How you can offer support to the troops

As Americans watch the war in Iraq many want to show their support of U.S. military, especially those overseas. After the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the Department of Defense discouraged unsolicited mail sent to military forces for security reasons.

However, people can go to the following Web sites to find organizations that are sponsoring programs for members of the Armed Forces overseas:

Father Jose L. Del Toro, chaplain at Charleston Air Force Base, encouraged praying the rosary or offering their Sunday Mass for support.

“Offer prayers for the family and the people in the military,” he said. “Fast for their safety and quick return home. Our troops are making sacrifices for us, and when we show them we are sacrificing for them it builds morale.”

Chaplain David A. Mudd at the Naval Weapons Station in Goose Creek, suggested readers write letters to the editor of their local paper in support of the U.S. armed forces. If those letters are printed, families could send the newspaper to their loved ones.

“In an age of terrorism, the military is discouraging general mail,” he said. “It’s an awkward position for the military … it’s a whole new world in that regard.”

“The biggest thing people can do is pray,” said Father Carl Pfeiffer, Army Chaplain at Fort Jackson. “It seems simplistic, but prayer works. It makes a world of difference.”

He recalled the prayer people used to say for the conversion of Russia.

“We forget how powerful prayer can be,” he said.

Father Pfeiffer also suggested people reach out to military families in any way because they have a family member who is not present.

“Watch the kids, offer to pick something up, literally be the face and body of Christ when they need it,” he said. “The whole objective of the armed forces is peace.”