I became an AnySoldier Volunteer! I am so excited to be able to send care packages to service members who are deployed. I remember when I was deployed, how much I wanted to have something like a snack or hygiene item that we couldn’t get while we were on the ship. I received care packages from y family and a friend I made through a different organization that is similar to this one. Now I want to do my part and give back.
About the Organization:
“It was March 26th, 2003. Army Sergeant Brian Horn, one of 1,000 soldiers, parachuted into enemy territory in Northern Iraq.
Five months later, Brian Horn was able to call his parents. They had been sending their son an average of six care packages per week. So when Brian asked his parents to send more, “my wife and I thought he was kidding!” Marty Horn told me. “But Brian said, ‘no — its for the soldiers that don’t get any.'”<br><br> Brian Horn’s regiment spent nearly a year finding places to sleep on the ground or on their vehicles while behind enemy lines in Northern Iraq. From Life in Iraq, Stars and Stripes special report on morale. October, 2003, Jon R. Anderson, Stars and Stripes.
Both Brian’s parents had spent their careers in the Military, so they immediately understood what Brian was saying. Millions of men and women serving overseas never receive any mail. Besides often lacking basic necessities, these men and women have to cope with the harsh conditions of serving overseas without signs of support from friends and family back home.
The Horns developed the idea for AnySoldier.com during that phone call. Marty created a website that explained the project and offered Brian’s address — including the words “Attn: Any Soldier”. Brian would give these packages to the soldiers not receiving any mail. After his service in the Military, Marty had gotten involved in the still-young Internet. He knew how much opportunity the Internet offered, but even he was amazed at the results. “Within two weeks, we were getting flooded with email from all over the world. It was like an avalanche.”
The project’s growth kept up its tremendous pace. In January 2004, in response to many requests, the Horns opened up the project to the other Military branches. Within one year, they went from seven Military contacts distributing “Any Soldier” packages to 3,500.
“It just exploded. It literally took on a life of its own… Honestly, we started this as a way to help my son and his troops. Imagine camping — it’s hard enough to get stuff, imagine being one in a thousand guys who parachuted behind enemy lines,” Marty said.
The growth has continued. To date, AnySoldier.com — and its related websites, AnyMarine, AnyAirman, AnySailor, and AnyCoastGuardsman — have served over 2 million troops stationed in many locations (Current info HERE). The men and women in service come from many states and countries — the vast majority from the USA, but also from such places as Chile, England, Italy, Germany, and Japan and many others. Visitors to AnySoldier.com can search for contacts by service location, where the unit comes from, the number of males or females in the group (some supporters prefer to write to “Attn: Any Female Soldier”), and the number of times their address has been requested — among other options.
The response has overwhelmed the recipients, as well. AnySoldier updates from the men and women in service express gratitude, joy and awe at the support they receive.”
(Reference: AnySoldier.com overview section 10/27/19)