Red Cross provides link to soldiers

In response to numerous phone calls, the Red Cross wants residents to know it can’t provide names and mailing addresses of troops in Iraq to send letters and cards to.

According to the organization, the Department of Defense has asked local groups to not promote unsolicited correspondence to troops overseas. However, some local residents said they have found a way to send letters and packages to troops overseas through organizations like Adoptaplatoon and informal connections.

Local residents and school teachers have contacted the organization looking for addresses of troops overseas, according to a Red Cross press release. The release also included the Department of Defense’s official policy regarding contacting troops.Some local residents are finding ways to reach out to the troops without having to go through the Red Cross or defense department.

In Hudson, residents donated about 400 pounds of items to mail to soldiers in a townwide drive on Election Day. Dubbed “Support Our Troops by Voting,” the effort encouraged residents to show their support by voting and dropping off items for the troops at the polling place in town.

The packages will also include letters written by local schoolchildren.

Organizer Mike Keenan said they were able to get addresses for local service people through word of mouth. He also contacted various town departments to find out if they have any employees serving.

He collected about six names and addresses to send packages to. Due to the high volume, Keenan said he’s sure whoever receives packages will be able to share them.

And in Nashua, some school children are sending letters and cards to family members of faculty and fellow students. Some have also worked with Adoptaplatoon.

One school teacher’s mother, Kay Porter, is a volunteer with the organization. She also adopted a service member, whom she sends letters to every week and a package once a month.

She also volunteers with the organization, processing applications for people who want to participate.

Porter has also worked on specific requests. When one unit asked for Christmas decorations to spruce up its accommodations, Porter and her neighbors collected 10 boxes of decorations to send.

She also asked the principal at Dr. Norman Crisp Elementary School if students could write letters to a unit that after being stationed in Korea was going to Iraq.

“It’s important to let the soldiers know the people here are supporting them,” Porter said.