Celebrate your Independence Day this July 4, 2012

Celebrating Our Troops This Independence Day

How to celebrate our troops this Fourth of July

By Allie Hinds
|  Monday, Jun 25, 2012  |  Updated 2:45 PM CDT
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Celebrating Our Troops This Independence Day

NBCDFW

Take some time to help the ones who are protecting the very freedom we're celebrating.

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Before you celebrate Independence Day this year, take some time to help the ones who are protecting the very freedom we're celebrating. Make it a family affair and start a new tradition this year by sending an encouraging letter or care package to our troops.

Care Packages:
The USPS offers a free mailing kit to be used for military care packages. They’ve put together all the necessities for you even down to the customs label. Click here for more information.

If you’re stuck on what to send here’s some things to consider including:

• Pre-paid Phone Card
• Peanuts
• Microwave popcorn
• Spices (crushed red pepper), salt, pepper
• Candy that won’t melt such as Jolly Ranchers
• Powdered energy drink mix (Gatorade, PowerAde, etc.)
• Gum
• Icy hot patches
• Microwaveable plates, bowls, paper plate
• Coffee
• Avon Skin So Soft – good for removing face paint and can act as a bug repellent
• AA-cell Alkaline Batteries
• Personal hygiene products: Disposable Razors, Toothbrush and Tooth Paste, Deodorant, Shower to Shower body powder
• Eye drops (Visine, etc.)
• Zip-Lock style Plastic Storage Bags
• Squeeze butter
• Baby Wipes
• Beef Jerky/Slim Jims
• Energy Bars
• Sunflower seeds
• Ramen noodles
• Macaroni & cheese
• Hot cocoa mix
• Soup mix
• M&M’s (plain or peanut)
• Newspapers
• Magazines
• Koozies to keep water bottles and cans cool
• Brown t-shirts
• Boot socks
• Playing cards/ dice

In years past, if you didn’t have a specific service member to write to, you could address the package “Any Service Member.” Unfortunately this is no longer allowed and the post office will not send it due to tighter security restrictions. However, there are still plenty of ways to get connected.

You can send care packages, sponsor a care package, or just send in a donation through any of these organizations:

Note: The USPS has specific guidelines for mailing packages to the troops.

If you want to make it simple you can send a pre-made care package online. 

You can also donate toys through Operation Give that our troops will hand out to children in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Letters:
If you’re running short on time this Fourth of July season but want to lend your support, you can send an instant letter online through the USO or Letters to Soldiers.

If hand written letters are your thing,  A Million Thanks is a good resource to start with. 

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