Act fast to participate in 'Support Our Troops' holiday program - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Act fast to participate in 'Support Our Troops' holiday program

Posted: Updated:
(Source: KLTV) (Source: KLTV)
Toothpaste and tooth brushes are among the items most requested by troops serving overseas. (Source: KLTV) Toothpaste and tooth brushes are among the items most requested by troops serving overseas. (Source: KLTV)
Daytona Beach, FL -

By Jennifer Bowen - email

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (RNN) - Just nine days remain before the deadline to mail holiday care packages to troops overseas through the Support Our Troops program. It is one way to show you care during the holidays even if you do not personally know someone serving overseas.

Organizations like Support Our Troops act as a bridge between soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and Americans who want to encourage a stranger half a world away.

For safety reasons, you cannot send a package to a soldier or Marine you don't know, but you can still pack a box for him or her.

"Relatives send stuff to relatives, but strangers can't," said Martin Boyer with Support Our Troops. "We get emails every week from unit commanders, chaplains, and they'll request items. We have their contact information and they give us everything we need and we're able to pack unit-sized boxes up."

The deadline to participate in the program is Dec. 15.

[Click here for information about participating in Support Our Troops]

Some of the most requested item by troops are the most basic: Powdered drink mix, USB memory sticks, hard candy and wet wipes are some of the most requested items by troops.

Other popular items include lip balm, ear buds, phone cards, iTunes cards, disposable razors and tooth brushes, Boyer said.

"Those very basic things make it a little easier," he said. "Just getting something, anything from home lets you know you're not forgotten. That's a big part of it."

Boyer said he once received an email from a commander telling him of a soldier who had not received a care package during her tenure overseas. The oversight was made all the more upsetting for her because every day she was responsible for picking up the mail for her squadron.

Support Our Troops packed up a box and later received a thank you note.

"I wanted to thank you for sending out the care package to my airman. She received the box today and was literally in tears. She could not believe there was someone who addressed a box specifically to her. It felt like Christmas to her."

For Boyer, letters like these bring the mission of Support Our Troops home. 

"[The gifts] come from individual American people who know about them, who care about them," Boyer said. "We put a note in there telling the troops that this came from people in Texas, Minnesota, Georgia, because we want them to know that everyday people are looking out for them."

You still have time to help pack a box through Support Our Troops, but some regular post office deadlines have already passed. The following are shipping and mailing deadlines supplied by the U.S. Post Office:

Express Mail Military Service (EMMS)1/

First-Class Mail Letters and Cards

Priority Mail

Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL) 2/

Space Available Mail (SAM)3/

APO/FPO AE ZIPs 090-092

Dec. 18

Dec. 10

Dec. 10

Dec. 3

APO/FPO AE ZIP 093

N/A

Dec. 4

Dec. 4

Dec. 1

APO/FPO AE ZIPs 094-098

Dec. 18

Dec. 10

Dec. 10

Dec. 3

APO/FPO AA ZIP 340

Dec. 18

Dec. 10

Dec. 10

Dec. 3

APO/FPO AP ZIPs 962-966

Dec. 18

Dec. 10

Dec. 10

Dec. 3

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