While the Yellow Ribbon is most commonly used to Support Our Troops, we are going to go with Camo as the Vehicle Color for December as we focus on the Military Family and both sides of their needs during the Holiday Season.
Let us remember all the Troops that are away from their families this Holiday Season.
Come back everyday for the Featured Camo Vehicle Picture of the day!!
PLEASE, PLEASE SHARE THE PICTURES via this link, Facebook (CLICK HERE for post) or any other means. Lets SPREAD Some Awareness!!
Race Team Store is supporting this months Information Campaign.
Have a CAMO vehicle you would like to feature? email to firstname.lastname@example.org
IF You Would Like to Donate, please feel free to pick an organization that we highlight that catches your heart. Let them know you heard about them from this unique information campaign…
Remember, this is an awareness campaign. We are making a difference with the Tool of Information In Our Hands….Use it!
How Many Military Families have a member of their family fighting for us? Noted, these numbers are from December of 2011, but it gives us a good idea of the large number:
Total Active Duty Troop Levels as of December 31st, 2011 – 1,414,000
Air Force – 332,724
Army – 558,571
Marines – 200,225
Navy – 322,629
Currently, the United States has military personnel deployed in about 150 Countries…This covers 75% of The World’s Nations.
The site that we got these facts from has a great interactive map to identify where the majority of the troops are in the world. Again, it is from 2011. http://www.vetfriends.com/US-deployments-overseas
How Do You Support our Military during the Holidays? CLICK HERE to comment
Everyone knows someone that is in the Military and helping fight for our freedom. There are many opitons to supporting groups, all the way down to a specific Unit. So in my initial search, I found a list that is suggested to Military Families as sources of financial help during the holidays. This can also be flipped as the top options to helping a family!
Here are some examples of what may be available:
USO – Contact your local USO and inquire about their holiday programs. Some offer free meals, entertainment, and toys to military families. Holiday festivities may include Thanksgiving dinner, breakfast with Santa, Christmas dinner, holiday food baskets, toy drives, food pantries, and more.
Toys for Tots – Since 1947 the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve program has distributed more than 452 million toys to more than 209 million children. This program is open to all children in the community, including military kids. Families can select their state from the“Request A Toy” tab to learn about how to sign up for the program.
Veterans’ Service Organizations – Many Veterans’ Service Organizations (VFW, American Legion, etc.) provide a wide variety of holiday support to service members, veterans, and their families. Programs vary, but may include holiday meals, food pantries, gift card distribution, and fellowship.
Installation Support – Holiday support at local installations also varies, but may include food baskets, holiday meals, toy donation, fellowship, or entertainment. Contact the family center at your nearest installation and ask about the support provided this year.
Local Nonprofits – The scope of support varies greatly. The nonprofit may have a regional presence, a national name, or only provide support to military families within a certain county. Operation Homefront is an example of a national nonprofit that provides regional support. In some locations they have a holiday meal program, holiday parties, and toy drives for military families. Contact your family support center for a list of nonprofits providing support to military families in your area.
The extra financial pressure of the holiday season or being far away from family and friends may add additional stress to military families. We encourage military families to be good neighbors and friends. If you notice another family in need this holiday season, help connect them with local resources. Together, we can brighten the holiday season for military families.
Additional Information is listed at: http://www.militaryfamily.org/feature-articles/holiday-financial-help-for.html
Although not entirely focused around the Holiday efforts, Wheelers4Warriors Jeep Project has arranged a fundraiser for tonight thanks to Chili’s. Print out the coupon below, Check out the list of Chili’s that are participating, and Go have a Dinner where 15% of the proceeds goes to help a Warrior who Loves to Wheel! (or if Chili’s sounds good for dinner take to your local Chili’s and see if they will participate!?)
Wheelers4Warriors Mission is simple: To restore project vehicles used by veterans and wounded warriors and, in doing so, promote self-reliance, independence, confidence and healing, and share our collective gratitude for those who serve and have served. W4W’s brings together automotive aftermarket enthusiasts, companies and other interested organizations to help improve the lives and give back to our warriors and their families by making necessary repairs, improvements and/or modifications to the vehicles of veterans and wounded warriors. W4W can restore, rebuild or modify any vehicle (off-road or not, jeep, sedan or sports car). W4W will distinguish itself through tangible examples of vehicles completed for individuals and solid bookkeeping and accountability for donations given.
The focus of the current project is a 1998 Jeep TJ that belongs to LCpl Sarah Furbur who is based at Camp Pendleton.
In April 2012, LCpl Furbur was deployed to Camp Dwyer Afghanistan to serve as a motor vehicle operator in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). While deployed it support of OEF, LCpl Furbur logged over 1,500 miles as a primary motor vehicle operator. And on July 10, 2012 her vehicle (a logistics vehicle system recovery vehicle) (LVS-R) was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED). The vehicle was completely destroyed, and LCpl Furbur was seriously injured in the explosion.
LCpl Furbur was sent to the wounded warrior battalion for several weeks while healing from her injuries. She was cleared fit for duty and returned to her unit. Against recommendations from her peers and seniors, LCpl Furbur requested to be put back into the fight and back on the road as soon as possible. For her actions while in support of OEF, LCpl Furbur was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon and the Purple Heart for wounds she received.
For more information on the Wheelers4Warriors project or to make a Tax Deductible Donation please go to: http://www.wheelers4warriors.org/
Thank Military Families – One option for adopting a family this season:::
As our military men and women selflessly serve around the world this holiday season, many of their families here on the home front are struggling just to make ends meet while Dad or Mom is away. So, unfortunately their children wake up with little to no gifts on Christmas morning…as well as the pain of a parent being gone over the holidays.
Every year we send holiday care packages to deployed troops. And to help loved ones here at home, our ‘Adopt a Family’ Christmas program joins individuals, groups and businesses with military families in need. We work with with military families going through significant financial hardship and substantial challenges beyond their control. Most of the families approved for our program are in the midst of deployment over the holidays, but in certain cases we also help families of wounded veterans and other troops at home but in very difficult circumstances making it impossible to provide Christmas gifts for their children.
From A Family…
“My husband is on his second Iraq tour and we couldn’t be more honored. But we, once again, had to spend our Christmas fund on expenses and supplies for him to return to Iraq. It is a tough burden to have to tell your loved one, who is fighting in a war, that he can either call home every other day or pay for Christmas gifts for our kids. But Thank Military Families provided gifts and stockings for each of our kids as well as many other military families in need!”
-Brandee, Army Wife & Mom, Fort Bragg
More Information on How To Support this Organization and a Family go to: http://www.thankmilitaryfamilies.com/
From a Newspaper Article in Army Times
Many Military Families Struggle with Finances
“The stress factors with the families is just unbelievable,” said Roger J. Mealey, a Vietnam veteran who runs a website to aid struggling military families.
While laws give active-duty soldiers extra combat pay, provide housing allowances and exempt them from taxes, experts say, families are straining under multiple deployments, frequent relocations and the difficulty spouses have in getting and keeping jobs in new cities.
A 2010 military survey found that 27 percent of service members said they had more than $10,000 in credit card debt, while 16 percent of civilians do. The study also found more than a third of military families have trouble paying monthly bills, and more than 20 percent reported borrowing money outside of banks.
It’s not easy supporting four people on a staff sergeant’s salary — about $39,000 a year — especially when one member of the family keeps getting sent overseas, said Patrick Bellon, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense.
Read the full article with more explanation and descriptions: http://www.armytimes.com/news/2012/03/ap-many-military-families-struggle-with-finances-032512/
A Christmas From Afar
Poem by Cynthia Gibbs
Two little pairs of bright eyes are anxious to see
What goodies are waiting for them under the tree.
Festive stockings are hanging full to the brim,
Yet the family stands still – waiting for him.
Eagerly their eyes turn to lock on the screen –
Looking for that face they’ve not recently seen.
Without too much delay, they soon get the call.
As his image comes in focus, he hears cries from them all.
They all run to their places, making sure he’s in view;
Their enthusiasm explodes, as if on cue.
He smiles as they unwrap each present in haste:
Hears their laughs, sees their smiles, the delight on each face.
They show him their treasures, hold them up one by one,
And then, expectantly, turn to him when they’re done.
He lays down his weapon, and then with a wide grin
Picks up his care package, opens it, and peers in.
They watch in anticipation as he reveals what’s inside.
Oh, which item is most dear, he could never decide!
For each was chosen especially for him and sent with love
From his sweet little darlings that he thinks the world of.
How his heart longs to be there, to kiss their sweet face,
And to hold them up close in a tender embrace.
Yet from his faraway location that’s in another time zone,
This soldier is grateful for a glimpse of Christmas at home.
as seen on http://armymomstrong.com
Ornament available at: http://www.ornamentshop.com/desert-camouflage-car-christmas-ornament-p4588
Operation Gratitude seeks to lift morale and put smiles on faces by sending care packages addressed to individual Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed in harm’s way, to their children left behind, and to Veterans, Wounded Warriors and First Responders. Operation Gratitude care packages contain food, hygiene products, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation, all wrapped with good wishes of love and support.
Through Collection Drives, Letter Writing Campaigns and Donations of funds for shipping expenses, Operation Gratitude provides civilians anywhere in America a way to express their respect and appreciation to the men and women of the U.S. Military in an active, hands-on manner.
At this time, our most urgent need is for:
~Personal letters for Deployed Troops, Veterans and Wounded Warriors;
~Hand-made Scarves and Paracord Bracelets;
~Beanie Babies/WebKinz/Trolls; and
~Financial donations to pay for production and shipping expenses ($15/package).
Monetary donations to Operation Gratitude are used to pay for production, shipping and communication expenses required to send the care packages. Our cost for each package averages $15. Operation Gratitude sends approximately 100,000 care packages each year, creating a budget of $1.5 Million per year.
Your donation of any amount will be greatly appreciated. More than 98% of all donations are devoted to Program Services. Administrative and fundraising expenses are only 1.3% of our budget.
Operation Gratitude is a 501(c)(3) organization; all donations are tax deductible as provided by law.
For More information go to: http://www.operationgratitude.com/
How Many Women are in the Military? Well, lets see….
|Women Active Duty Military Statistics||Number||Percent of Branch|
|Total number of women serving in the military||214,098||14.6 %|
|Marine Corps||13,677||6.8 %|
|Air Force||63,552||19.1 %|
|Coast Guard||6,790||15.7 %|
|Women Reserve Military Statistics||Number||Percent of Branch|
|Total number of women in the reserves||118,781||19.5 %|
|Total number of women in the National Guard||470,851||15.5 %|
|Female Military Statistics|
|Total number of women veterans||1,853,690|
|Number of military women held as prisoners during the Civil War||1|
|Number of military women held as prisoners during World War II||90|
|Number of military women held as prisoners during Desert Storm||2|
|Number of military women held as prisoners during Operation Iraqi Freedom||3|
Source: http://www.statisticbrain.com/women-in-the-military-statistics via Source: Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs Verified 4/4/2012
Great Timeline of Womens history in the Military starting in the 1700’s :
And for those that need inspiration, here is a link to hundreds of photos of Women in Action: http://www.miliwoman.com
“Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh — Falls the night.
“Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky.
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.
“Then good night, peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear — Friend, good night.”
“TAPS is the most beautiful bugle call. Played slowly and softly, it has a smooth, tender and touching character. The bugle call was written during the Peninsula Campaign of the Civil War by General Butterfield, with an assist from his bugler, Oliver W. Norton, in 1862.
“TAPS” went on from its origin as an alternative to “Lights Out” to become not only a signal that day was done, but also to say good-bye to a fallen comrade.
“TAPS” is customarily played at funerals at Arlington national Cemetery as well as at ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknowns there.
To Read more on the History of TAPS and to Hear it go to http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/taps.htm
We have all heard about or participated in events at the American Legion, but what is it?…..
The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow servicemembers and veterans.
Hundreds of local American Legion programs and activities strengthen the nation one community at a time. American Legion Baseball is one of the nation’s most successful amateur athletic programs, educating young people about the importance of sportsmanship, citizenship and fitness. The Heroes to Hometowns program connects local Legionnaires with recovering wounded warriors and their families, providing a variety of support activities. The Legion raises millions of dollars in donations at the local, state and national levels to help veterans and their families and to provide college scholarship opportunities.
The American Legion is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization with great political influence perpetuated by its grass-roots involvement in the legislation process from local districts to Capitol Hill. Legionnaires’ sense of obligation to community, state and nation drives an honest advocacy for veterans in Washington. The Legion stands behind the issues most important to the nation’s veterans community, backed by resolutions passed by volunteer leadership.
The American Legion’s success depends entirely on active membership, participation and volunteerism. The organization belongs to the people it serves and the communities in which it thrives.
Learn More, and give the gift of a Membership or Donate this Holiday Season. http://www.legion.org
Have you ever heard of the USO Wishbook? How about what the USO does? … Here we go!
The USO provides a tangible way for all of us to say thank you, as it has for 70 years.
Thanks to your generosity, the USO fulfills its mission of lifting the spirits of America’s troops and their families. Through the USO, you touch their lives through an extensive range of programs at more than 160 locations in 27 states and 14 countries, and at hundreds of entertainment events each year. Thousands of USO volunteers do everything possible to provide a home away from home for our troops and to keep them connected to the families they left behind.
The USO makes sure your help goes to those who need it the most: troops serving in combat, their families, our wounded warriors and their families, and families of the fallen.
As a nonprofit, non-political organization, the USO is now, and always will be, about our troops. Wherever and whenever they go, the USO will be there, until every one comes home.
So then we turn the page to the Wishbook where you purchase something for an individual::::
1.CHOOSE YOUR GIFT – Pick a gift for any occasion – birthdays, weddings or holidays. Support our troops and their families with a gift from the USO Wishbook.
2.PURCHASE YOUR GIFT – Once you have purchased your gift, the USO will ensure that your gift goes to help lift the spirits of America’s troops and their families.
3.SEND AN ECARD – After you make your purchase, you can send an eCard to gift recipients with a personal message, and tell them how your gift will benefit troops and their families.
There are great gifts to choose from. You can choose by price – $0 to over $500 ; who you want it to go to – the Deployed, Military Families or Wounded Warriors ; and even separate it to Him, Her, Children or Colleagues.
Check it out, and tell a friend. Pretty Cool! http://usowishbook.uso.org/all-gifts/
2012 USPS Holiday Shipping Cut Off Dates for Military Members
>>>> MONDAY DECEMBER 17TH <<<>>> LAST DAY TO EXPRESS MAIL <<<<
Send Something to a Friend, Family or Acquaintance in the Military this Christmas
The Christmas holidays are almost here, which means you need to act quickly if you have friends or family members who are living overseas on a military installation. Shipping to APO/FPO addresses can take a little longer than shipping in the continental US, especially when the holiday season rolls around.
The following tables list the USPS holiday cut off dates for domestic, MPO/APO/FPO, and other overseas locations. Pay attention to the shipping cut off dates in order to make sure your Christmas gifts arrive on time for the holidays. You should try to beat the cut off dates if possible, as some shipments may require customs checks or may experience other delays.
USPS Cutoff Table: https://www.usps.com/shippingdates/welcome.htm
Why Help our Military Families? ( As Per Operation Homefront )
The statistics are staggering. Hundreds of thousands of military families feel the effects of war: Post-Traumatic Stress; Traumatic Brain Injury; bodily injuries and death; and financial and emotional struggles.
Operation Homefront is here to help. Our mission is to assist American military service members and their families when they have needs associated with financial hardships that arise as a result of their military service. But we can’t do it alone. Your donation will make all the difference for these heroes who serve our country.
How? For every dollar given, $0.94 directly helps military families and wounded warriors. We are proud to have received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, and an “A” rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy. In addition, we are registered with the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance.
Since 2002, Operation Homefront has met the needs of more than 400,000 families and personnel nationwide and invested $128 million of funding in programs to support them. Much like the military, we have a “no man left behind” attitude to help every possible family and wounded warrior who sacrifices so much for the freedoms we enjoy. When we can’t fill a need, we help families access other organizations that can help, then we take on the role of advocate to make sure they receive the assistance they need.
For More Information go to Operation Homefront: http://www.operationhomefront.net/currentneeds.aspx
News Article and Video of Christmas Shopping Spree hosed by Operation Homefront: http://www.okcfox.com/newsroom/top_stories/videos/kokh_vid_8625.shtml
Charlene Comments: Some People ask why I do these monthly campaigns and dedicate time out of every day to create a post…. Good Question. Initially, it was because I don’t have much money to donate to a cause, but we all have the power of our voice. This is why I encourage you to share these posts, to use your power of your voice. Amazingly the voice has been heard and conversations like below continue to keep me motivated to research and share!
A PM that I woke up to this morning from an Iraq Veteran 2004 ~ Fresno, CA:
Our Heroes Dreams ( http://www.ourheroesdreams.org )
Vision Quest Ranch ( http://visionquestranch.com/html/_welcome_to_our_jungle_.html )
Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes ( http://www.saluteheroes.org/ )
American Legion ( http://www.legion.org/ )It’s tough to pin down one of these, together they are all valuable. But my wife says Vision Quest Ranch and Our Heroes Dreams for giving us 5 days together with our son at the safari ranch.”
Yes, that is his Rig! And below is another picture that he sent me of them in Iraq…
Today is Wreaths Across America Day: Saturday, December 15, 2012
Find a Wreaths Across America Location Near You: http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/locations
Join in on their celebration and wreath placing today, or make a visit this week to see all the wreaths.
Watch This… http://youtu.be/GC6BtKwKaUY
[vsw id=”GC6BtKwKaUY” source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”]
More Information: http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/
Our mission, Remember, Honor, Teach, is carried out in part by coordinating wreath laying ceremonies a specified Saturday inDecember at Arlington, as well as veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond. We also organize a week of events including international veteran’s tributes, ceremonies at State Houses and a week-long “Veteran’s Parade” between Maine and Virginia where we stop along the way to spread our message about the importance of remembering our fallen heroes, honoring those who serve, and teaching our children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families to preserve our freedoms.
This week of events is made possible by thousands of volunteers who organize local ceremonies, raise funds to sponsor wreaths, and participate in the events. We receive no government funding. The cost of our programs is paid by individual wreaths sponsors, corporate donors and volunteer truckers.
We also coordinate veteran services and recognition through a variety of programs, and provide schools with teaching aides for projects throughout the year.
Sunday, Dec 16:
A Military Family’s Prayer
our service and spirit supports our loved one far away.
War has called them to serve, and us to wait,
in our waiting, we serve too, with strong hearts.We are the families of those who defend America,
our shared sacrifices are for our country too,
we smile, to keep the spirit of our troops strong,
at home we handle things and hold hope’s flame high.Our families do not complain, we serve,
dedicated to America’s freedom and liberty,
we are the keepers of Valley Forge’s legacy,
we are the families of America’s military.Bless us, as we bless this country with our lives,
protect our troops and protect our loved ones from harm,
Bless them and bring them home safe.Abby Willowroot © 2008
Today I break the mold. I use a groups picture without a vehicle. But it is right…Read On…Tell Someone that Needs Help about this Group.
Military Wives Go Artistically Topless To Raise Awareness For PTSD
Photo Source Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/BattlingBare
“Tired of seeing their husbands struggle with PTSD without getting the care they need, a group of desperate military wives are going topless to get the attention their cause deserves.
One in five veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, a debilitating condition that can lead to violent mood swings, alcoholism and suicide. But, despite the widespread nature of the disorder and its potential risks, vets say they’re not getting proper medical treatment, which is what inspired Ashley Wise to launch “Battling Bare.”
All wives of vets suffering with PTSD, the initiative’s members scrawl messages of commitment to their struggling husbands on their bare backs.
“Broken by battle, wounded by war, my love is forever,” the vow reads. “To you this I swore, I will quiet your silent screams, help heal your shattered soul, until once again, my love, you are whole.”
Veterans make up 20 percent of suicides in the United States, and ex-soldiers 24 and under take their own lives at four times the rate of other veterans, according to Face the Facts. Some are too afraid to open up about their pain because it could hurt their military record, Wise explained to news outlets.
Soon after her husband’s arrest, Wise made a bold move and posted her first nearly nude photo. Wearing nothing but her husband’s camouflage cap and with his assault rifle perched above her head, the dutiful wife bore her naked torso with her vow inscribed in pen. Within minutes of posting the image to Facebook, the image went viral, grabbing the kind of focus that she believes PTSD is sorely lacking.
You may have heard of Toys for Tots, and have probably given to a toy drive, but do you know what their goal and objectives are?
The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.
The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.
The objectives of Toys for Tots are to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future.
The principal Toys for Tots activity which takes place each year is the collection and distribution of toys in the communities in which a Marine Corps Reserve Unit is located. In communities without a Reserve Unit, the campaign can be conducted by a Marine Corps League Detachment or group of men and women, generally veteran Marines, authorized by Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to conduct a local Toys for Tots campaign. Local Toys for Tots Campaign Coordinators conduct an array of activities throughout the year, which include golf tournaments, foot races, bicycle races and other voluntary events designed to increase interest inToys for Tots, and concurrently generate toys and monetary donations.
You can still Donate a Toy: Find a Location Near You: http://www.toysfortots.org/donate/toys.aspx
Have you watched the Lifetime Original Series ‘Army Wives’ ? http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/army-wives
“Army Wives,” Lifetime’s most successful series in the network’s history follows the struggles, dreams and friendships of a diverse group of women — and one man — living with their spouses and families on an active Army post. The series films in Charleston, South Carolina, and stars Kim Delaney (Claudia Joy Holden), Sally Pressman (Roxy LeBlanc), Brigid Brannagh (Pamela Moran), Brian McNamara (Michael Holden), Sterling K. Brown (Roland Burton), Wendy Davis (Joan Burton), Drew Fuller (Trevor LeBlanc), Terry Serpico (Frank Sherwood) and Catherine Bell (Denise Sherwood).
Kelli Williams (“The Practice”) joins the cast this season, playing Jacqueline “Jackie” Clarke, the ambitious wife of two-star Major General Kevin Clarke. Television icon Susan Lucci (“All My Children”) makes several guest star appearances as Audrey, the wife of a retired Brigadier General, reuniting her with her former “All My Children” co-star Delaney.
The series is based on the book “Army Wives” by Tanya Biank, who serves as a show consultant.
Season 7 Premies March 2013. Watch some highlights from the show here: http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/army-wives
If you are travelling “home” this weekend or to your families home, and are in the airport, watch for the Military folks and don’t be shy to say Thank You. TSA has an entire page on how to assist the Military travel easier.
Thank You for Your Service to Our Country!
We salute and appreciate the sacrifice of all of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Services. The following are some helpful hints for screening your person, carry-on bags and checked baggage to help you achieve a trouble-free travel experience at the airport.
We provide information for family members who would like to obtain gate passes to accompany or meet loved ones at the gate and in addition provide comprehensive airport security information for severely injured military personnel.
– Screening of Military Personnel
– Packing Tips for Military Personnel
– Transporting Firearms and Ammunition
– Transport of Weapons by an Individual Soldier
– Accommodations for U.S. Military Personnel
Military Family Member Gate Passes
Family members who want to accompany a military service member being deployed to the boarding gate or greet them returning from deployment at the arrival gate may receive passes to enter the secure area of the airport.
Interested military family members should contact their air carrier representative at the departure/arrival airport for proper local procedures.
– Severely Injured Military Personnel
– Persons with Disabilities Security Screening
For More Information go to: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/military-personnel
With only 3 days of Christmas Shopping left, here is an option for some Unique and Quality Military Themed Gifts for those in Your Family or a Friend that needs to be uplifted for their efforts: http://www.militarygifts4u.com
ABOUT Military Gifts 4 U:
We at Military Gifts 4 U are retired military members and want to honor our US Military with the best and most unique products we can find in a variety of categories. If you can’f find what you are looking for, give us a chance to research and find it for you. We can also take care of specialized unit requests with certain minimum orders.
Please make us your number 1 resource for military gift items and t-shirts.
Our site is sorted into categories to make it easier to shop. Below is a list of products lines we carry for each branch of the military.
See a HUGE Selection of Products: http://www.militarygifts4u.com
We know that Animals have healing power. Their unconditional love that greets you at the door. The Soldier’s Best Friend program is an excellent opportunity available to Military with PTSD or TBI. Tell someone who may benefit from this service: http://soldiersbestfriend.org/
Our Mission: To provide United States military veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) with a trained Service or Therapeutic Companion Dog, most of these dogs of which will be rescued from local shelters.
Our Goal: To help our war heroes improve in their symptoms of PTSD, adjust back into civilian life, lead a more productive life and help them build self esteem. This is accomplished by pairing the veteran with a dog and training the two together. We also want to help the pet overpopulation problem by helping place shelter or rescue dogs into good homes.
We are devoted to helping our veterans and the pet overpopulation problem.
Once a veteran or active military member is accepted into our program they will be paired with a dog adopted from a local shelter or with a dog already owned by the vet.
Depending on the individual need of the applicant we will train them with 1 of 2 types of dogs; a Certified Service Dog or a Therapeutic Companion Dog / Emotional Support Animal.
A Certified Service Dog is allowed by law to enter public places such as the veteran’s work place, restaurants, buses, stores, etc. These are rights set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
A Therapeutic Companion Dog / Emotional Support Animal will not be allowed to enter most public venues. This dog is fully obedience trained. These dogs by law are allowed to board airplanes and live in non pet friendly environments.
Read More and See Full Application Process: http://soldiersbestfriend.org
I just found an Awesome Website! Soldiers’ Angels ~ May No Soldier Go Unloved
This is their History and over the next couple days we will look at some of their projects and ways to make sure that Every Soldier is Loved!
Soldiers’ Angels was started by a self-described ordinary mother of two American soldiers, Patti Patton-Bader. Her eldest son, Staff Sergeant Brandon Varn, deployed to Iraq from 2003-2004, and her youngest was deployed in 2008.
In the summer of his 2003, Brandon expressed concern that some soldiers in his deployed unit did not receive any mail or support from home. Being a loving and caring mother, Patti decided not to allow a situation like that to continue. She quickly contacted a handful of friends and extended family and asked if they would support a soldier or two. Within just a few months, Soldiers’ Angels went from a mother sending a few extra care packages and letters, to an Internet community with thousands of Angels worldwide.
With more and more merchants donating services, money and items for packages, Soldiers’ Angels reorganized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2004. Soldiers’ Angels currently supports tens of thousands of American military personnel around the world and here at home. Today our hundreds of thousands of volunteers are led by an all-volunteer Board of Trustees as Soldiers’ Angels works around the world to address military-related needs ranging from deployed support to wounded care, to remembrance of the fallen and a wide variety assistance for military families.
Read More: http://soldiersangels.org/
Happy Christmas Eve! I have found another site that has a lot of great opportunities for Supporting Soldiers – Wounded Soldiers participate in sports and work on cars!
Operation Comfort – It didn’t allow me to copy and paste their objectives so please click here: http://www.operationcomfort.org/about-us/
They have 7 different programs (listed) including Amputee Surfing, Automotivation, Hand Cycling and Bike Riding, Swimming, Skiing, Sled Hockey, Softball and general Family Financial Assistance. http://www.operationcomfort.org/programs/
Maybe this is a way that you feel best about Supporting a Soldier.
Christmas Day, I raise my glass and say a prayer for all of our Soldiers away from their families this year. I found this Christmas Poem, both written and in YouTube form…
A SOLDIER’S CHRISTMAS
‘Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
in a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give,
and to see just who in this little house lived.
As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No Stockings by mantle, just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
A sobering thought came through my mind.
For this house was different, it was dark and dreary,
The home of a soldier, I could now see clearly.
The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
Not how I picture a United States Soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
I realized the families that I saw this night,
owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play,
and grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.
I couldn’t help wondering how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to one knee and started to cry.
The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
“Santa don’t cry, for this life is my choice”.
I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more,
My life is my God, my country, my corps.”
The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent and still,
as we both shivered from the cold night’s chill.
I didn’t want to leave, on that cold, dark night,
this guardian of honor, so willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,
whispered, “Carry on Santa…., It’s Christmas Day…., All is secure.
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend…. and to all a Good Night.
~ Author Unknown *~
[vsw id=”OdEFaOoSBsw” source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”]
Another option for sending and supporting our troops. Started in Aug of 2003 and still in motion now, this program gives you the direct opportunity to ship to AnySoldier, AnyMarine, AnySailor, AnyAirman, AnyCoastGuard.
Find out more: http://anysoldier.com/
You send your support, and maybe some stuff, directly to whatever unit or units YOU select.
We have volunteer Soldier “contacts” on the “Where To Send” page. They list what the folks they represent want and need. Click through the names and YOU select who YOU wish to support, then YOU send direct to them. We even have a search capability so you can easily identify what the troops need, who you wish to support, etc.
All the Soldiers involved in this effort are military volunteers stationed in areas that are overseas. You send your support (letters and/or packages) addressed to them and when they see the “Attn: Any Soldier®” line in their address they put your letters and packages into the hands of Soldiers who don’t get much or any mail first. Everything is shared.
Please, never start a drive or collection unless you have sent packages yourself first.
We want you to be informed and comfortable with this effort.
This is an intriguing need for our wounded soldiers: Adaptive Clothing made by Sew Much Comfort (SMC) established in 2004. http://www.sewmuchcomfort.org/
To provide custom-made adaptive clothing, free of charge, to all wounded service members from current conflicts and from all branches of the military and National Guard. We wish to aide in their recovery, provide a tangible reminder of our gratitude for their sacrifice and give them an added measure of comfort, dignity and freedom as they recover from their injuries and return to everyday life. Adaptive clothing accommodates their medical devices and situations, provides ease of use, increases personal independence and minimizes the visual impact of their injuries.
•Sew Much Comfort has created adaptive clothing and comfort accessories to meet the unique needs of the wounded. From the beginning of the design process we solicited input from the wounded and the medical staff to ensure that SMC clothing meets the broadest needs of the injured.
•Seamstresses use copyrighted patterns and instructions created by SMC to create our custom adaptive clothing.
•Sew Much Comfort provides adaptive clothing to all branches of the military and national guard serving in current conflicts.
•Sew Much Comfort is the only organization providing adaptive clothing at no cost to our wounded service members.
•Since we organized in November of 2004, SMC has provided 115,000 plus pieces of adaptive clothing to military hospitals in the United States, Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Here is a Thank you Letter from a Soldier that also helps explain how they help:::::
My name is Antonio. You probably don’t remember me or my story but, I remember you every time I open one of my clothes drawers. I received some of your clothes during my stay in Walter Reed Medical Center, as I was there recovering from wounds I received in Afghanistan. I was very badly wounded and your clothes with the Velcro sides allowed me to change my clothes with less pain than I would have been able to otherwise. When I left Walter Reed for Palo Alto my wife Veronica contacted your group asking for help again. I am very happy to say that your group was able to once again help me and sent me more pants, shorts, and drawers which I still use today. I just want to thank you and your group for all your help I had broken my pelvis, shattered my foot and broken both my legs. Without your fine clothes I don’t I would have been able to be dressed without being in terrible agony so I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you and the volunteers who help you do it really means a lot to me and my wife. If you can thank everyone there it would mean a whole lot to us. By the way I came though fine my pelvis was fixed, my legs healed and I lost my foot. Don’t worry about the foot though it was my left one which I never liked anyways and I have a prosthesis already so I am walking already. Once again thank you and keep up the good work. ~Antonio
Read More and see how you as a Seamstress or donator can help contribute: http://www.sewmuchcomfort.org/
The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the armed forces of the U.S. who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action. It is specifically a combat decoration.
The organization now known as the “Military Order of the Purple Heart,” was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest of all who have received the decoration. Composed exclusively of Purple Heart recipients, it is the only veterans service organization comprised strictly of “combat” veterans.
Funds for welfare, rehabilitation and/or service work carried on by the organization are derived through the collection of used household items, the operation of thrift stores, through the donation of automobiles and, at the community level, from the annual distribution of its official flower, the Purple Heart Viola. Violas are assembled by disabled and needy veterans, many of whom receive little or no compensation from other sources. Thus, your contribution to our programs serve are two-fold. First, they help the veterans who participate in these endeavors and, secondly, they enable the organization to do many things on behalf of hospitalized and needy veterans and their families.
Wives, mothers, daughters, step-daughters and adopted daughters of Purple Heart recipients are eligible to belong to the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, which also does important work nationally and locally in veterans’ hospitals.
…As of August 2012…
The National Headquarters of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) is located in Springfield, Virginia. The Order
now includes about 45,300 total members, organized into 6 geographical Regions, 50 State Departments, and 478
Chapters. The Order’s annual operating budget is approximately $9.7 million of which nearly $6.4 million goes to support
the Service Program. The majority of the funding is received from the MOPH Service Foundation through either restricted
or unrestricted grants. The Service Foundation receives their money through various fundraising activities, such as thrift
stores and a vehicle donation program. The Order has a number of national programs which are described below.
Learn more about the Purple Heart, their Programs and how to Become a Member. http://purpleheart.org
This is a completely different look at Supporting our Troops. Spirit of America: Make the troops safer and more successful at their jobs in other countries. Helps them get home quicker and safer.
Watch Video that explains the Spirit of America by the CEO Jim Hake. http://bloom.bg/HNDdMd#ooid=02MnRoNDqMVWUsHHNeh_mxEovnrfHqiP
Spirit of America is a non-profit organization: a 501c3 public charity. Our mission is to help Americans serving abroad assist people in need.
We were founded in 2003. Since then we have provided millions in targeted assistance to help US troops to help local people in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa: Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq, Pakistan, Djibouti and Kenya.
We’ve established a groundbreaking model for partnership of a nonprofit organization with the US military. Our support is fast, flexible and decentralized. It improves conditions and relationships on the front lines. It makes our troops safer and more successful in their mission. And, it helps people in remote areas that official aid programs don’t often reach.
Examples of our support
Goods: we’ve provided sewing machines, school supplies, tools, water pumps, solar lights, midwife kits, winter jackets, sandals, medical supplies and much more.
Expertise: we provide troops access to private-sector know-how through our partnership with GLG Research. Troops only need ask us a question. We’ve connected troops with experts in flood control, road construction, business creation and more.
Solutions: Our School Partners program pairs American schools with schools in countries where US troops serve. Students videoconference and US schools assist their overseas partner.
How we are funded
100% of every dollar you contribute goes directly to the project, or use, that you choose. We are supported solely through private contributions from individuals, foundations and businesses.
We do not receive funding from the government or military but each private gift dollar to Spirit of America builds upon investments already being made by the United States.
Why people support us
Some see Spirit of America as a way to support our troops and help them be safer and more successful in their mission. Others see us as a way to help directly people who have suffered from repression, conflict and war. And others see Spirit of America as a way to improve the position and image of America in the world and advance freedom and peace.
Another Opportunity to support our Troops: Operation Homefront
MISSION: Operation Homefront (OH) provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of our service members and wounded warriors.
VISION: Through generous, widespread public support and a collaborative team of exceptional staff and volunteers, we aspire to become the provider of choice for emergency financial and other assistance to the families of our service members and wounded warriors. Where there is a need we do not provide, we will partner with others for the benefit of our military families.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: In 2011, we met 155,984 needs for military families, including active duty, Guard and Reserve members from all branches of service. Since its inception, Operation Homefront has provided more than $128 million dollars of funding to programs to benefit military families. Moreover, it has served more than 4,200 wounded warriors and their families.
KEY SERVICES: Operation Homefront provides direct services to alleviate a military family’s or individual’s actual/complete emergency financial burden, as well as counseling and/or recovery support. Emergency financial assistance is in the form of checks paid directly to mortgage lenders, auto mechanics, contractors, hospitals, doctors, dentists and other providers. Other emergency funding assistance, which an applicant receives within 24 to 72 hours, includes the following:
- Financial assistance
- Emergency food
- Emergency home repairs
- Critical baby items: formula, food and diapers
- Home and appliance repair
- Furniture and household items
- Local moving assistance
- Community events
- Wounded Warrior Transitional Family Housing
Read more: http://www.operationhomefront.net
QUICK AND SIMPLE – Looks like they have an opportunity to receive $250,000 with votes. Here is the link, it’s simple: http://www.operationhomefront.net/highlights.aspx?id=15654
Good news starting Jan 1st for the Military, a 1.7% pay increase for 2013.
2013 US Military Basic Pay Charts
December 27, 2012, President Obama signed Executive Order 13635 “Adjustments of Certain Rates of Pay” that increased the rates of monthly basic pay by 1.7% pay raise per ECI for members of the uniformed services per U.S.C. 37 203(a), and made it effective January 1, 2013. When the NDAA for 2013 is signed, the funding will be available for the raise. If the NDAA is not signed in time for the Jan. 1 effective date, pay will be made retroactive.
On December 21, 2012, reconciled and approved by both the full Senate and House, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013 is now on its way to President Obama for final signature. Because there is no change to the mandate of U.S.C. Title 37 in the bill, the 1.7 percent military pay raise based on ECI will be approved via Executive Order (same procedure as last year) — the effective date of the raise will be January 1, 2013. Provided the president signs the NDAA before the New Year to provide funding for the pay raise, it should be part of the first check of 2013.
Read More and See Charts: http://www.navycs.com/2013-military-pay-chart.html
Another month has come to an end. The Month of Military Family Awareness took a couple different turns after researching.
What did I learn?
I learned that for most people the words “I support the Military” is easily said, but there are very few actually “doing something.”
I learned that there are many websites that are built to “support the military” but only a handful have actually been updated in the last 12 months, much less even more recent.
I learned that most of the organizations that are asking to support the Military are asking for Money, not necessarily good faith or work.
I learned that as of December 31st, 2011 – there are 1,414,000 Active Military and there are more than 312 million Americans. In doing the math that is less that a half of percent of Americans are in the Active Military.
I learned about PTSD and the long term effect on not only the person, but also on their families.
I decided that I want to be part of the Wreaths Across America Day next year and have already put a note on my 2013 calendar.
I learned that there are only a handful of Camo Vehicles!
To see all the Camo Vehicles from this month and review the different organizations that we highlighted, be sure to visit: http://bowermedia.com/2012/12/a-month-of-camo-vehicles/
And a Few More….
PREVIOUS MONTH CAUSE:
OCTOBER: Pink Vehicles – Breast Cancer Awareness CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL
NOVEMBER: Light Blue – Prostate Cancer, Childhood Cancer, Trisomy 18, and Scleroderma CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL