This is from a military officer that is a close friend of mine. Please do what you can to give U.S. troops a little moral boost. If you're an American, it is a civil responsibility to stand behind the troops and our country. Here ... WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Dept. of Defense is responding to queries from thousands of Americans who are again asking what they can do to show their support for service members, especially those serving overseas in this time of war? The following are websites for several organizations sponsoring programs for members of the Armed Forces overseas. While it would be inappropriate for DoD to endorse any specifically, service members do value and appreciate such expressions of support: Donate a calling card to help keep service members in touch with their families at Operation Uplink at <<http://www.operationuplink.org/>> Send a greeting via e-mail through Operation Dear Abby at <<http://anyservicemember.navy.mil/>> or www.OperationDearAbby.net <<http://www.OperationDearAbby.net>> Sign a virtual thank you card at the Defend America <<http://www.defendamerica.mil/>> Web site at <<http://www.defendamerica.mil/nmam.html>> Make a donation to one of the military relief societies <<http://www.aerhq.org/links.htm>>: Â· Army Emergency Relief at <<http://www.aerhq.org/>> Â· Navy/Marine Relief Society at <<http://www.nmcrs.org/>> Â· Air Force Aid Society at <<http://www.afas.org/>> Â· Coast Guard Mutual Assistance at <<http://www.cgmahq.org/>> Â· Donate to "Operation USO Care Package" at <<http://www.usometrodc.org/care.html>> Â· Support the American Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Services at <<http://www.redcross.org/services/afes/>> Â· Volunteer at a VA Hospital <<http://www.va.gov/vetsday/>> to honor veterans who bore the lamp of freedom in past conflicts. Â· Support families whose loved ones are being treated at military and VA hospitals through a donation to the Fisher House at www.fisherhouse.org <<http://www.fisherhouse.org>>. Â· Reach out to military families in your community, especially those with a loved one overseas. DoD officials ask citizens not to flood the military mail system with letters, cards, and gifts. Due to security concerns and transportation constraints, the Defense Department can't accept items to be mailed to " Any Servicemember </news/Nov2001/b11282001_bt603-01.html>." Some people have tried to avoid this prohibition by sending large numbers of packages to an individual service member's overseas address, which however well intentioned, clogs the mail and causes unnecessary delays. U.S. troops deployed to the Persian Gulf region and other overseas locations can now receive personal messages from family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues and supporters via the pages of "Stars and Stripes" as well. "Messages of Support," a daily section that debuted March 17, gives family and friends of deployed service members a chance to pass their greetings, words of encouragement and announcements free of charge. "In the past few weeks, we've received a significant number of e-mail messages from spouses, parents, friends and others trying to get in contact with their loved ones serving in the Persian Gulf region. Running messages from folks on the home front seemed like a natural extension of our mission," said "Stars and Stripes" publisher Thomas Kelsch. "Messages of Support" can be e-mailed to "Stars and Stripes" 24 hours a day at email@example.com, are limited to 50 words or less and will be printed on a first-come, first-run basis. "Stars and Stripes" reserves the right to screen and edit all messages and to omit any determined inappropriate. "Stars and Stripes" is the editorially independent, Defense Department-authorized daily newspaper distributed overseas for the U.S. military community. It provides commercially available U.S. and world news and objective, staff-produced stories relevant to the military community in a balanced, fair and accurate manner. Stripes is currently increasing its Middle East circulation with the goal of providing one paper for every three persons stationed there.