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Caring: Tips For Supporting Our Troops
Dr. Dale V. Atkins, July 2009

Regardless of our political views, our military service members and their families deserve our respect, support and encouragement. Stickers and magnets that say "Support Our Troops" are pleasant sentiments, but we see them so often that it is easy to tune them out. In taking a closer look at these three words that have become so familiar, consider what it mean to truly support our troops.

Here are some tips to help you find meaningful ways to contribute support:

Send Care Packages - Books and snacks and toiletries help mitigate some of the harshness of the desert war zone.

Donate to Organizations - Support organizations that provide help for veterans who are struggling to put their lives together after the war, such as the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

Volunteer - Identify organizations whose mission is meaningful to you and find ways to pitch in. Letter writing, emailing troops through email-matching programs, or supporting families not on military bases are all ways to reach out.

Provide Cell Phones for Soldiers - Donate your cell phone. Not only will you help recycle cell phones, but you will also give them to people who more than deserve them.

Finally, when you travel and see a member of the armed forces at an airport, train or bus station, smile and thank them for their service.

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