Attn:  Any Soldier
Freedom isn't Free! Just ask my son....

Want to send a care package to Any Soldier in Iraq,
but have no idea of what to send, who to send it to, or how to send it?

Featured on ARD German TV (Real Video here or Windows Media Video here) and FOX News.

Sergeant Brian Horn from LaPlata, Maryland, is an Army Infantry Soldier with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in the Kirkuk area of Iraq who has a reputation for taking care of his soldiers. He has agreed to distribute the contents of any packages that come to him addressed "Attn: Any Soldier" to the soldiers who are not getting mail. This works! Your packages get to real soldiers that need and appreciate your support!
Please note that now we have more soldiers helping with this. We ask that if you send packages and letters that you spread them across the addresses we have below. Soon there will be more, but they are all in Brian's unit, the Sky Soldiers of the 173rd.

Why you should send your support:                    The Sands The Sands of Christmas of Christmas

You may have seen the pictures of soldiers swimming in palace pools, relaxing in fancy chairs in a gold covered room, even sleeping in the beds of the tyrants. Looks pretty good. Now you know where the reporters hang out. However, the conditions our soldiers in the 173rd are under are a bit different. They are fed ONE 'hot' meal (from merimite cans) and two MREs a day, but days of MREs is far too much for anybody. The soldiers for the most part don't eat the MREs anymore but buy food on the local economy or eat what you send them. Their living conditions have improved recently (pictures here soon), they are often in a building and sleep on cots. Electricity is somewhat available, often going out, but better than nothing. This changes some of the abilities to cook food and use things like rechargeable batteries, etc. They do often go on 'mission', raids that will cause them to be away from any support. They refer to themselves as "RPG magnets".

Politics aside, it is our soldiers who pay for our freedom to argue about this war.

Brian and his PSG with early stack of packages.
(Read some of the email supporting this effort!)
This works:
A letter by SGT Brian Horn, 7 November 2003:
"To all whom this may concern,
I would personally like to thank all of those who have recently contributed their time and efforts in what I believe to be an awe-inspiring and frankly quite dramatic display of support from the home-front. The correspondence and care packages have been coming in at an overwhelming and nearly monumental pace. The "Any Soldier" campaign has seen tears from some, given hope to most, and has been inspirational to us all. Your relentless support has provided the simple reminder that any one of us would proudly die for a grateful nation in our ongoing fight against terrorism. "

"Freedom is not Free"

Sgt Brian Horn

Sheryl with the flag sent to her by the soldiers of the 1-508th Red Devils, 173rd Airborne for her support.
Sheryl picked up a flyer (a print-out of the web page) we left at a local restaurant, Ledo's Pizza, in Maryland. She got so excited about the program, she ran out and immediately put together and sent 17 boxes! She had completely forgotten about her food at the restaurant! Brian and the guys were so impressed with her kindness that they got this American flag which they signed and sent to her.
Sheryl was one of the very first people to send packages to the soldiers from the effort, and continues still.

With Congressman Ruppersberger
Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD) met with my wife, Sue, and I in the Capitol Building on Tuesday, 9 December 2003 to discuss issues concerning supporting the soldiers, and how to improve the channels available to Americans to show their support. Congressman Ruppersberger is the originator of Operation Hero Miles.

KMZR sends 130 Boxes!
KMZR sends 307 Boxes!
Raytheon Solipsys sends 77 boxes!
Raytheon Solipsys sends 77 boxes!

This is no scam. We send Brian lots of stuff and are not asking you to. This is a way to help soldiers that don't get the support that Brian does. We can't insure you will know who gets your package, Brian can only ask the soldier to write back to you, but certainly can't require it. If you have any concerns, questions, or suggestions, please email me. I am Marty, a retired Army MP, Brian's father, at I try to answer every email and will get back to you if possible. I am very happy to say that recently the amount of email is so large I can't answer everyone as I want to. The support being displayed for these soldiers is great. And appreciated.

Thank you!!!
This page is located:  Go to Brian's home page...

Suggestions for what to send:

Note: The weather is much colder now, freezing at night, 40's-50's daytime.
Send warm stuff!!

(Click here for a printable version of this list to take with you.)

Most Critical Items Needed ASAP: (Added 11 Dec 2003)
These are the items to send NOW if you can:

  • Handcuffs. Real ones, not toys or fake. With keys. CRITICAL NEED! Anybody able to help with this please contact me right away! Need these sent to Brian (without the "Attn:" line), his unit is in real need. New, used, whatever you can get (nope, no flexcuffs). (Note: Let the police-type folks help with this one, a number of departments have been contacted.)(Yes, there is still a need for these. The cowardly-wicked witch has been caught, but there are still plenty of flying monkeys left.)
  • Heatermeals. Please be sure to send at least one breakfast meal, the soldiers don't get that meal! We suggest the mix that includes the breakfast meal. More on these below and here. These are a huge hit with the soldiers!!!
  • Hatch Operator Gloves. About $25 from Extreme Outfitters (Hatch SOG-L Operator Glove Hatch003)(Large) here or from Ranger Joe's at $45 here, used for searches and missions.


  • Breakfast-type foods and drinks are the most needed. They don't get that meal (they get an MRE)!
  • Instant and regular coffee.
  • Coffee makers, hot plates.
  • Hot chocolate packets (instant, in packets, add to water).
  • Campbell's chunky soups, chicken, beef, etc.
  • Canned tuna.
  • Canned Chef Boyardee ravioli, beefaroni, spaghetti & meatballs, etc.
       (Note: In the 'Zip-Top' or easy to open cans.)
  • Canned fruit - that comes in the small flip top cans. (Put zip-top cans in a plastic bag!)
  • Beef jerky, Slim Jims.
  • Canned nuts.
  • Canned chips, like the potato sticks or the small canned Pringles, Doritos, etc.
  • Cereal bars, granola bars, Special-K bars, etc.
  • Pre-sweetened powdered drinks, Kool-Aid, Gatorade, etc.
  • Lil Debbie snacks, brownies, snack cakes, etc, nothing with icing that will melt.
  • Packs of candy, gum, trail mix, etc.
  • Home-cooked anything (that does not go bad quickly.)
       Note: Due to concerns for the health and safety of the soldiers, and as much as we don't want to say this, please do not send home-cooked anything to soldiers other then to your relatives or people who know you. Factory packaged only. Sorry. The soldiers are told to throw away anything that is not in a factory package.
  • (Basics: Easy to open, easy to eat, quality and healthy foods are best.)

    Personal Hygiene Items:

  • Antibacterial wipes - lots of these!
  • Small tubes of toothpaste and toothbrushes, deodorant, soap, shampoo.
  • Eye drops - the cleaning kind - because of all the sand storms...(Put in plastic bag!)
  • Small containers of Tylenol, Motrin, etc.
  • Band Aids, cough lozenges, small packs of Kleenex, shower-to-shower powder.
  • Flip flops - shower shoes - so they can air their feet out when they get a break.
  • Anti-fungal for their feet - athletes foot creme, foot powder - no aerosol bottles.
  • Combs, paper, pens, envelopes, lip balm, eye drops, q-tips, nail clippers.
  • Remember the many women soldiers there! If your package is intended for a woman, be sure to address the package to the Chaplain (address below) with, "Attn: Any Female Soldier".
  • (Basics: small and easy to carry, disposable and anti-bacterial.)


  • Mini-Christmas trees, other holidays items.
  • Beanie Baby toys for the soldiers to give to kids.
       (Now you have a good reason to loose those things...)
  • Comics and paperback books, crossword puzzle books.
  • DVDs & CDs.
  • Game Boys, the ones your kids don't use anymore, and the games...
       (Idea: Have your kids ask around to collect GameBoys and games they don't want anymore...)
  • Magazines; Cars, Sports Illustrated - preferably the swimsuit edition !! :)
  • Sports stuff (baseballs, footballs, old gloves, frisbees...)
  • (Basics: Small and light, uses AA batteries, nothing rechargeable.)


  • Hand warmers! (The chemical types in a packet, foot warmers also. Need these now! Saw these at BJ's at a really good price...)
  • AA batteries - this is the only battery they are using - keep anything you send to use these.
  • Rechargeable AA batteries and chargers.
  • DEET insect spray.
  • Disposable cameras.
  • Flashlight - small, black or dark green, AA battery.
  • Music CD's. (Have a portable player you don't use anymore?)
  • Pens, paper, envelopes. (NO stamps! They get free mail.)
  • Phone cards (Not as needed as in the beginning of this, but good for emergencies.)
  • Small or inflatable pillows, self-inflating camping air mattress.
  • Small space heaters.
  • Space® "All Weather" blankets. (Find the ones with olive drab, tan or camo on one side.)
  • Space® "Emergency" blankets. (These are much smaller, easy to keep.)
  • (Basics: Again, think small and light weight. Be SURE to put items that might even possibly leak into a few zip-lock bags! ie. toothpaste, shampoo...)

    IF you have the money and would like to send things that cost more and are really requested:

  • From "RadioShack"
    (NOTE: This is NOT an advertisement for Radio Shack! We are waiting to see if Radio Shack will assist with this effort.)
    Motorola FSRS 2-Way Radio, model T6250, Radio Shack #210-1872, $49.99 with a $25 rebate (rebate form here). (Outdated and out of stock in most locations.)
    NEW! RadioShack 7-Mile GMRS/FRS 2-Way Radio with extended battery life, Catalog #21-1905, about $40 each. Excellent, built well, uses AA batteries (be sure to send some!). Do NOT send radios that use AAA (don't last long enough) or use rechargeable batteries (worthless, they don't have electricity often enough).
    (If you are into these things and can recommend a better unit or can offer a better deal to folks,

  • From "Ranger Joe's"
    (NOTE: This is NOT an advertisement for Ranger Joe's! We are waiting to see if Ranger Joe's will assist with this effort. I am looking for a source for these items at a better price. If you have one, PLEASE let me know!!)
    #4581 - Gator Face Mask ($10.99)
    #8310 - PS50 Watch Cap ($14.95)
    #8049 - Lightweight PP Top ($14.99)
    #8050 - Lightweight PP Bottom ($14.99)
    #7810 - Quik Draw Boot Knife (LG)($32.95)  -   Better Price ($25.97) here, or ($26.50) here.
    #8577 - Hatch Operator Gloves ($42.99)
    #8325 - Camelbak Viper ($79.99)  -   Better Price ($59) here.

    Please understand that this is about SUPPORT, not just STUFF!
    A LETTER, from you, your children, the kids at church or school, is THE BEST THING in the world to get when home is so far away. I got an email from an officer who while in Vietnam got a letter from some school kids, he has that letter on his office wall to this day.

    How to send:

    Do NOT send insured or registered. This surprised me. Brian has to go to base camp to get these items and he does not go there very often at all. On the Customs form, careful wording helps. Stating "2-Way radios, value $100" draws attention, where "Toys, value $10" may not. Be SURE to check the "Gift" box. Larger boxes need this customs form.
    Send in easy to handle boxes (say under 10 pounds) and wrap like Godzilla will handle it because he will. Use the heavy packing tape on all corners of the box, and wrap the tape so it goes all the way around every direction of the box. Do NOT use string to wrap a box! A suggestion is that Wal-Mart sells boxes for 95 cents that are 11 3/4 x 8 x 4 3/4 inches (CB-12). These are easy to pack, won't weigh too much and are easy to handle. Mine have averaged about 6 pounds and cost about $6 to mail.
    Note that postage is only to NY where the APO is, so you don't pay postage all the way to Iraq. We suggest you do NOT use USPS Express or any overnight service. It will only get to New York faster, it will not get to Iraq any faster and costs way too much. We suggest regular or Priority mail. You can get Priority Mail supplies here.

    Note #1: The most often asked question is "When is the deadline to send things?" The answer is simple, there really isn't any. As of now, it takes about 10-14 days for a package to go Priority from Maryland to Kirkuk. Who knows what will happen tomorrow? It IS a war zone.

    Note #2: We wish to thank the many hundreds of postal workers who have been doing a great job helping our supporters! However, some folks are running into a problem with a postal clerk or two who won't accept packages addressed as we show here. Those poor postal clerks must be unable to read. Their own regulations state, "Mail addressed as 'Any Service Member,' 'Any Soldier, Sailor, etc.' will not be accepted." As you can see by the address below, there is a real soldier's name and address with an attention line, which is completely legal. The 'real soldier' is aware of this program and uses this attention line as notification as to what the package is for. However, if you run into one of these genius clerks, you may wish to avoid the hastle of battling the mental giant, so simply cross-out the attention line. The 'real soldier' is smart enough to see that he is not the only one doing battle with fools, and will appreciate not only your support but also admire your bravery.
    Here is the USPS FAQ.

    Where to send:

    Please note: Brian has help now! Please divide your packages between the below addresses!!
    SGT Brian Horn
    Attn: Any Soldier
    Scouts, HHC, 1-508th
    173rd Airborne Bde
    APO AE
    SPC Darin Pott
    Attn: Any Soldier
    Mortars, C Co, 1-508th
    173rd Airborne Bde
    APO AE
    Chaplain Thomas B. Wheatly III, MAJ
    Attn: Any Soldier
    HHC 173rd Airborne Bde
    APO AE

    (Please send any "Attn: Any Female Soldier" packages to the Chaplain)
    SSG Joel Fehl
    Attn: Any Soldier
    2nd Plt, A Co, 2-503rd
    173rd Airborne Bde
    APO AE
    SSG David Brigham
    Attn: Any Soldier
    S-3, HHC, 2-503rd
    173rd Airborne Bde
    APO AE
    1SG Lauro Obeada
    Attn: Any Soldier
    173rd Combat Support Company
    173rd Airborne Bde
    APO AE
    SGT Paulo Valai
    Attn: Any Soldier
    501st FSC
    173rd Airborne Bde
    APO AE
    We will be adding soldiers from the 173rd here to assist in distributing the things you send.
    We are doing our best to see that the items get to as many soldiers as possible.

    Taken from a 22 December email from SSG Brigham's wife: "He said the guys are all taken back at how complete strangers took the time to care and send packages, Christmas Cards, and letters. Someone even sent the walkie talkie things from Radio Shack, you have listed on the Anysoldier page. David said, the soldier was like a little kid at Christmas..It must have been something else.."

  • A special "Thank You!" to Brad Krantz and John Hancock of WBT Radio in Charlotte, NC,
    for talking about this site on their shows!          Hear the John Hancock shows he did!

    Another special "Thank You!" to Jim Newman of TV who ran a segment!

    And another special "Thank You!" to The Ron&Don Morning Show of Radio KLQ, Grand Rapids, who ran a long segment on 3 December!

    A gigantic "Thank You!" to FOX News and ARD German TV (Video here).

    A huge "Thank You!" to (in the order I learned of them): ~ Easy Street Lounge, Jacksonville, IL
    Ledo Pizza, LaPlata, MD ~ JStengel Consulting, Charlotte, NC
    Lewisville NC High School Army JROTC ~ Private Eyes Investigations, Gastonia, NC.
    The Williams Companies, Inc. ~ Piedmont Flag Company
    Operation Support Our Troops (OSOT) ~ Richard R. Gideon Flags
    KMZ Rosenman ~ Operation Hero Miles ~ HeaterMeals ~ TrackSide Online
    BNG Racing ~ Jayski's ~ Jenni Chase of 104.1 FM (DC)
    Former Governer of Vermont Howard Dean
    A number of forums, and many, many others who support this effort!!!

    An email from Friday, 19 December 2003:
    Dear Marty, Today I received the best Christmas present. It was a reply from any soldier thanking me for the support and all the aid that was sent. It was signed by five soldiers. I can't wait for Monday so I can read the card to the children. They will be so happy. I have the children do other things to reach out to others and make a difference but the any soldier cause was by far the most inspiring. The things came in so quickly and when the boxes were sent the love that we felt in our hearts could not be compared to anything else. Thank you again for all you are doing. I personally plan on sending over some hot meals as soon as the holidays are over.

    Another email from Sunday, 21 December 2003:
    In 1967 I was in another combat zone. I received a package from the Jewish War Veterans. My name had been added to their list by a guy in my unit. The package contained cans of kosher food, some Sabbath candles, a Hebrew prayer book, and a short note. Since I'm not Jewish I was surprised but pleased. I sought out a couple of guys who were Jewish and we celebrated one of the holidays together. I do speak a bit of Hebrew and joined them in their prayers. The package was a bright spot in a long month. The prayer book and yarmulke are still in my collection of memorabilia. I still owed some un-named vet, probably from WW-II.
    When I ran across your web-site the memories came flooding back. My wife and I spend yesterday thinking through what a soldier could use. I could explain what the living conditions were like and what might be helpful. Peg elected to "treat" some unknown lady, while I took the "guy" task. We filled boxes, topping them off with a collection of small toys. I explained to Peg about street kids and war orphans. It was great to share some of the memories and the "debt" is discharged now.
    I also dug out my collection of Emergency Medical Service books and put together yet another package for the Medical Officer. As a retired medic I've been through a lot of great schools and I was delighted to pass along the material. I'm contacting some of my buddies to see what other help we can render to that operation.
    Thanks for organizing and driving this effort. You're helping on both sides of the pond.
    Pete , SSGT (retired)
    Houston, TX
    (Read some of the many email supporting this effort!)

    Tell me about the support your company, school, church, organization, etc. is giving this effort and I will add you to this list.

    Other Great Efforts:

    Urgent Request for Medical Supplies!!

    Email from Cpt Heath, Thu 11/27/2003 12:37 AM
    I was forwarded a copy of the e-mail sent to you by Daren Moody regarding my mother's appearance on the John Hancock show (WBT Radio, Charlotte, NC). I have seen the letter that you uploaded on your site for me. Thank you very much. I was surprised when I went to your website. SGT Brian Horn is from my unit. Also, I have personally seen many of the packages he has received. Many of the younger soldiers working for me have benefitted from your website.
    I wanted to pass on some more information that may assist with placing my project on your website. Attached (click here) is some more background information and some photos that show some of the work we are doing here.
    Thanks again for your help and all that you do to support our troops.
    CPT Robert Heath"
    Click here to listen to the interview with John Hancock of WBT Radio and the mother of Cpt Heath.
    Here is the list of Requested Medical Supplies.
    A recommended source for those able to purchase items for this effort:
    Coast to Coast Medical Supply Co. 1-800-388-4078 ext 103 ask for Alda.

    OperationOperation Hero MilesHero Miles

    SkySoldierSupport Group
    (Open ONLY to folks related to SkySoldiers)

    More Great Efforts Here.

    When this site started I tried to keep it so it would print on just 3 pages which was good for handouts.
    However, with changes in conditions and better information here, I simply can't do that anymore.
    Since the handouts were outdated quickly, getting folks to read the web site is the best thing.
    I suggest that to help spread the word on this please save yourself the ink and use the cards below:

    Want to print a contact card for this? Click here.
    Click here to print a sheet of 8 cards.
    MS Word 2000 document formatted to do 10 contact cards on:
    Avery #5371/8371(28877) or Southworth #BC554 business card stock.
    (You may want to right-click the link and "Save target as..." to your computer.)

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