Often, the question surrounding sending humanitarian gifts to the war zone confuse local businesses and organizations wanting to do the right thing.  People don't understand why the military can't load their items on the back of a C-17 and send them down-range - after all, they are already going there.  Why do folks have to pay the postal system to do something nice?

It's a matter of ethics and DoD policies.  If the DoD allowed this for one organization, they'd have to for all – and the space and money is not there to do it.  Also, how do they decide which event is more worthy over another?  

Here's what you can do.

Anyone can send a care package to a troop IF they have the complete mailing address.  "Any soldier" or "soldier" at a forward operating base won't do.  You must have the address.

For example, on Nov. 7th, the Fort Lewis Ranger and NW Airlifter hosted military families to take pictures with Santa and send them in a care package down-range.  That worked because the family member was there to address their own care package.

On November 18, Operation Make a Soldier Smile in DuPont will also send care packages - over a thousand to the 5th Stryker Brigade in Afghanistan.  That works too, because OMASS has worked with the 5th Brigade to receive the names of each soldier destined to get a package.

Both events, though, had to raise the money to pay for the $10.50 postage for each care package, and mail them via the US Post Office.

In terms of sending help to the peoples or Afghanistan or Iraq, that is not allowed through APO and FPO addresses.  Army Times has an article out this week on that issue.  Click here.

Right now, if your business would like to get involved, consider adopting a unit.  You can do that through the Lakewood Area Chamber of Commerce's Military Affairs Committee.  Call Ken Swarner (253.584.1212) for details.



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