|Supporting the troops|
|Written by Holyoke Enterprise|
With hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops continuing to be stationed everywhere from Iraq and Afghanistan to Germany and Japan, American citizens at home are continuing to mobilize to show their support of our men and women overseas.
Individuals and businesses are doing everything from organizing donation drives and sending care packages to getting involved in developing medicines for soldiers on the front lines or working to find homes for disabled troops when they return.
Some of the more popular things one can do to help include donating computers, frequent flier miles, DVDs and phone cards, or sending care packages and letters to the front lines.
To help people learn how to get involved with donation drives and troop outreach programs, the U.S. Department of Defense has set up a Web site, listing such initiatives by type. Visit www.ourmilitary.mil/help.shtml to peruse the ways you can help.
Many are choosing to not only get involved themselves, but to organize their co-workers to help out. This can increase the effectiveness of a donation drive, as many employers are choosing to match donations or to donate resources like computer and phone time or stamps to help expand a donation drive.
Some small businesses are taking the patriotic call a step further by creating much-needed products for the troops. One such company, PolyMedix, Inc., has turned its attention to helping the armed services by creating drugs and other treatments that soldiers can use against anthrax and other biowarfare pathogens.
The company’s work is being recognized by the U.S. Government, which has awarded it several grants and research contracts through the Defense Threat Reduction agency, the Office of Naval Research, and U.S. Army Research Office to help PolyMedix develop new drugs for the troops.
When looking for ways to help out, consider things you can do at home and at your job with the participation of your employer.
Of course, most citizens don’t have the resources to develop medicines or ship lots of goods overseas. However, there are many ways individuals and families can help out.
If you are getting involved in any initiative to help the troops, consider asking friends and family for assistance and for participation from your employer, your child’s school and local community and religious organizations.