A Slim Jim, Skoal and prayers. Simple items, easy to find at any convenience store and the prayers, well they can be found anywhere, right? Not so easy when you are a soldier stationed overseas. I recently stumbled across a website that made me realize, just how difficult it is to be away from all of the items we typically do not think twice about. The site, AnySoldier.com brought more than a few tears to my eyes as I clicked on the soldiers name and read their request. I requested a soldiers name and immediately went to the “local” store and bought Slim Jims, Skoal and a few other items, said the requested prayers and shipped the box.
I got to thinking about how these simple items could bring so much joy to a single troop, that I contacted Marty Horn by email to find out as much information as possible about anysoldier.com. I wanted to know why it was started, how it was started and most importantly how to spread the word about this amazing family and their goal to give.
Anysoldier.com was started by the Horn family out of a simple request from Sergeant Brian Horn, the son of Marty and Sue, founders of the anysoldier.com foundation. In March of 2003, Brian was stationed in Iraq when his parents began sending him six packages each week containing basic items they thought he would want and/or need, from the United States. Speaking with his parents, finally, after five months of no telephone contact with them, they were shocked at the request for more packages. Brian’s parents thought their son was kidding due to the already six per week being sent. Brian then told his parents the extra packages were not for him, but for the other soldiers who did not receive any mail or packages.
The efforts to help those in their sons platoon, has developed into an amazing organization with a goal, to help all soldiers away from home. The website devoted to the anysoldier.com recipients, continues to be maintained by Marty Horn. The site is updated daily with new soldiers’ requests, as well as some that need removed, due to the loss of the soldier that had made the original request. Additions have been added to include AnyMarine, AnyAirman, AnySailor and Anycoastguardsman. As of August 19, 2010, 1,705,565 Troops so far, have been served in 22 locations, with the assistance of those who visit the anysoldier.com site and request an address.
Requesting an address is simple. Grab some tissues and go to http://AnySoldier.com, you will have to register (its free), then go to “where to send button” and choose a soldiers name. When searching for a soldier you would like to send a package to, there is an option to search the list of names and requests. This helps in determining what you can afford and what your comfortable sending. After you have decided which soldier you would like to send a package to, click on the “request address button” and you will receive an email, with the address of where to send the package The packages do not have to be extravagant, as you have read from my chosen request, it’s the simple things in life that we take for granted that is being missed by our soldiers.
Please, Please, Please, do not request an address, unless you are able to send a package. Many of the men and women on the address request list, are stationed in areas that do not have electricity, refrigeration or limited usage amounts, so please read the request carefully. If the request is for boots, flashlights, cigars or a number of other hard to ship items, the website has several links of online shops that will ship directly to the troops. Also when choosing the name, there is a notation of how many males and females are in the platoon for which the soldier is making the request. Please read the tips and advice regarding this situation on the website. Also if the package is for a female soldier, remember to write “For any female soldier,” when addressing the package.
These are our sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers fighting for our freedom. They risk their lives hourly for us to be able to walk freely. If a request as simple as a Slim Jim and a prayer, could brighten the day of a troop, risking their life for you, I say, honor that request! I want to personally say, “Thank You,” to the Horn family, for all they have done to try and help as many soldiers as possible in receiving a few basic requests. Also, “Thanks,” to all those who have requested an address from anysoldier.com and sent a package. Please take a second and view the above pictures that were taken from the anysoldier.com website, for a glimpse of what a package means to those receiving them.
Request an address at:
Print a brochure from here to give to others