Supporting the Troops

November 17, 2011
By Rita Boland

Looking for a chance to spread some Christmas cheer to deployed service members? Operation Holiday Stockings is striving to send gifts to 1,600 troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and other locations in Asia. The public can participate in several ways: donate time and make a stocking (see the Make Stockings page for directions and stocking-stuffer ideas); buy a stocking and mail it to the organization; create and contribute a Christmas card that the organization can send along with the stockings; or donate money toward shipping costs and the purchase of stocking stuffers.

November 10, 2011
By Rita Boland

Care-package organization Operation Gratitude is in the midst of one of its two major yearly campaigns. The Holiday Drive will run until December 17, collecting for and assembling packages to ship to war zones overseas. Donations will be accepted through December 5 with assembly days held periodically between now and the end date. A schedule, instructions on how to receive location information and rules for volunteering are available online. Wish-list items also are posted on the site.

November 11, 2011
By Henry Kenyon

SIGNAL and AFCEA extend our admiration and gratitude to all veterans. We appreciate your sacrifice not only on November 11, but every day. We have produced a special veterans supplement publication to our November edition. The resource is full of information about programs that benefit U.S. veterans and words of praise from citizens in many walks of life.

The content can be accessed on SIGNAL's  A Salute to Veterans, Troops and Their Families site, which includes a section for people to leave their own messages of support to those who have fought for freedom.

November 3, 2011
By Rita Boland

On Thursday, November 10, inns and bed and breakfasts around the U.S. and Canada are offering free rooms to veterans and a guest in observance of Veterans and Remembrance days. Those who served in the American armed forces can find a list of participating U.S. locations at www.bnbsforvets.org; Canadian veterans and military members can find properties in their country at www.bbcanada.com/bbforvets. Additional information about the offers also can be found on the sites. Veterans should book their rooms directly through the inns and B&Bs, which may require proof of prior service.

October 27, 2011
By Henry Kenyon

This year, there's no reason to throw away leftover Halloween candy or eat it until your teeth rot. Instead, donate it to Treats 4 Our Troops and the organization will ship it to deployed warfighters. Locations around the Northern Virginia area will collect the sweets for delivery to and pick-up by the nonprofit. Groups outside of that geographic location who wish to participate can contact Treats 4 Our Troops for addresses so they can send their packages directly overseas.

October 24, 2011
By Henry Kenyon

Birdies for the Brave is a PGA Tour Charities program that raises money for organizations established to support the military community. The effort involves several types of activities such as letter writing, distributing care packages and fundraising golf tournaments conducted at a network of golf clubs across the United States.

October 4, 2011
By Rachel Eisenhower

The free Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) Pocket Guide app for Android gives health care providers instant access to resources on improving care for service members and veterans suffering from mTBI. Military and civilian physicians, assistants, nurse practitioners and other health care providers can use the app to find information on assessing, treating and managing common symptoms of mTBI patients. It features a wide range of informative resources, including definitions, causes and severity ratings. In addition, the app includes U.S.

October 6, 2011
By Rita Boland

The Code of Support Foundation has created a code that transitions the phrase "support our troops" into meaningful promises that actually benefit troops, veterans and their families. Citizens can read the pledge online and then electronically sign it to become part of the Corps of Support, a dispersed group of people who take action to help the military community. The website features a list of organizations endorsed by the foundation. Signers are encouraged to volunteer at them or to donate money.

September 15, 2011
By Rita Boland

Go all in to support the troops at the USO of Metropolitan Washington's (USO-Metro's) 8th Annual Stars and Stripes Casino Night on Friday, October 28, from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Sheraton National Hotel. Proceeds will benefit the military community through programs such as outreach to children with deployed parents, support services for spouses, emergency housing and wounded warrior care. Attendees will enjoy a buffet and can play a variety of games including Blackjack, Texas Hold 'em and Roulette. The evening also will feature a raffle and auctions.

July 21, 2011
By Rita Boland

Since 2004, this organization has offered support to Marines and their loved ones in Florida. In addition to working for active-duty families, the group reaches out to reservists, retired Marines, veterans, wounded warriors and those in boot camp or the delayed entry program. "Family" includes not only spouses and children but also mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents and friends. Gold and Silver Star families are always welcome to seek support as well. Though dedicated to the Devil Dog community, the organization extends its outreach to include all military branches and other patriotic supporters.

June 16, 2011
By Rita Boland

This special travel organization offers service members and other U.S. Defense Department personnel a chance to enjoy vacations for discount prices at more than 3,500 time share properties in approximately 80 countries. Through the deals, travelers can stay at locations without buying into a time share or even attending a presentation for one, if they so choose.

May 27, 2011
By Rita Boland

The SIGNAL staff extends its appreciation to our service men and women, veterans and their families this Memorial Day, especially those who have paid the ultimate price. Because freedom isn't free. Share your plans or suggestions for celebrating Memorial Day on on the Homefront Help Facebook page.

May 10, 2011
By Rachel Eisenhower

The U.S. Army Accessions Command launched the Army Strong Stories app for iPhone along with a mobile website as part of its blogging and storytelling initiative. Army Strong Stories is a program from the command, which is dedicated to sharing blogs and videos created by soldiers, family members, friends and supporters. Soldiers of every rank and background can share their perspective on daily life in the military and chronicle their experiences from basic combat training to serving overseas. The blog is also open to cadets, veterans and Army-contracted civilians.

April 28, 2011
By Rita Boland

Rising above U.S. Interstate 95 from a site adjacent to Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, this museum serves as a tribute to former, current and future U.S. Marines. The facility boasts interactive exhibits, historical artifacts and a restaurant replicating Tun Tavern, the birthplace of the Marine Corps. As extra incentive to visit, the museum is putting on its "Semper Find" photographic scavenger hunt through April 30. Participants must locate 17 items from inside the museum and from the Semper Fidelis Memorial Park to be eligible for prizes. The museum is open every day except Christmas and admission is free.

March 31, 2011
By Rita Boland

When sick and wounded troops are evacuated out of war zones, they often arrive at military hospitals with nothing more than the clothes on their backs, and those are often damaged from battle or purposely cut to treat wounds. This leaves injured warfighters little recourse other than to use their own money to purchase the basic personal effects they require. Enter Jammies for GIs. Despite the name, the group does more than hand out nightwear. It works to provide a clean change of clothes, entertainment and other goods to those who came to harm fighting for their country.

March 24, 2011
By Rita Boland

AFCEA staff frequently participate in community and troop support activities, and in one such event AFCEA provided cards, postage, small gift and prepaid postcards--and a pizza lunch, during which AFCEA staff members hand wrote more than 100 "Get Well Soon" and "Thank You" cards to wounded warriors and the medical personnel who care for them. The prepaid postcard was self addressed to AFCEA so that the warfighters, nurses or doctors could write back if they wanted to.

March 3, 2011
By Rita Boland

The Employer Partnership (EP) of the Armed Forces exists to link U.S. employers with service members, veterans and their families. Through the initiative, the military community can receive help leveraging its military training and experience for civilian career opportunities with national, regional and local employer partners. The organization has program support managers in 25 locations who serve as liaisons with human resources departments at companies and agencies on behalf of the military. The managers also post information about job fairs and other events as well as work with service members to refine their applications, resume writing and interview skills.

February 1, 2011
By Rachel Eisenhower

Capt. Jonathan Springer, USA, an artillery specialist on his third deployment in Afghanistan, hopes to launch the Tactical Nav app for the iPhone in the first week of February. The tool will map, plot and photograph points on a battleground and convey latitude and longitude coordinates to supporting units. The app consists of a Global Positioning System, a compass, the smart phone's camera and a mapping system to pinpoint specific locations and relay that information to other users. Capt.

February 3, 2011
By Rita Boland

The U.S. Defense Department has established a Wounded Warrior Task Force (WWTF) to assist and support the care, management and transition of recovering wounded, ill and injured members of the U.S. military. Areas the task force will examine include medical and nonmedical case management, staff of wounded-warrior units, performance and accountability systems, services for traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, and the effectiveness of various centers of excellence.

January 27, 2011
By Rita Boland

The mission of Honor and Remember is to create, establish and promote a nationally recognized flag to fly continually as a visible reminder of the lives lost in defense of the United States' national freedom since the country's founding. People who want to support the cause can sign the petition posted on the website and pass the word about the potential new symbol. Other goals of the group include building consensus among various parties to collectively solicit the U.S.

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