Web site works with Airmen to deliver care packages|
Posted 11/6/2006 Updated 11/6/2006
by Senior Airman J.G. Buzanowski
Combined Joint Task Force-76 Public Affairs
11/6/2006 - BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan (AFPN) -- In August 2003, a Maryland family started the AnySoldier.com Web site as a way for people to support deployed Soldiers. Two years later, the family created separate sites to help those in the sister services.
Their site for those in the Air Force, AnyAirman.com, lists Airmen who volunteered as points of contact at deployed locations. People who wish to support Airmen can send mail to the volunteers, who then distribute the letters and care packages to other Airmen.
"It's a special thing for people back home to be able to connect with the folks out here," said Capt. Ted Janicki, a reservist deployed from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. "I get four to six packages a week and give them to Airmen who don't get much mail."
Captain Janicki signed up as a contact for the Airmen deployed to Camp Blackhorse, near Kabul, Afghanistan. For him, it was a way to help fellow Airmen get through their deployments a little easier, he said.
"Getting a letter or care package is some piece of tangible evidence that someone we don't even know, with no obligation to do anything in the first place, wants to do something to support the troops," the Airman from Pittsburgh said. "It improves morale for the military members, but I think it also improves morale for Americans back home as well. They feel like it's a good cause to support, which of course, it is."
Whether candy or cookies, tissues or toothpaste, it doesn't matter what people send. It is the thought that means the most, said Staff Sgt. Jennifer Hutto, an information manager at Camp Blackhorse.
"We're assigned to a small camp with no facility to purchase any personal items," said Sergeant Hutto, who is deployed from Hurlburt Field, Fla. "The packages we receive are appreciated more than people will ever know."
Deployed Airmen who want to volunteer as a contact can sign up on the site and list information such as the number of people in their unit and what kinds of things they'd like to receive. People wishing to participate in the program can follow the guidelines on the site and mail a letter or package in care of the volunteer with "Attn: Any Airman" written under the volunteer's name.
In addition, the Web site has other information about sending things overseas, including lists of prohibited items.
"This is a great program because it has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with supporting the troops," Captain Janicki said. "I still keep in contact with the people who have written to me. We can't thank them enough for their support."
For more information, visit www.AnyAirman.com.