It’s the holiday season and we here are free to go and sing carols, light menorah candles and to say Merry Christmas. We can shop with the only fear being if we will get that dolly our daughter wants. And then you see it. That flag twirling in the wind as you drive the busy streets. Those husbands and wives who exchange tearful hellos on television. Those families who haven’t been able to hug, to even see each other in months sometimes years. And then you remember that there are some sons and daughters who may never return home.
But do you remember the power of a simple thank you? You can be a trooper to those deployed away from home this holiday. This season of giving is a great time to support our troops and military families with encouragement and even a few small gifts. What can you do to make a difference in the lives of a service man or woman? Here are a few small things that will make a big difference.
- Write a letter. Taking the time to write a letter of thanks to deployed troops can be an invaluable form of support. Blue Star Families is an organization that supports servicemen and women and their families. Through Operation Appreciation Blue Star Families helps you to connect your appreciation letters to servicemen and women among other things.
- Donate a used phone to an organization like Cell Phones for Soldiers
- Send a gift basket. Items that deployed troops need include: Black or Dark Green Socks, Underwear, Beef Jerky, Baby wipes or clean wipes (such as Wet Ones), Gold Bond Powder, Dry Shampoo. You can also send packages through Operation Gratitude or donate to an organization like the USO
- Adopt a family. Many local churches have programs that will allow you to “adopt” the family a service-person during the holidays to provide encouragement and extra support and needs for the holiday season.