Soldier care items

Eyewear, anti-ballistic  - Armor 4 Troops Foundation
The primary mission of the Armor 4 Troops Foundation is to provide new and replacement "state-of-the-art" anti-ballistic eyewear, Under-Armour, personal gear, and other critical equipment and services directly to United States troops in the field that are currently engaged in war zones or other peacekeeping and humanitarian missions throughout the world where combat violence is a threat. 

Helmet upgrades - Operation Helmet
Operation Helmet has no connection to or association with any manufacturer of helmet suspension systems. Our only goal is added protection for our troops. If a better upgrade comes along, supported by sound scientific data from both civilian and military studies, we'd add it or switch to it in a heartbeat. We do not have an official relationship with any branch of the uniformed services, although we provide helmet upgrades to all who ask, when money allows.

The helmet pad kits Operation Helmet buys and sends to deployed combat troops, over 83,000 to date, are the ones the Army started with originally. At the request of Natick Soldier’s Lab, Oregon Aero developed helmet pads that Natick touted as 'the gold standard' of helmet pads. These pads were used for the first 600,000+ ACH helmets. While the current GI helmet pads pass the same laboratory tests as those originally provided, they have proven so hard and unyielding that troops take their brain buckets off or loosen the chin strap for pressure relief, severely compromising protection. In addition, The Lawrence Livermore National Research lab found that too-hard helmet pads can actually add to brain damage from a blast wave, further adding to the incidence of TBI.

Sleeping bag liners - Operation Combat Boot Comfort
The foundation for Operation Combat Boot Comfort is to support the needs of our deployed Marines and Troops. While our older son was deployed to Afghanistan last fall, we learned of a need for sleeping bag liners. We sent fleece sleeping bag liners and care packages to very thankful Marines and Soldiers.

This year we are getting ahead of the cold season and making the liners early so they will be ready to send to the troops in need this fall. Your help will make a positive difference each cold night for a brave American hero. It is approximately $15 to make and ship a fleece sleeping bag liner.

Snipers -
Adopt A Sniper is comprised of a confederation of military and law enforcement snipers from across the country who provide their brothers-in-arms with materials that make their lives...and their jobs...easier. Items range personal hygiene gear to tactical products such as holsters, high-speed rucksacks, new optics, and rifle accessories.

Socks - Covert Threads
Covert Threads developed a line of military boot socks, physical training socks, and dress socks along with other improved garments for the Marine, Soldier or anyone looking for comfortable yet rugged socks that stand up to the rigors of harsh climates and conditions. These socks have been worn by a former Marine in Fallujah, Iraq. You can read more about his story on the About Us page.

In honor of our men & women serving, we are continuing the “Buy 10 pair and get 3 additional pair free” promotion. 

Socks - Socks for Soldiers (Fox River Socks)
Shop from our soldier-supplied wish lists to send socks to US deployed troops, including a personal message of support. Fox River pays the shipping cost on these orders! For rugged conditions, Fox River socks provide comfort and durability these soldiers want and need. Blessings to our soldiers!

Socks - Soldier Socks
The mission of SoldierSocks is to provide supplies such as tube socks and baby wipes to troops deployed in Afganistan and Iraq. 

Socks - Under-Armour, anti-bacterial socks, etc. (Armor 4 Troops Foundation)
As of September 1, 2009, the Armor 4 Troops Foundation has delivered or shipped directly to our American troops in the field,  34,011 pairs of protective anti-ballistic eyewear, in addition to the thousands of multi-function tools, Under-Armour, anti-bacterial socks, compressed rubber boot pads and many other sundry products to improve the quality of life to our troops.

Underwear - Blast Boxers
Helps prevent blast and fragment injuries to the groin.

Underwear - Operation Underwear (AdoptaPlatoon)
Sand wears out clothing quickly, so to keep our troops as comfortable as possible, this campaign keeps their undergarments replenished. Project created by the AdoptaPlatoon™.


Other ways to support

Arrival/departure - Airport photos (Freeport Flag Ladies)
Has pictures posted of the troops as they arrive or depart from Bangor International Airport or Pease International Airport. Go to the links under "Meeting the Troops."

Arrival/departure - Airport photos (Maine Troop Greeters picture portal)
Welcome to the oldest and most widely recognized website and picture portal for the troops who have transited through Bangor, Maine. The website and this picture portal are dedicated to each of these troops and to their family members and friends.

Arrival/departure - Airport photos (Our Stop In Maine's Photos)
To all our troops and their families. As a measure of our appreciation of your sacrifices we are honored to provide pictures from Bangor International Airport (BIA). Unfortunately, we are not able to meet every flight. We are a “Nana and Gramp” operation limited in what we are able to do. Pictures are posted as soon as possible of being taken. Please note that occasionally a troop will not want their picture taken and we respect those requests.

Arrival/departure - Free "Welcome Home" Banners and Jumbo Cards (Build A Sign)
Build A Sign has given away over 150,000 free banners and jumbo cards to support our Troops at home and abroad. Just pay shipping costs.

Arrival/departure - Ensuring all Service Members get the proper welcome home  (A Hero's Welcome)
The mission of A Hero's Welcome is to organize and encourage Americans to welcome home our brave military personnel from the War in a manner befitting a hometown hero.  It is through this effort that A Hero's Welcome hopes to promote increased community respect for our service members as well as increased morale for our returning military.

Arrival/departure - Family member guest passes to gate
Family members who want to accompany a military service member being deployed to the boarding gate or greet them returning from deployment at the arrival gate may receive passes to enter the secure area of the airport. Interested military family members should contact their air carrier representative at the departure/arrival airport for proper local procedures. OWAH's note: It might be wise to make inquires in advance, or arrive early in the event you encounter uninformed airline representatives.

Arrival/departure - Operation Welcome Home
Hundreds of our Sailors, Airmen, Soldiers and Marines return from the War on Terror every week through the gates of the Baltimore/ Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Since March 2007, Operation Welcome Home volunteers have greeted over 700 flights and more than 150,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines.  We invite you to come on out and help us welcome them home!

Arrival/departure - Pease Greeters
...the troops arrive to a boisterous welcome. The Greeters are proud of them and give the troops hearty applause, sincere handshakes, and expressions of "welcome home, thanks for a job well done, or we'll be here to greet you upon your safe return."

Everyone has a camera to record this happy event. Often the troops want pictures of the greeters. They hug and thank them for being there in the wee hours of the morning or late in the evening. Business cards are exchanged. Friends are made.

Soon they move on to enjoy hot coffee, doughnuts, pizza and other refreshments ON AMERICAN SOIL. Initially cell phones were freely offered by the Greeters for the troops to call home with news of their safe arrival.

Arrival/departure - Welcome Home a Hero
Every day, more than 100 soldiers pass through DFW Airport on their way home for two weeks of well-deserved rest and recuperation (R&R). DFW is proud to assist these members of the armed forces as they return home from their service in Iraq and Afghanistan. One flight of returning soldiers lands at DFW every day and the warm welcome provided by volunteer greeters begins the troops’ visit on a high note.

DFW has assisted thousands of men and women since the first R&R flight arrived in November of 2004. Members of the community are invited to greet the arriving troops at the Airport and to continue this proud tradition of supporting the U.S. Armed Forces.

Past participants include corporations, youth groups, schools, civic organizations, religious groups and individuals. Information on volunteering is available here or here.

Arrival/departure - Welcome home videos (Welcome Home Blog)
Regardless of political stance, no one can deny the joy felt upon seeing your loved ones return home safely -- is a site celebrating that amazing feeling. Visit daily for heartwarming stories, videos and pictures of members of our courageous armed forces returning home to their families and friends. Please help out by submitting your own videos and other online discoveries.

Bandanas - Not Afraid Psalm 91 Bandana
Supports soldiers and their loved ones by providing products that bring comfort, encouragement, and protection. Psalm 91 bandanas, dog tags, military travel pillow, Psalm 91 gift set.

Bandanas - Operation Bandanas
Chaplains are asking for them, and our servicemen and women are looking for them. Please pray about your involvement in this ministry to our servicemen and women. Not only are the bandanas an inspired tool for spreading God's Word, but they are useful also to cover the face from the sand and dust; as a sweat rag; and as an emergency wrap for a splint, sling, or tourniquet.

By sending batteries we can give the men and women serving overseas a little joy in their lives. They may have a portable cd player, digital camera or handheld game but need batteries to use them. That's where we can help. 100% of the batteries collected will be sent to Operation Gratitude to be distributed in care packages.

Books and magazines - Books for Soldiers (and dvds, games)
Once your application is approved, you will be able to send troops books, DVDs, games and relief supplies. You will also have access to our Pen Pal area and Post Card Jamboree. On average our volunteers fill over 1000 requests a month. Get started today and get your company, civic group or place of worship involved with supporting our troops. 

Books and magazines - Books for Troops (Books a Million)
This unique program lets you select and purchase books for members of the U.S. Armed Forces serving overseas. You simply buy the books of your choice from the Books for Troops page. will address and send your books to the soldiers - and you pay no shipping charges on the books you buy for the troops!

We work in conjunction with U.S. military bases and National Guard offices to send the books to unit commanders overseas. The commanders then distribute the books to the individuals in their units. Please note that for security reasons we are not allowed to publish the addresses of the units that receive the books.

If you have a family member serving overseas, you may send details including the unit number to We will attempt to add the unit to the list of recipients.

Books and magazines - E-Books for Troops
We are the nation’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to providing e-books and e-book technology to military personnel who are deployed overseas defending our country. E-Books for Troops, Inc. is a 100% volunteer-based and are dedicated to raising money to provide sponsored units with e-book readers and e-books in order to improve the quality of life and morale for our deployed Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and Sailors.

Books and magazines - Flack Jacket Books
Fun reading materials for our Heroic Troops in uniform. Author and JEOPARDY! Champion Jack Honig pens fascinating and intriguing books that emanate from the depths of the alleys and valleys, mountains and fountains, ridges and bridges, recesses and abscesses of his unparalleled fertile and furtive imagination. All of these self-published writings are distributed at no charge to our undaunted fighting forces, both stateside and across the globe. They are also for sale to the general public at the cost of $10 apiece. All proceeds are employed exclusively for the purpose of increasing their availability to as many Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and members of the National Guard and Coast Guard as is humanly possible.

Books and magazines - Goodie Mags Magazines for Soldiers
Send all 4 magazines! The most recent newsstand copy will be sent to the soldiers. Please choose 'Operation Gratitude' on the Shopping Cart page and enter 'Soldier' as the last name on the billing page. Includes: Men's Fitness, Men's Health, Motor Trend, Field and Stream

Books and magazines - Magazines for Troops
Magazines for Troops was formed to fill a common request by deployed troops - a need for reading material. We distribute boxes of magazines to our deployed men and women who are serving America in any branch of service. Our intention is to remind these brave warriors that they are not forgotten, and to put a smile on their faces! 

Each box contains an average of 40 magazines, including at least 30 different titles. The idea is to cover a broad range of subjects to satisfy a large variety of interests. Subjects include guns, cars, trucks, motorcycles, 4-wheelers, hunting, sports, celebrity, fitness, country stuff, boats, skiing, and many others.

Books and magazines - Operation Comix Relief
My name is Chris Tarbassian and back in March 2003, I started a small home-based "project" which I called Operation Comix Relief. My get some comic books to my friend Major (then Capt.) Tom Chafe (an Air Force Flight Nurse), so that he could pass them out to the ill and/or wounded soldiers, to provide them with some diversional activities (as well as for him to read) during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Well, it's still home-based, but my idea has evolved into a much larger operation, and as a result of which, I am now able and willing to send comics to any front line soldier.

If you would like to donate to us, or know of a soldier who you think might like to receive one of our package, please write us at the address provided.

Books and magazines - Operation EBook Drop
Independent authors donate their ebooks to deployed coalition troops. Authors and soldiers who want to participate, contact

Books and magazines - Operation Paperback
Operation Paperback began in 1999, and has since shipped books to numerous overseas locations. Operation Paperback also provides books to military and veterans hospitals located within the United States, as well as USO centers at US Airport transit points.

The organization has several special projects, including:
  • Providing books from military pofessional reading lists to support servicemember professional development goals; 
  • Giving the book, Courage After Fire: Coping Strategies for Troops Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and Their Families to military chaplains as they counsel troops before redeployment; 
  • Providing Iraqi phrasebooks for units on the ground so that they may communicate effectively with local populations; 
  • Supplying books for the annual book give away at NSA Souda Bay in Crete, Greece for service members and their families; 
  • Supplying children's books to deployed soldiers who read to their children via webcam or on DVDs. 

Books and magazines - Soldiers' Angels
If you are an author who would like to donate autographed books, please email us. If you would like to donate books or magazines for the troops, they should be in good condition and relatively recent publications. Magazines must be current/timely and in excellent condition.

Bulk supplies on demand - Troops Direct
TroopsDirect supports our front line troops exclusively at larger unit levels with the objective of making them the healthiest, most energized and highest spirited Marines, soldiers, aircrew and sailors that we can. We function as a non-profit ‘back line’ of supply for units based in Afghanistan, Africa, at sea and other in other ‘hot spots’. We communicate with the front lines daily and provide -in bulk- detailed hygiene, nutrition, gear and K9 support.

Contrary to most groups providing smaller and seasonal care packages for individual soldiers, TroopsDirect ships in bulk every week in battle proven cartons manufactured to our exacting specifications. Furthermore, TroopsDirect support is the most timely, accurate and adaptable amongst known support organizations.

Cakes, cookies, snacks - Bake Me Back Home
Back Me Back Home is a unique program that gives our supporters the opportunity to help two missions with one donation. For a $30 donation we will send two dozen of our homemade cookies to a military member of your choice, or one from our list of nominees. Approximately half of the money from this donation supports our local programming for disadvantaged families. All packages of cookies can include a personal message from the donor and are securely insulated with bags of delicious homemade caramel corn! We utilize a team of volunteer bakers known as our “Cookie Crew” to bake the cookies. Our goal is that the taste of our homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies will help our military men and women feel like they are “BACK HOME,” even if it’s just for a moment.

Have a loved one serving but a donation is not in your budget?  Send us their name and address, we will put them on our list of “nominees” for FREE. They could receive cookies when someone else makes a donation.

Cakes, cookies, snacks - Edible Spirits Freedom Cake (Edible Spirits and and
Edible Spirits is so excited to announce that we have just teamed up with a family run organization dedicated to putting smiles on the faces of the men and women serving our country overseas. is unique in the respect that you may send care packages directly to the recipient of your choice or if you do not have anyone specific to send to, we keep a list on file of those troops that would love to receive  additional support and care.  Give your loved one a taste of home with an Edible Spirits Freedom Cake. Each cake is made-to-order, specially packaged to survive the journey, and shipped to APO/FPO addresses overseas. E-mail us a picture, and we’ll include that with your order for no additional charge as our contribution to the troops overseas.

Forgotten Soldiers: You can also send a Freedom Cake to a Forgotten Soldier.

Cakes, cookies, snacks - Operation Baking Gals
Baking GALS (GALS stands for Give A Little Support) is a group of volunteer bakers from around the country who bake and ship homemade goodies to our heroic military men and women who are currently deployed in a war zone. Our goal is to show our support and send a little bit of home to remind them that we appreciate all that they do for our freedom. If you would like to help and show your appreciation, please visit the FAQ's Section to find more information on how to get started!

Cakes, cookies, snacks - Operation Birthday Cake (Bake Me a Wish and Soldiers' Angels) and
Thanks to a cooperative project between Soldiers' Angels and Bake Me a Wish, deployed service members can receive birthday cakes from patriotic Americans. For every Freedom Cake purchased on Bake Me a Wish, a birthday cake will be sent to a service member in the customer's name. Bake Me a Wish will generously donate their delicious birthday cakes, and Soldiers' Angels will send each one on its way.

Cakes, cookies, snacks - Operation Caramel Corn (Naper Nuts & Sweets, IL)
Operation Caramel Corn ships caramel corn to deployed military personnel.

Cakes, cookies, snacks - Soldiers' Angels
The Angel Bakers are a group of highly dedicated Soldiers’ Angels who bake homemade treats for our deployed military heroes.

Each month the Angel Bakers send specially-made cookies, brownies, and other treats to units identified by Soldiers’ Angels as needing extra Angel love. Our aim is to show our heroes how much people back home appreciate and care about them.

Cakes, cookies, snacks - Treat the Troops
The purpose of Treat The Troops is to let deployed American military persons, on the front, living in tents or temporary quarters, know that people at home are remembering them. Home-baked cookies and other "comfort Items," along with a note of thanks, are sent. Site includes tips for baking and shipping your own cookies for the Troops.

Cakes, cookies, snacks - Wire a Cake
Yes, you can deliver a cake to a soldier for any occasion! We can send birthday cakes to troops at home & abroad! Send loved ones a sweet treat baked fresh and packaged for optimal transport. The cakes are 9" single layer to serve 8 and they are baked fresh, frosted and shipped immediately but the time frame once in military hands could be approximately 10 days. 

Coffee - Boca Java
In October 2003 Boca Java started donating coffee to the troops. Because of the overwhelming popularity of our effort, in July 2005, we officially established Operation Million Cup as a way for our customers to send coffee to the troops. Boca Java matches matches your donation every time! Click here for more info.

Coffee - Coffee for the Troops (William III)
At WILLIAM III, a portion of every sale goes to support our Coffee For The Troops Program. WILLIAM III has been sending coffee care packages to the troops deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq and to the personnel aboard the USNS Comfort and other detachments in harms way for over 9 years. We have sent approximately 17380 care packages to date consisting of whole bean, ground, regular roast and various flavors.

Coffee - Cup O' Joe for a Joe
In our travels to see the Troops, many share with us their sense of loneliness, isolation and feelings of being forgotten. Their commanders tell us that some Soldiers never receive mail from home. In response, Green Beans Coffee has launched Cup of Joe For A Joe to let anyone, anywhere in the world, say thanks to our troops through the simple act of buying a cup of coffee and having it delivered along with their own personal note of encouragement into the hands of a deployed Soldier. 

Coffee - Holy Joe's Cafe
Holy Joe's Cafe is an all-volunteer non-profit that sends coffee to U.S. troops around the world via a network of cafes run by military chaplains. All are welcome to join us in this nationwide volunteer effort!

Holy Joe's Cafe is a Coffee House Ministry – United Church of Christ military chaplains have found an old way to invite U.S. soldiers into a safe and informal place where they can receive spiritual care and good coffee. Congregations and individuals can support the Coffee House Ministry and simultaneously participate in the UCC Coffee Project by sending Equal Exchange Coffee to the military chaplains in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait.

Coffee - Operation Caffeination via Starbucks (Hero to Hero)
Welcome to Operation Caffeination!  Starbucks has graciously donated many many pounds of their great coffee since the war in Iraq began. Originally, all we asked was that you send us your great smiles and messages that we share with Starbucks and everyone else, right here on the HeroToHero.US site. We found a direct correlation between those smiling faces and the donations to support the effort.  As time went on and the coffee continued going out, the photos weren't coming in as often. We have now had to change the program in order to continue it in any fashion. To avoid the shipment costs, we will now be sharing this coffee with local wounded troops who are in recovery and transition. Overseas shipments will need to be sponsored now.

Coffee - Coffee for Troops (Ranger Coffee)
Since its origin, support for servicemen and women lies at the heart of Ranger Coffee. From our “Buy one give 1″ program, to accepting donations for our “Coffee for Troops” program, to soliciting names and addresses for our “Sign up a Soldier” program, Ranger Coffee continues to play a relevant and impactful role in supporting the men and women of our nation’s military.  As the company’s role continues to be refined, we hope to roll out even bigger initiatives that will further evince our support for the troops.

When you shop Ranger Coffee, one thing is clear:  whether you’re buying for yourself, or buying for someone else, support for Ranger Coffee is support for our nations’ great military.

Coffee - William III
At WILLIAM III, a portion of every sale goes to support our " Coffee For The Troops Program". WILLIAM III has been sending coffee care packages to the troops deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq and to the personnel aboard the USNS Comfort and other detachments in harms way for over 11 years. We have sent approximately 18150 care packages to date consisting of whole bean, ground, regular roast and various flavors.

Comedians, comedy clubs, entertainment - Armed Forces Entertainment
As the official Department of Defense agency for providing entertainment to U.S. military personnel overseas, Armed Forces Entertainment and its performers have the honor of supporting soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors by bringing them the very best in American entertainment.

Entertainment has long been one of the biggest morale boosters for U.S. military personnel serving overseas. Today, Armed Forces Entertainment hosts more than 1,200 shows around the world each year, reaching more than 500,000 personnel at 270 military installations. From muddy make-shift stages to show-stopping extravaganzas, the performances bring a piece of home to those stationed far away from home.

Comedians, comedy clubs, entertainment - Operation Laugh
Operation Laugh is a joint effort between eMail Our Military (eMOM), comedian Dan Smith and the great folks at Funny Fundraise to help get comedy to our troops. If anyone needs a hearty laugh and healthy heaping of humor it's our military. 

If you love sending surprises to the military service members in your life this is the perfect gift. Even if you just want to grab a copy for yourself or someone you love, you'll still be helping to support our troops. For every copy you purchase, a portion of the proceeds will go to eMail Our Military to help us continue to support our troops.

Comedians, comedy clubs, entertainment - Stand Up 4 Troops
Comedians and comedy clubs supporting our military.

Crosses, Celtic
US Celtic Soldiers is a Celtic Cross and Chain "Gift Program" whereas the My Celtic Treasures family sends, at no charge, Celtic crosses and chains to US Celtic Soldiers we hear about through friends and customers.

DVDs and CDs - AdoptaPlatoon (Thanksgiving Campaign)
Send thanks to our Troops at Thanksgiving! So you can’t send a turkey – but you can send a DVD movie, popcorn, a bag of candy corn, and a letter filled with things you’re thankful for! Send a photo of you and your family too! Project created by the AdoptaPlatoon™.

DVDs and CDs - Books for Soldiers
Send troops books, DVDs, games and relief supplies.

DVDs and CDs - DVDs to the Troops
DVDs to the Troops is created to collect and distribute the used and new DVD's that clutter our nation's bookshelves and storage closets with a hungry and interested audience overseas: American soldiers.

DVDs and CDs - Songs 4 Soldiers
Songs 4 Soldiers sends music care packages to our men and women serving overseas to thank them for all their sacrifices. 

DVDs and CDs - Symphonies for Soldiers
Symphonies for Soldiers is a year-round nonprofit organization showing thanks for our U.S. Military for their service through music, lyrics, and letters from musicians and everyone across  the country. Please join us in this effort to lift the morale of our troops overseas and at U.S. bases.

Donate your used/new CD's, and letters to:
P.O. Box 44
Quakertown, PA 18951

Symphonies for Soldiers then sends your entertainment care package to our heroes in combat zones around the world.

Fitness oriented packages (protein bars, etc.) - Jessica's Hope Project
Jessica’s Hope Project focuses on sending fitness-oriented care packages overseas to all branches to the military in many different parts of the world. It started with a simple email to the CEO of 24 Hour Fitness. We are now trying to raise money to cover the shipping of care packages overseas to our deployed military. 

The average deployed military individual loses 50 pounds of body weight per deployment (information from the United States Marine Corps). Our goal is to keep this from happening by providing protein bars, muscle milk and vitamin supplements to as many military individuals as possible to maintain their physical well being and mental sharpness. By doing so, we are increasing the odds of our military not only doing their physical and mental best as they fight for our country but also coming home to their families and loved ones in better shape than in the past wars when these products were not readily available.

Games, gaming - Fun For Our Troops
Gamers Outreach Foundation supplies video game care packages to troops serving overseas through our Fun for our Troops initiative. The goal of this initiative is to provide stress relief, relaxation, and boost the morale and overall well-being of U.S. troops.  Many of our servicemembers are gamers and they rely on game play as a way to decompress and lift their spirits.  Fun For Our Troops serves all branches of the U.S. Military and primarily works with video game consoles, PC games, and console games.

Monetary donations made to the program are used to purchase consoles and cover shipping expenses. Game donations we receive are mailed to U.S. troops deployed throughout the world.

Games, gaming - Game Day (AdoptaPlatoon)
Sending games and snacks to give the troops something to do in their down time! All kinds of games are needed: board games, cards, dominos, Scrabble, hand-held games, puzzles and anything you think they would enjoy doing! And don’t forget the snacks -- candy, chips, salsa, popcorn, beef jerky, just to name a few! Project created by the AdoptaPlatoon™.

Games, gaming - Give2TheTroops
Here's a list of what many troops are asking for (NEW items, please):
  • Game Systems (X-Box, Playstion, Wii) with games 
  • Puzzle Books
  • Board Games

Games, gaming - Mobile Entertainment Gaming System (MEGS) program provided by USO
MEGS is a portable, self-contained and highly durable multimedia platform created to give our troops endless hours of fun and relaxation. With the ability to be set up and broken down in minutes, MEGS can be delivered to forward operating bases, ships at sea or to stateside installations.

Built to accommodate four players simultaneously, each MEGS supports the Xbox® 360, Sony Playstation® 3 and the Nintendo® Wii™. MEGS systems come with all the necessary adapters, cables and routers, for easy set up for service men and women.

Games, gaming - Operation Supply Drop
Building video game care packages for troops deployed to Afghanistan...with your help! In 18 months, Operation Supply Drop has sent $50,000+ in video games and gear to troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan!

Games, gaming - Pro vs. GI Joe (USO)
Would you want to test your Xbox skills against Evander Holyfield? Or school Shaq at his favorite video game? The USO partnered with Pro vs. GI Joe to provide deployed service men and women a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go head-to-head against their favorite professional athletes in an exciting video game competition via the Internet!

The Pro vs. GI Joe program matches a service man or woman against a “pro” and brings them together in a real-time video game competition. The troops play in USO centers all over the world while the professional athletes play back home. Troops and professional athletes use the same equipment: big screen television monitor, webcam monitor, gaming console and gaming tag. The end result is an awesome gaming experience for both Pro and GI Joe’s all over the world.

Gift certificate donations - AAFES or call (877) 770-4438(877) 770-4438
Purchase an AAFES Gift Card(s)/ Exchange Catalog Gift Certificate(s) to include in your care package or letter to a military family member, friend or loved one to be used at a local post exchange around the world. Please remember to send to only recipients that have Exchange privileges. 

Gift certificate donations - Military Moms of Texas
Military Moms of Texas has a program, Deployed Night Out, that accepts gift certificate donations to restaurants, movie theaters, and other entertainment venues, for Soldiers to use during R&R.

Helping Soldiers send love and care home - Cards
Visit this link to learn of organizations that send blank greeting cards to deployed military personnel so they can write their loved ones at home.

Helping Soldiers send love and care home - Dogtags (Dogtags for Kids)
This is a grassroots effort to show our support for the troops and their families. We tried to think of something we could send Dad or Mom that they could easily send back to their kids. This is something easy to ship and something the kids can hang on to until Dad or Mom gets back home.

Helping Soldiers send love and care home - Organizations that support those special days
For links to Operation Hi Honey! (Anniversary), Operation Hi Mom! (Mother's Day), and Full Circle Home (Christmas and Mother's Day), please visit this LINK for supporting deployed military personnel on Special Days.

HP free technical phone support for overseas active military personnel
Hewlett-Packard will provide technical phone support at no charge for HP consumer products, regardless of warranty status, to overseas active military personnel. Once the overseas military personnel verifies their military status, HP will waive any fee-based charges for phone support regardless of where the product was purchased.

Humanitarian aid - Afghanistan, Iraq
For Operation We Are Here's comprehensive listing of opportunities to support our deployed military personnel by reaching out to the people of Afghanistan or Iraq, click HERE.

iPads - iPads for Soldiers
iPads for Soldiers is a charitable fund-raising operation, collecting donations to purchase iPads for US soldiers serving in Afghanistan. iPads for Soldiers is managed by The C.H.R.I.S. Foundation, a non‑profit serving veterans and our military.

Iva GotYa TM, by Noellas Gifts
This is a very special and easy-to-pack keepsake to remind your Soldier of how much you care; whether you are a spouse, parent, sibling, child, grandparent, or friend.

Each ‘Iva GotYa’ has a clip and gift tag attached, with To and From fields for personalization. The tag reads: “When I can’t be there…  Just give Iva a squeeze, it’s a hug from me; hear me say, you’re okay, and always know… Iva GotYa”. It can be personalized even further with -in my prayers, -in my heart, -in my dreams, -on my mind, …any message you want your Soldier to see every day.

Designs available for men and women, young and old, including camouflage. Very lightweight at approximately 3 ounces. Shipping via USPS Priority Mail; APO/FPO addresses welcome.

Jerky - Operation Troop Jerky (Support Our Troops)
Jerky is one of the things deployed troops crave the most, and Operation Troop Jerky™ enhances the morale and welfare of the deployed troops worldwide by sending them the high-quality jerky they want.

Language training courses - Free Afghan Languages Program (USO)
The USO, in partnership with The Boston Foundation, Playaway® and Pimsleur Language Programs, is distributing free language training courses in Pashto and Dari – two of the primary languages of Afghanistan – to assist troops in making that verbal connection that can help forge lasting bonds between individuals, and ultimately, nations.

Free Afghan Languages Program features free MP3 downloads of the Pimsleur Pashto 1 and 2, and Dari 1 courses, and includes the distribution of over 11,500 Playaway® audio players in these languages to U.S. Troops, both those about to be deployed and those already on the ground in Afghanistan. Pimsleur courses in either format are completely portable.

With simple, everyday vocabulary, cultural explanations and an introduction to reading, the courses include everything a soldier needs to begin speaking effortlessly with near-native pronunciation.

Laundry - Washboard
The Columbus Washboard Company will send a military washboard and supplies to deployed troops for free! This is especially valuable for those who go to FOB locations where they don't get back to their safe zones to do laundry for 30-60 days etc. Please check with your service member to see if they can use this before sending as space is limited and in some cases there might be washboards already in their particular location.

Military working dogs

Musical instruments - Operation Happy Note sends musical instruments to deployed personnel
Operation Happy Note is a volunteer effort to send musical instruments to deployed service men and women throughout the world. With the help of major musical companies, as well as individual donators, we have sent thousands of instruments, including guitars, mandolins, banjos, violins, harmonicas, and accessories. Steve also wrote a lesson program with CD for those who don't know how to play. Thousands of requests are still coming in; clearly these soldiers need the joy that music brings them.

Notebooks - All-weather writing paper (Rite in the Rain)
Rite in the Rain is an environmentally responsible, patented all-weather writing paper that sheds water and enables you to write in any weather condition! Rite in the Rain has answered the call for a "field worthy" line of tactical products. All have "non-flagging" Green or Tan covers and tinted Rite in the Rain ruggedized all-weather paper.

Pens - Freedom Pens
The Freedom Pens Project is an all volunteer effort spearheaded by the members of SawMill Creek Woodworkers Forums to provide custom hand crafted pens to American servicemen and women overseas. We welcome anyone who is interested in our project and willing to donate their time, talent or services to assist us in our goal of providing beautiful writing instruments for our military stationed in foreign countries who are in harms way. Every Freedom Pen that is delivered will serve as a constant reminder to our troops that they are not alone and will have our continued support until every one of them returns home.

Pet adoption

Pet foster care

Phone, phone cards - American Red Cross
Phone cards help heroes call home. There’s nothing more wonderful than hearing the voice of a loved one back home. You can help our deployed service members stay in touch with family and friends, and help make being away just a little more bearable.

Phone, phone cards - Armed Forces Aid Campaign
We help our active duty men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan by supplying them with free phone cards so they can call home and talk to their loved ones – something the military does not pay for.

Phone, phone cards - Cell Phones for Soldiers
Cell Phones for Soldiers hopes to turn old cell phones into more than 12 million minutes of prepaid calling cards for U.S. troops stationed overseas in 2008. To do so, Cell Phones for Soldiers expects to collect 50,000 cell phones each month through a network of more than 3,000 collection sites across the country. 

Phone, phone cards - Gmail (Call phones from Gmail)
US Service Members abroad: call home for free - Calling phones in the United States is now completely free for all uniformed military personnel with a valid United States Military (.mil) address. This means that troops stationed around the world can now call the United States at no cost, right from Gmail.

To start making free calls, follow these 2 steps:
Step 1: Add your .mil address to your Google Account:
Step 2: Click the 'Call phone' link in your chat roster and use the dialpad to make calls.

Similarly to free calling within the U.S., free calling to the U.S. for service members will be available for at least the rest of 2011. Calling to other destinations starts at as little as $.02/minute, and calling from Gmail is not available in all locations. 

Phone, phone cards - Military Exchange Prepaid Calling Cards
Help our troops call home. The Department of Defense Military Exchanges have been authorized to sell the following prepaid calling cards to individuals and organizations who wish to purchase these cards for our troops serving overseas in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.  

Phone, phone cards - Operation Phone Home (USO)
USO Operation Phone Home is a campaign designed to provide prepaid international calling cards to as many of our service men and women overseas as possible. This program designates 100% of monetary donations to the purchase and distribution of 100, 300 and 500 minute global calling cards to deployed service members.

Phone, phone cards - Operation Uplink
With the VFW's Operation Uplink, Troops can call home–at no charge—from internet cafes throughout Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait every month of the year.

Free call day listing for 2012-2013 - LINK
FAQ about the program - LINK

SpaWar Internet Cafe's information and link to free call days - LINK

Phone, phone cards - Video conference calls
Our mission is to build a communications network independent of military networks employing state of the art Wi-Fi, VOIP telephony, Video Conferencing and Satcom technology to enable our troops to communicate free of charge from their base camps with their families at home by internet telephone, instant messaging and video conference.

Phone, phone cards - Videophones (See Your Troops Foundation)
Provide free videophones and free minutes for our deployed Troops so they can not only speak to  family and friends but see them as well!

Pillows - Operation Pillowcase (Operation Support for Deployed Military)
Operation Pillowcase began in 2004 with a request from a Soldier in Iraq for a dark pillowcase. Due to its popularity, more and more pillowcases were made and sent. Since 2007 more than 4000 pillowcases were sent to Troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

Requests for pillowcases are received throughout the year. If you would like to make pillowcases to support this project, you may download the free pattern listed on the website. If the pillowcases are to be sent with Christmas stockings, there are deadlines.

Pillows - Operation Pocket Field Pillow
A group of volunteers in my community began Operation Pocket Field Pillow in February 2009, when my son deployed to Afghanistan. To date, we've made and shipped over 10,000 ACU pocket field pillows to our combat troops and over 2,000 fleece travel pillows to our wounded. Our aim is simple; to keep working to let our troops know that we will not forget them. Our pillows are small enough to store in a ruck or pocket, and are meant to be taken out in the field on missions.

All the ACU and fleece we use is donated, and the few donations we receive help pay to ship boxes of our field pillows to Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany. Visit our blog to learn how you can make an ACU pocket field pillow.

Pillows - Pillows for Patriots Beaufort, SC
In cooperation with Harris Pillow Supply, we are accepting donations in support of our cause which is to provide a better night's sleep for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. These pillows are packable, cozy and washable.

Pillows - Pillows for Soldiers
Our goal is simple. Supply a large, very comfortable, high quality pillow to as many United States Military and National Guard service men and women as possible; to those who serve our country now, those who have served in the past and those who will serve in the future, including the families of fallen soldiers.

We hope that every time they lay their heads on their pillows, they know how much we all stand behind them, support them, admire them, respect them and revere them...and how God has blessed us with their selfless courage and dedication.

Pizza - Pizza 4 Patriots
Pizzas 4 Patriots is a non-profit organization with the mission of making a positive difference in the lives of our service men and women. Those patriots presently serving and our wounded veterans. It is our goal to provide our armed forces mainly pizzas but also gifts from home.  Through financial donations from individuals and financial, products and service donations from organizations who want to show appreciation for the troops’ sacrifice. These gifts include but are not limited to any item that can bring home to the patriots. It is our goal to make them feel they are not forgotten but remembered and appreciated by the country and residents who enjoy the freedoms that they provide for us.

Popcorn - Operation Popcorn (Support Our Troops)
A big hit with the troops, Operation Popcorn enhances the morale and welfare of the deployed troops worldwide by sending them a taste of home via millions of pounds of free microwave popcorn treats every year., the Boy Scouts of America, and Trail's End® Popcorn team up to pull this off yearly.

Provides services (pay bills, send cards) - Your Yeoman
What is a yeoman? A Yeoman is a sailor responsible for administrative tasks. Your Yeoman is responsible for personal, financial and organizational duties – while your military duties take you overseas.

Your Yeoman takes care of service members obligations while deployed, providing services of shopping and mailing of gifts and cards, to bill pay service and weekly home check-ins. These are just a few of the ways that Your Yeoman can give a service member less to worry about while deployed.

What Your Yeoman can do for you:
  • Date Reminder Service, so you do not forget them.
  • Purchase, sign and mail birthday, holiday, anniversary and “just because” or “thinking about you” cards.
  • Purchase and mail birthday, holiday, anniversary and another other special occasion, gifts.
  • Monthly Care Packages to deployed service members.
  • PO Box Service
  • Bill Pay Service
  • Emergency Contact Service
  • Apartment/Home Check-In Service

You can sponsor a service member for a 9-month deployment, or donate a small amount that will assist with their unique needs and keeping families from becoming disconnected. If you are a deploying service member needing help, you can sign up for a package.

Quilt - Camo Quilt Project
Crafting camouflage, packable quilts for our troops.

Salami - Operation Salami Drop
Operation Salami Drop, sponsored by Hobby's Delicatessen and Restaurant in Newark, is trying to send a salami to all of our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Help bring a little bit of home to these brave troops. Your $10 donation can send a Soldier a salami.

Shirts - Tees 4 Troops
In an effort to support our troops overseas, Safari Sun is proud to present Tees 4 Troops. Order new shirts for your unit for only $5 (1 shirt per troop member, 1 design per unit). Program applies only to those stationed out of the continental US. Supplies limited by availablilty.

Skin protection - Operation Mary Kay (Soldiers' Angels)
You can donate Mary Kay products to help comfort the troops who are sizzling under the hot sun in the Middle East. Selected independent Mary Kay distributors have teamed up with Soldiers' Angels to get our troops the skin protection they need.

Spiritual support - Bibles, Military devotionals

Spiritual support - Prayer

Spiritual support - Resources to equip military chaplains in their ministry
link - Includes more faith-based resources for military personnel. Many resources chaplains can access for their deployed military personnel!

Spiritual support - Rosaries (Yellow Ribbon Rosaries)
The mission of Yellow Ribbon Rosaries is to provide Battlefield Rosary Packets to soldiers. If you or a member of your family is serving overseas, we will be happy to send a Battlefield Rosary for you, NO CHARGE! NO shipping. NO handling, NO charge! The only thing we ask is that you give us the mailing address. We only offer these to be mailed to an APO or FPO but if you provide us with a name and APO or FPO address, we will be thrilled to send you or your soldier a Rosary. This is what we do and are happy to provide these for you.

Sports equipment - Give2TheTroops
Here's a list of what many troops are asking for (NEW items, please):
  • Soccer Balls
  • Footballs 
  • Nerf Footballs
  • Basketballs
  • Volleyballs and Nets 
  • Air Pumps and Needles (to pump the balls)
  • Baseball and Softball Equipment (bats, mitts, gloves and catchers' masks)
  • Whiffle Balls and Bats
  • Badminton Sets 
  • Frisbees 
  • Ping Pong (table tennis) Balls and Paddles
  • Dart Boards (real and magnetic types)
  • Bocce Sets
  • Horseshoes Sets (metal or rubber)

Sports equipment - Bowling (The Bowlers to Veterans Link)
Thanks to America’s bowling community, when active duty troops around the world have some down time, they can enjoy some fun and competition via a lightweight, portable carpet bowling lane kit, shipped complete with a rubberized bowling ball, ten pins and score sheets.

Sports equipment - Golf (Bunkers in Baghdad)
We are a not-for-profit charity that collects and sends new and used golf balls, clubs and equipment to our troops currently serving in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bunkers also supplies golf equipment to Wounded Warriors Programs around the country to aid in the rehabilitation of our injured veterans.

Sports equipment - Golf (Operation Shoebox)
Golf Clubs for Troops - We currently have used golf clubs for any troop that is interested in them.

Sports equipment - Tennis (United States Tennis Association)
The Adopt-A-Unit effort is designed to guide tennis organizations and players to ‘adopt’ a military unit of anywhere between 25-100 service members deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan by sending care packages of necessities.   In turn, USTA Serves, the National Charitable Foundation of the USTA, will send portable tennis equipment to the adopted unit on your behalf with instructions and educational information on tennis. The effort allows the tennis community to show support and to introduce soldiers to a recreational means for reintegrating with family, friends and community upon their return from conflict.

Stars for our Troops
The Stars For Our Troops project takes your worn, used American Flags and turns them into a prized possession for our Armed Forces  and veterans. This project is a wonderful opportunity to bring your community together to share in the making of these packets for our Troops and veterans.

"I am part of our American flag that has flown over a home in the U.S.A. I can no longer fly.  The sun and wind have caused me to become tattered and torn. Please carry me as a reminder that You are remembered."

Your worn American flag is now able to touch the lives of Troops and veterans even after it has reached the end of its flying days.

Stress relief -  Dang It Dolls
The objective of Operation Military Stress Relief Doll is to show support for our young men and women in the military and to let them know they are appreciated and not forgotten. We do this by making and distributing our Dang-It Doll to them. Each doll has a poem and note of thanks.

In the last three and a half years, we have shipped over 25,000 dolls to Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Italy, Holland, Germany and bases in the U.S. These dolls are not sold. They are free to anyone in the military. We do not allow anyone to buy or sell these dolls. This is our tribute to the American Soldier for all they have done for our Country.

Stress relief -  Hooah Button
If you know someone serving in the Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, or Navy, why not inspire them with a HOOAH! Button? Army spouses will find the HOOAH! Button to be the perfect, fun Army gift. The HOOAH! Button is lightweight and is a simple way to include some fun in a care package for soldiers in Iraq, soldiers in Afghanistan, or troops who are deployed in other places around the world.

Stress relief -  Operation Iraq'n Robin-istan
We have been sending cardboard Iraq'n'Robin-istan glasses over to the desert, quite often thru the Chaplains, Commanders, or 1st Shirts who know the times when morale is in dire need of a boost. We're told it has been extremely successful, especially when they've gone by the guidelines and made everyone put them on at the same time - for about 10-15 minutes, then go about their duties. 

As Hero To Hero grows, we meet some really great sports who know the value of laughter and we applaud them for playing along.  If you are deployed and have a small group that you'd like to receive Iraq'n'Robin-istan glasses, drop us a request ... But you have to PROMISE to send photos back to us to share. Just e-mail us.

Stress relief -  The Red Nose Institute
The Red Nose Institute is designed to put a smile on the faces of our troops overseas. Designed by a clown and with the help of clowns and friends around the world, the idea is for folks who care about our military to donate red foam noses. Monetary donations are also accepted and used to purchase even more noses and also to help with mailing costs. The noses are then mailed to U.S. troops deployed anywhere overseas. A letter is enclosed with each package telling that the folks sending them are extremely proud of our military and thankful for what they are doing on our behalf. Servicemen and women are encouraged to share the noses with someone who might need a smile and possibly to share them with the nearby children. There is NO COST to our military or to anyone requesting noses.

USO in a Box - USO
Since a fixed USO center cannot be built on every forward operating base in Southwest Asia, the USO created the USO in a Box program in 2008 to meet these new demands.

USO in a Box converts the expandable Tactical Operations Center (TOC) used by the military into an unmanned USO center that can be trucked or helicoptered into austere operating environments. The unit has a self-contained diesel generator, accepts shore power if available, and has interior climate control - heat and air conditioning. The unit can be unfolded and operational within 20 minutes of being dropped on site.

Each unit features Internet access, two rugged laptops, four flat screen televisions, a DVD player, VoIP, three Xbox® 360 gaming systems, Guitar Hero® and surround sound. The nature of these units allows them to be quickly moved from one location to another, as needed.

USO2GO kits - USO
USO2GO delivers the USO’s most popular services to troops in remote and restricted areas. Everything from beanbag chairs, snacks, coffee, and toiletries to phone cards, DVDs, XBox®360, PlayStation® 3, and Wii. Also available are laptops, musical instruments, art supplies, footballs, Frisbees, and horseshoes.

Developed with feedback from deployed troops, USO2GO kits change as their needs change. Units can select eight variations that can be customized to fit the needs of individual units stationed on Forward Operating Bases (FOBs).


Additional support

Band of Mothers
The Band of Mothers are the mothers of the noble and heroic Soldiers of the United States military. We are dedicated in our mission to step up, stand up and stick up for our Soldiers. Goals: to proudly seek, garner and nurture support for our Soldiers. 

Operation Never Forgotten
Operation Never Forgotten (ONF) is a national non-profit communications service that connects our military and civilian worlds through non-partisan public service announcements (PSAs).

Support Our Troops License Plate Program
The Support Our Troops® License Plate Program has been causing the issuance of official state-issued Support Our Troops! motor vehicle specialty license plates in many of our 50 states. Our trademark Support Our Troops! license plates enable people to (a) publicly show their patriotism for their troops and families, (b) aggregate patriotic private money® for our programs which bolster the troops and their families who sacrifice to protect all of us, and (c) provide daily visible messages of support to the troops' families here at home.

USO - United Service Organization
Since World War II, the USO has been a steadfast supporter of military personnel around the world. While times have changed, the USO mission has remained the same: to boost the morale of service members and serve as the link between them and the American people. Today the USO delivers its programs and services to 1.4 million active duty service members and 1.2 million National Guard and Reserves as well as their families at more than 130 centers located worldwide. 

Services include information referral services, Internet and e-mail access, housing and emergency assistance and support groups, to name a few. 
Organizations that support
deployed military personnel
Soldier care items:
Eyewear, anti-ballistic
Helmet upgrades
Sleeping bag liners

Other ways to support:
Arrival/departure (airport passes, airport photos, welcome home banners, etc.)
Books and magazines, e-book readers
Bulk supplies on demand
Cakes, cookies, treats
Comedians and comedy clubs
DVD's and CD's
Fitness oriented packages (protein bars...)
Games, gaming
Gift cards
Helping Soldiers send love and care home (cards, packages)
HP phone support
Humanitarian aid - Afghanistan, Iraq
Iva GotYa TM
Language training courses
Laundry - washboard
Military working dogs
Musical instruments
Notebooks - All-weather writing paper
Pet adoption (Afghanistan)
Pet foster care
Phone, phone cards
Provides services (pay bills, send cards)
Skin protection
Sports equipment (baseball, bowling, golf,
Spiritual support (Bible, devotionals,
prayer, rosaries)
Stress relief
USO in a Box
USO2GO kits
Other helpful links:

Cards and letters

Care packages:
- How to send cake, cookies, cupcakes
- Organizations that send them
- Retailers that ship to APO/FPO
- Seasonal theme ideas
- Shipping information

Special days:
- Halloween
- Independence Day
- Mother's Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Valentine's Day

- Bracelets, dog tags, 550 cord, necklaces, crosses, deployment
journals, and more!

Additional support:
Other organizations that help
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Copyright 2008 - 2015 Benita Koeman, Operation We Are Here.  All rights reserved.
Operation We Are Here is a HUB of RESOURCES for the military community and military supporters.
Military support is not a concept to embrace; military support is sacrificial action. Visit our military support TOOLKIT.
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