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Commentary - Support our troops

By Vicki Dahl,

Alexandria, MN

As the war continues, it is easy to forget about our troops deployed overseas unless you personally know someone who is there.

We see the yellow ribbon magnets on cars around town: “Support Our Troops.” In fact, many of us have them. But how do we support our troops?

One way would be to partner with the Blue Star Mothers of Alexandria. The Blue Star Mothers is a group of local women who currently have or have had a family member on active duty in a war zone.

They send boxes to our troops four to five times a year. This year they sent out approximately 129 boxes, all because of the kindness and gifts of this community.

The packages include personal hygiene items, food, snacks, reading material, games and personal cards and letters.

They often hear back from a soldier, and the cards and letters are always a favorite item for them. One wrote back, saying, “Everything was of great use! Thank you for your time and support. You are a great morale booster!” Another excerpt from a thank you note: “I would like to thank you … Items from home are always welcome and we especially appreciate the types of foods/snacks that are unavailable here. Thank you for your support. We feel truly blessed when someone takes the time, effort and resources to take care of us while we’re away from home.”

Because of privacy laws, the Blue Star Mothers have to rely on others for the addresses of soldiers who are deployed so they can send packages/letters to show them they are supported by those here at home. Please, if you know of anyone currently deployed overseas, send their address along with an approximate date of their return to the Blue Star Mothers at Addresses will be kept confidential.

All of their work is accomplished through donations, grants and gifts (financial and in-kind)). If you would like to join our local chapter of Blue Star Mothers or donate money/goods, please contact them at the above e-mail or send them a letter at: Blue Star Mothers of MN, Chapter 2, PO Box 1205, Alexandria MN 56308.

All donations are used as requested. If you do not designate your donation, it will be used for postage, shipping supplies and other needed items. A list of items included in the boxes can be e-mailed to you if you are interested. Blue Star Mothers is a 501(c)(3) organization, so your gifts may be tax deductible. Check with your financial advisor to be sure.

Thank you for your support.