LETTER: 'Any Soldier' Helps Troops in Harm's Way with Basic Necessities


The economic downturn has impacted all of us and created hardships not seen for decades in the United States. We’ve also experienced one of the most challenging political climates in recent history, and understandably, our focus has been on issues close to home. However, while our own personal concerns have grown recently, the challenges faced by our Troops in Afghanistan and Iraq—our fellow citizens, the sons and daughters of our friends, our neighbors, our coworkers—have not changed, and with the economic turmoil of late are more often forgotten.

While many of us worry about how to make the mortgage payment, members of our military deployed in battle zones are worrying about how to obtain even the most basic of items such as razor blades, socks, feminine hygiene products, or a cup of microwavable noodles. While we take for granted the ability to go to the store for simple necessities, the members of our military often rely on the kindness of people back home to provide for their personal needs.

For years, Any Soldier® experienced great support from the homeland with our list of donors growing and the care packages satisfying many soldiers’ request. Word spread on bases and in camps. More requests came in from abroad.

It goes without saying that tough times call for belt tightening and a more frugal lifestyle. Unfortunately this has resulted in a significant decrease in donations to support the mission of Any Soldier—even though the scope and significance of our mission has actually grown.

This is a call to action to remember who’s out there and if you can, to consider support for the troops. Support can come in many forms – magazines, books, snacks from the snack pack and even letters matter greatly, folks. Let’s let the soldiers know we’re all fighting. We’re in this together.

Any Soldier has served a very important role to our Troops deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. We’re the only organization in the world that can match specific needs to specific units of Troops and we help all branches of the military. Individuals visit our website, where they find messages from deployed Troops who specify the needs of their units. Anyone who wants to donate the requested items can obtain the address through the website and send the package directly to their chosen Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine. When the package arrives at the base with the "Attn: Any Soldier" line in his or her address, the packages and letters are delivered into the hands of Soldiers who often don't receive much or any mail and might otherwise remain out of touch with those back home.

The people who give through Any Soldier have discovered that something interesting happens—the military personnel often develop a kinship with their benefactors and express their gratitude for the outpouring of support in a number of unexpected ways. One Ohio woman who had been sending items to a female military member in Iraq heard her doorbell ring. When she opened the door, she saw an elongated FedEx box on her porch. Puzzled, knowing she hadn’t ordered anything, she opened the box. Inside was a bouquet of multi-colored petite roses with a note that read, “I wanted to let you know that I appreciate what you have done for me since I was deployed, and I thank God that he put you in my path. Thanks for everything." The military member the woman had supported signed the note.

We constantly hear about touching stories such as the one above. After Hurricane Ike roared through the Houston/Galveston area, a member of the armed forces emailed an Any Soldier contributor who lived in the hardest hit area, concerned about their safety and offering assistance. Often, Service Men and Women are so touched by the generosity of Any Soldier contributors that they invite them to their weddings.

No matter what is happening with the election or the economy here, the men and women who are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan need the prayers and support of the folks back home. The types of items our Troops need are inexpensive and often free. Everyone interested in learning more can visit http://www.AnySoldier.com/ .

I thank the thousands of people who have donated to Any Soldier and ask that you keep our Soldiers in mind while we face our own everyday challenges. We invite you to join us in reminding our Troops that despite hard times, we’re there for them through thick and thin—just as they are fighting for our freedom day in and day out. I promise you the reward is great.

Marty Horn
President and Co-founder of Any Soldier®

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