Each November 11, we offer our respectful remembrance and gratitude towards those who have fought for our freedoms, the American Veterans of all wars.
Armistice Day was first observed in 1919 following the end of WWI, or The War To End All Wars. The official name was amended in 1954 to Veterans Day after WWII and the Korean War to further include and honor American veterans of all wars, for their courage, patriotism, and willingness to serve and to sacrifice.
As we stop to honor those who have fought and fallen, there are ways we can offer support to our men and women in uniform today. There are approximately 49,000 troops in Iraq; and another 100,000 + troops currently stationed in Afghanistan. There are 10,000 American Military Personnel stationed in Kuwait, and according to Dick and Christine Moody, founders of the local organization Operation Troop Support, there will be 3,000 new troops heading there this week, with yet another 5-6,000 troops set to deploy there by December 2011.
“People think there is no more work to be done, but interestingly what we’re hearing from the chaplains and unit commanders overseas is that, although it’s true the troops are being taken out of Iraq, they are being sent to Kuwait to await further orders. So we’re getting a lot of emails and requests: ‘Please, send us something to give to them,’ " Dick Moody said.
Established in 2003, Operation Troop Support is a non-profit organization headquartered in Danvers. The organization aims to support our military men and women stationed across the country and the world by distributing hospital supplies, care packages and holiday packages.
Operation Troop Support also sponsors a Military Family Support Group that meets monthly at the local VFW on Conant Street to assist those affected by deployment or in transitioning back from service. “It takes a lot of helping hands,” Christine Moody explained. “We run on 100 percent volunteers, and 100 percent goes to the troops; that’s why it works.”
In this week’s Ask The Experts, we called on Dick and Christine Moody for their tips on volunteering and donating to our soldiers deployed overseas. We could think of nobody more qualified to answer the question:
How Can We Support Our Troops?
- We are asking for donations of Halloween Candy to add into gift packages that will go out next week, as of now we have been accepting donation from Dover, NH to Mass General in Boston. But there is an endless list of items our troops are in need of, here is a list: Stationary products (blank cards, paper, envelopes,pencils, pens,stamps), Puzzle Books, Games, Cd’s, DVD’s, Coffee, Packaged Snacks, Toiletries, Visine, Bug Spray, Femenine Hygeine Products, Sunglasses, Flip Flops, Phone Cards, Books/Novels, Boot Socks, etc. For an extensive list Click HERE.
Donate Your Time:
- We will hold our final holiday wrapping event on Nov 19, at the Masonic Temple, 30 High St. in Danvers. This will be the final push before the holiday season to ensure that our troops receive packages over the holidays.
Write Cards and Letters:
- These are PRICELESS to our troops! Write letters of encouragement or Get Well Cards and drop them off on Nov. 26th, Holten Richmond Middle School. We will be there to ship out packages and cards.
Volunteer To Help Ship:
- We need to get 15,000 gifts and 10,000 cards from Collins Middle School in Salem and Danvers Public Schools shipped on November 26th. We will be set up at the Holten Richmond Middle School. These items will need customs forms filled out, and shipping labels attached; then will need to be transported to the post office on that day. Please come down to help load the trucks to get these items out in time for the holidays.
- To help in the effort, Operation Troop Support has set up a Paypal Account for online contributions. Or Care Package and Monetary Donations are greatly appreciated, they can be dropped off or mailed to:
Operation Troop Support
16 Trinity Street
Danvers, MA 01923