This Holiday Season, one organization is making sure that soldiers are not going without. Founded by Sergeant Marty Horn, Any Soldier was created in August of 2003 to ensure that every soldier received mail. When Sergeant Horn realized that many soldiers never received care packages or even letters of encouragement from friends and family members, he created Any Soldier to make certain that all soldiers are encouraged and supported. The program was a great success and within six months time, what started as a program strictly for the Army grew to include all branches of the armed forces. Today, Any Soldier includes Any Marine, Any Sailor, Any Airman, Any Coast Guard, and now includes the program Treat any Soldier.
Any Soldier and the affiliated network of programs work simply and efficiently. By visiting the site, you can select a soldier from the â€œWhere to Sendâ€ page. This page includes the names and details for soldiers that are in need of care packages and mail. When you click on one of the soldierâ€™s names, you will be redirected to a detail page that letâ€™s you know the soldierâ€™s address, tour duty, and will give you information regarding the soldierâ€™s preferences for care package contents.
Before you plan to send a care package to an Any Soldier recipient, it is important to understand the rules and contents that may be sent. Any Soldier is designed for sending care packages and letters therefore the soldierâ€™s email addresses are not made public. Also, many people may want to bake cookies and send them to the soldiers but this is not allowed. All food items must be factory sealed to protect freshness during the shipping process. In fact, if the soldiers receive any food items that are homemade or baked, they will discard them. It is a matter of safety, so be sure to send only factory sealed food products.
If youâ€™ve wondered what the top requested item that soldiers ask for you may be surprised. Itâ€™s letters. Soldiers need letters and they welcome them more than care packages. Of course care packages are always a blessing, but for soldiers who are in harmâ€™s way, receiving a friendly letter of encouragement can really brighten a soldierâ€™s day and give them the hope they need to do their work efficiently. If you send a soldier your email address, he or she may choose to correspond with you via email, but Any Soldier will never release a soldierâ€™s email address to you. Never feel that there is nothing that you can do to help a soldier in need. Care packages are wonderful, but every little bit helps and the one thing that soldiers need more than anything else is a good friendly letter of encouragement.
In addition there are things that cannot be sent through the Any Soldier program. It is best to check with your local United States Postal Service to find out the exact items on the list, but some main items that cannot be sent to soldiers include pornographic material, firearms and weapons, pork and pork by products, and mass or bulk quantities of religious material that are contrary to the Islamic faith. For more information regarding what may be sent overseas, you can visit the USPS site online here: USPS Restrictions.