Sending care to soldiers overseas

Cindy Brown, of Lafayette, is organizing efforts to put together care packages for troops overseas on the Fourth of July.

Through AnySoldier.com, Brown said you can send a care package to a soldier or just write a letter of support.

“They need support all year, but I just thought people would be getting together for barbecues, and I thought this would be

something really special for people to do,” she said. “Also, it’s a good time to teach the children about patriotism.”

She said children can draw a picture for the servicemembers.

The non-profit organization was created

in 2003 by Marty and Sue Horn, when their son serving in Iraq requested

they send

extra care packages for his teammates who weren’t getting a lot of

mail from home. Now, the website has branched out to create

AnyMarine, AnyAirman, AnySailor, and AnyCoastGuardsman.

Soldiers are able to register on the

website to receive care packages and letters. Visitors to the website

can search for

soldiers by service location and give to service members

specifically from their area. From hygiene items to food to pocket

knives, soldiers will appreciate anything people can send them,

Brown said. However, it’s discouraged to mix food with other

items in the package.

She said it’s easier for soldiers to send responses and thanks if a personal letter with a mailing or email address is included.

“These young men and women don’t know us from Adam, yet they’re risking everything for us,” Brown said. “They are putting

their lives on the line for our freedom.”

Brown said it’s easy to say you “support the troops,” but this is the actual way the “troops can hear you.”

“They appreciate anything you can send,” Brown said. “They just want to hear from home. It helps their morale so much.”

The website provides the address of the soldier upon request. Donations are tax deductible.

For more information on the local efforts contact Brown at 280-2682.

Online: www.anysoldier.com