serving in combat, it will also support those people who’ve lost loved ones or those that are injured. Any such gift is a recognition of the knowledge and appreciation for the sacrifices these heroes make each day, doing so for our benefit.

Supporting those soldiers who are currently injured is to acknowledge that they deserve the most effective care and support available at their moment of need. Because the road to recovery or rehabilitation from sustained injuries can be an expensive and lengthy one and the injuries are often very severe and life altering, much financial support is needed.

The costs of hospitalization and treatment for these soldiers is often very high, and expenses can add up very quickly. Plus families of injured soldiers will likely lose income because they have to take time off work in order to visit and take care of their injured family members. This can be very stressful for military families having a partner, brother, father, sister, or daughter serving in combat. Family budgets are stretched to the near breaking point, and if which were not enough knowing that at any time they might never see this hero again.

Contributions made by people like you and me are critical.  Without them we’d be unable to pay the treatment towards saving the lives of those individuals. The need for physical therapy, counseling, wheelchairs, learning devices and specialized equipment will continue to  grow. In some instances for all those soldiers that experience extensive injuries a need for modified homes and cars are needed to support the injury.

Making financial contributions is important. However, it may be even more important to show support in other ways. If sending giving money is not an option, a show of personal support can have a huge impact. Anything from you or your children will be treasured by a soldier, like a care package. Below are some ideas for things you can put into these care packages.

Nothing warms a soldier’s heart more, of course, than to receive a gift from home. Whether it’s a letter or a small gift, just the simple act of jotting a note that says “I love you” brings a piece of family to an otherwise lonely place. Unfortunately, not everybody overseas is as fortunate to get such things from home.

Just a few items one might want to consider giving include:

Hard candies and gum – Satisfy a soldier’s sweet tooth with a bag of peppermints or sour fruit jawbreakers. Chewing gum is not always easily available overseas, and such items won’t take up much room in a package. Avoid sending chocolates or anything else that may melt en route.

Drink mixes – Most fruit-punch and lemonade mixes are available in single serving envelopes. Send a box for a soldier’s water bottle, to make a refreshing treat.

Eye drops, lip balm, travel soaps – Especially if a soldier is stationed in a desert region, days and nights can be uncomfortable. Dry heat and sand irritate the eyes and chap the skin, so such items would be greatly appreciated.

Books – Occasionally, there is downtime, yet little to do. Mass market paperbacks – romance and mysteries, thrillers and fiction – are especially prized. If you are interested in just sending books overseas, you can arrange to ship through most booksellers.

Phone cards – Small, inexpensive, and very practical. One card gives the gift of conversation with family for a soldier. Especially on holidays, this is a very thoughtful gift that can bring a soldier closer to home.

 

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