Heavy regulations on military mail has East Texans confused about how they can contribute to the war effort. The best way might be through organized channels such as the American Red Cross and the U.S.O.
The Smith County Chapter of American Red Cross has a complete list of what soldiers need, everything from travel-size toiletries to non-perishable snacks--such as pretzels, twizzlers, skittles and tootsie rolls. They also recommend powdered drinks like Gatorade and Kool-Aid, sunscreen, chap stick, batteries wet wipes, hand sanitizer and lotion.
"At this time, (shipments) may go to troops in Korea or they may go to troops in Guatanamo Bay, Cuba; Bosnia or Kosevo," says Prater.
Because American Red Cross pays $1 per pound to ship its items, monetary donations are also appreciated, says Prater. The organization is also looking for volunteers who can work with military families.