InSITE--Help the Troops Travel

Do you fly often enough to have a few thousand frequent flier miles, but not enough to go anywhere? Rather than let those miles go to waste, how about letting them help our military men and women get a much needed break from Operation Iraqi Freedom? I found a way that won't cost you a dime.

It's actually pretty simple. A few calls or clicks, and somebody in uniform is as good as home for the holidays.

The site is Hero Miles and it really meets a need. With the missions in Iraq running so long, the Pentagon's decided to give troops a chance for a little R & R, rest and recuperation. The military will fly them to either Germany or the Baltimore - Washington area for free. But to get anywhere else, they have to pay for another plane ticket. The site explains the process.

There's the usual list of frequently asked questions. The FAQ should always be your first stop on any web site asking for your money or your help. They have some pretty good answers here.

You'll also need to know if your airline is involved in the program. So there's a list. Delta, one of the biggest carriers in our area is on it. If you want to get right to the point, they have a form you can fill out and sent the miles right away. If your favorite airline is not on the list, there's actually a list of them, so you can click or call and maybe put a little pressure on them to get involved. You might try calling or writing for another reason, since some airlines have their own charitable efforts they'll be happy to tell you about.

On the other side of the story, if you have a loved one serving overseas right now, the site explains how they can get help with a ticket home. They also have a page of links most military personnel and their families will find useful when it comes to making the most of that R & R.