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U.S. suggests ways to support the troops

WASHINGTON—Want to show your support for U.S. soldiers and their families as the war in Iraq continues? The Bush administration has compiled an Internet-based list to help you do so.

The resources and suggestions, collectively called "On the Homefront," include information on how to send e-mail, electronic thank-you cards and care packages to deployed troops and how to contact charity groups that offer assistance to military families.

Through "Operation Dear Abby" (, e-mail can be sent to deployed troops of any service. "Defend America" ( contains a thank-you card to troops. The U.S. military set up both services.

Through "Operation USA Care Package" (, donations are accepted for purchasing items requested by troops, such as sunscreen, disposable cameras, prepaid calling cards and toiletries. That is a project sponsored by the United Services Organization, a non-profit group that supports the U.S. military, and America Online Inc.

Several civic organizations offer ways for volunteers to help local military families with such things as household repairs, spring cleaning, tutoring and child care. The groups include the American Legion, American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks of the USA, National 4-H Council, The Salvation Army, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the YMCA.

The Bush administration outline also suggests volunteering locally to help by mentoring children, teaching someone to read or working in a food shelter.

The "On the Homefront" options are detailed on the USA Freedom Corps Web site ( Or you can call 877-USA-CORPS, where you will find a recorded message from President Bush and then a menu of options leading to information on federal community service programs.


(c) 2003, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.