Former Air Force guardsman and single mother, Barbara Cox of Norman, was looking for a way to support the men and women of the military in a way that did not require a lot of financial commitment.

Letter writing occurred to her and she looked on the Internet and found a site called Solders' Angels. Soldiers' Angels is a volunteer-based non-profit organization that provides aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard and their families.

The organization was founded by Patti Patton-Bader, mother of two American soldiers, both who were deployed to Iraq.

Patton-Bader was inspired to found Soldiers' Angels when her son wrote home from Iraq, expressing his concern that some soldiers did not receive any mail or support from home.

Within a few short months Soldiers' Angels had grown from a mother writing a few extra letters to an Internet community with 200,000 angels worldwide.

Cox gets two names e-mailed to her weekly and her letter writing campaign began. Later she realized there was no community team leader for Norman so she applied to volunteer as a team leader.

As leader, she recruits more volunteers and does fundraising.

"Right now I especially need volunteers to help me brainstorm, recruit and fund raise," Cox said.

Soldiers' Angels has grown and expanded to include many programs that support American service members and their families, including letters, care packages and support to troops overseas; first responder packs; laptop computers and handmade blankets for wounded troops hospitalized or receiving treatment at military hospitals; items shipped to overseas soldiers to give to children in war zones; memorial trees for the families of heroes who have been killed while serving; and emergency airfare for service members and their families who would otherwise not qualify or cannot afford the cost of a flight.

There are many ways to support the troops through Soldiers' Angels.

Those who are crafty can make blankets and neck wraps and bake homemade treats to mail. For the not so crafty, collecting and shipping supplies is needed. Once a soldier is home and sometimes wounded, they may need a ride to a doctor's appointment.

"And people can do as little or as much as they like," Cox said. "I started out writing one letter a week."

Cox also is the angel for Moore, Lexington, Purcell and Noble. She may be reached at 626-5677 or ctlok08@gmail. com or visit www.soldiersangels.com.

"May no soldier go unloved, until they all come home," Patton-Bader said.

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