June 14, 2008
As we go about our day, driving from place to place, in the cities we live in, we see the symbol of our country flying proudly. 231 years ago, on June 14th, 1777, Congress authorized the “Stars and Stripes” as the official symbol of the United States of America. The official entry in the journal of the Continental Congress 1774-1789 reads:
“Resolved that the flag of the thirteen United States be Thirteen stripes alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”
I often wonder how many parents in this great country, teach their children the significance of our nation’s symbol. Over the years, as people have screamed and hollered about their “Constitutional Rights” our children have learned less and less about it’s significance in our nations schools. Our children aren’t allowed to say the “Pledge of Allegiance” in school anymore, because the words might offend someone elses religious beliefs. Sad isn’t it? But I’m going to print those words here. Those words say so much about the foundation of our country. Just Thursday, I shared a story with our readers about a US Judge holding a naturalization ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery, in order to impart upon the men and women who were taking the oath of citizenship, the importance of this country and the importance of the men and women who laid down their lives to ensure that they could enjoy their rights as American citizens. Judge Ellis, an immigrant himself, understood the significance of the “Pledge of Allegiance” and I would imagine that the 70 people taking the oath that day, understood it as well, by the time the ceremony was finished.
I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic
for which it stands,
liberty and justice for all.
June 13, 2008
As part of his duties as US District Judge, T.S. Ellis III swears in immigrants from more than 30 countries, as US citizens, during their naturalization ceremonies. For years he has presided over naturalization ceremonies on the third Thursday of every month in his courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia.
He began his day as he normally does, slipping into his black robe. The prosecutor made a motion and the clerk administered the oath. As Judge Ellis began speaking on Wednesday, American Flags fluttered in the breeze, military aircraft buzzed overhead and the graves of Soldiers, some freshly dug and some from centuries ago, stood solemnly in silent testimony. For the 70 people who were gathered to be sworn in as U.S. citizens, it was the happiest day of their lives.
Judge Ellis had chosen to move his courtroom that day, from Alexandria to Arlington National Cemetery, to swear in the immigrants. His idea was to impress upon the new citizens, about the sacrifices that have been made for the freedoms they would enjoy as US citizens. This is the very first time in the 144 year history of Arlington National Cemetery that a naturalization ceremony had been held there.
“This is truly a wonderful day,” said Ellis, his voice breaking with emotion as he spoke about the virtues of citizenship, US history and the warriors who were buried around him. The ceremony was held in a white columned amiptheater that dates back to 1864, standing in front of a stone marker that bore the phrase “e pluribus unum”, that is on the Great Seal of the United States. Judge Ellis told the immigrants and their families, “It is a wonderful day for each of you, because today you will join the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
Judge Ellis is very passionate about what it means to be a US citizen. That passion comes from his past. Judge Ellis shares a something in common with the immigrants. He too is an immigrant, who was born in Bogota, Columbia. Judge Ellis, at 68 is now approaching retirement and wanted to try something different, something that might be more meaningful, so he chose to move the ceremony to Arlington National Cemetery. Read more
May 30, 2008
When Soldiers are deployed, one thing that helps to make their deployment easier is being able to connect with their families and friends back home. Morale is very important to Troops in the warzone and having that connection with loved ones, helps to improve their morale, making it much easier for them to continue in their mission. A partnership between AT&T and Cell Phones For Soldiers understands that importance and are doing something about it.
Recently, AT&T, The Navy Exchange and Cell Phones For Soldiers celebrated Fleet Week 2008, with members of the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard in New York City. Working together, they donated 7,000 land and sea based prepaid phone cards to the members of the Armed Forces who were in New York City last Thursday for Fleet Week 2008. Other efforts that the partnership have going is the Earth Day Challenge, where AT&T and Cell Phones For Soldiers have pledged to work together and collect more than 1.8 million recycled cell phones by Earth Day 2009.
AT&T and Cell Phones for Soldiers Launch Earth Day Challenge: Double Cell Phone Recycling by Next Earth Day to Support the Environment and Military Families
Recycling Program That Sends Phone Cards to Troops Has Helped Avoid 125 Tons of E-Waste; AT&T’s Support for Program Expands to Add ‘Helping Hands’ From a Network of more than 300,000 AT&T Volunteers
San Antonio, Texas, April 21, 2008
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) announced today that the company will work with Cell Phones for Soldiers (CPFS) to drive recycling and reduce e-waste through the next year with a goal of doubling the number of cell phones the charity recycles by next Earth Day. CPFS collects and recycles mobile phones and uses the proceeds to buy free phone cards for U.S. military members and their families.
Since Earth Day 2007, CPFS has collected more than 900,000 cell phones for recycling. AT&T and CPFS have pledged to work together to help the charity collect more than 1.8 million devices by Earth Day 2009. AT&T currently supports the charity’s recycling through more than 2,000 AT&T stores in more than 1,100 cities across the U.S. AT&T is expanding that support to include a network of more than 300,000 community volunteers, a national donation drive running through July 2008 and a new online starter kit for donations.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, e-waste is accumulating three times faster than household trash. Since 2004, CPFS has collected more than 1.25 million mobile phones. The charity’s recycling partner, ReCellular, estimates that this has prevented more than 125 tons of e-waste from entering landfills, including the environmental equivalents of:
Saving enough energy to power nearly 4,000 U.S. households for a year. Avoiding the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as removing more than 2,800 passenger cars from the roads for a year. Keeping more than two tons of toxic materials out of landfills. “With Earth Day and Cell Phones for Soldiers, we’re turning up the volume on cell phone recycling,” said Paul Roth, president of Marketing and Sales for AT&T’s wireless unit. “So far this year, our weekly in-store recycling averages are five times what they were in 2007 and 28 times more than the same time in 2006. AT&T is proud to support both of these worthwhile programs.”
AT&T Adds New People Power: The AT&T Pioneers
One way AT&T is supporting the recycling challenge is through the added support of the AT&T Pioneers. Beginning Earth Day on April 22, a network of more than 300,000 volunteers will begin helping expand the charity’s cell phone donation drives into communities across the U.S. Roughly 100 new donation locations will be established, and volunteers will work to collect phones in corporate offices and community locations from the days surrounding Earth Day through July 4 to support the environment and to help keep military families connected with free phone cards.
New Free Online Donation Drive Tool Kit
AT&T and CPFS are also launching a new online tool designed to support community groups and help individuals launch and conduct their own donation drives with a new electronic “starter kit,” available at AT&T Recycle Wireless. The tool is available to anyone who would like to run a donation drive with CPFS, and it includes environmental tips, planning tools, camera-ready artwork for recycling bins and other relevant materials.
“We’re excited to have the support of the AT&T Pioneers and a new free tool to offer our supporters,” said CPFS co-founder Brittany Bergquist. “We run our charity from home, and we rely on volunteer support to collect phones for recycling. Having more helping hands to drive our mission to recycle for the troops â€” and reduce e-waste â€” is something that makes a huge impact on our ability to reach people and, in the end, send more free calls to the troops. Having a new free tool that anyone can use is one more way we’re making it simple for people to join us.”
Since AT&T launched its support, the company has also donated more than 60,000 prepaid phone cards â€” valued at more than $500,000 â€” to CPFS to help the charity connect more military families. In the past two years, AT&T has donated more than $4 million worth of prepaid phone cards to help support U.S. military members and their families. These donations include direct distributions to troops serving in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, South Korea, Japan and Europe. The company also has built 70 calling centers in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan.
Both of these programs are great initiatives to provide our Troops a way to keep in touch with their families and friends during their deployment and goes a long way towards showing our Troops how much corporations such as AT&T and citizens support them, while they continue their jobs in the Global War on Terror. If you’d like to participate in the programs or perhaps read more about ways that AT&T supports the Troops, please visit their website, via the link provided below.
May 29, 2008
Memorial Day has come and gone. How many of us stopped and gave thought to the brave souls who gave their lives in other countries? How many of us wondered if anyone would be visiting their graves and paying them the respect and honor they deserve on this day?
During World War II, 10,000 U.S. service members died on the beaches of Normandy. Unfortunately on Memorial Day, it can be rather difficult for us to go to the American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, that sits high upon a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach and pay our respects to the US servicemembers who lost their lives and were buried there. Eight years ago, a French couple founded an organization that adopts the graves of American servicemembers who lost their lives their during the Normandy invasion. They encourage French families to place flowers on the graves on Memorial Day, when their own family members are unable to make the trip to France to do so. The all volunteer group, called Les Fleurs de la Memoire, or in English Flowers of Memory ensures that the brave servicemembers who lost their lives there 64 years ago, are not forgotten. Marie Therese La Vieille, who founded the group eight years ago with her husband, says that she feels it’s important that each Soldier who is laid to rest there, be remembered, when his own family can’t make the trip to France to do so themselves.
“When we joined, we promised to visit the graves once a year and to lay flowers on the graves,” she said. “Sometimes people take flowers from their own gardens. And they say it is like a son, like a cousin, like a brother. It is a member of the family.”
On Memorial Day this year, dozens of members of Les Fleurs de la Memoire shoed up at Colleville-sur-Mer for the annual Memorial Day ceremony. The ceremony begins with a flyover by US jets in the missing man formation. A French priest then recites the Lord’s Prayer, a rabbi chants the Kaddish and a French military band plays the Star Spangled Banner.
Jennie Malcomb, while investigating the death of her uncle PFC Walter Malcomb came across Les Fleurs de a Memoire, and contacted them, asking if they could place flowers on her uncle’s grave. Two months later, she was surprised when she received a photo of her uncle’s grave in the mail.
“It was quite an emotional experience,” she said.
While the ceremony is being conducted, a simple tribute is taking place near the back of the cemetery. Jean Michel Miette, kneels in front of the grave of Jennie’s uncle. He’s the one who adopted Malcomb’s grave. He made the trip from Paris to honor PFC Walter C. Malcomb. He, like Jennie Malcomb, found out about Les Fleurs de la Memoire, just last summer. He’s grateful for the organization which enables him to honor the American Soldiers who sacrificed their lives for his country and for their liberty.
“With enormous emotion in my heart, I want to say thank you, Walter,” Miette says. “I will never forget you or your heroic compatriots.”
Since Les Fleurs de la Memoire brought Jennie and Jean Michel together, they’ve had the opportunity to forge a friendship and speak regularly over the phone. She says that she finally feels like her uncle has family to visit his grave.
What an awesome organization! In today’s world, it’s not often that we see people from other countries understanding what our Troops have given over the years, not only for our freedoms, but for those of citizens of other countries, such as France. I hope that this organization will be able to continue to the tradition that was started eight years ago.
May 28, 2008
On February 11, 2007, SPC Jake Lowrey was in Fallujah, Iraq when he and a fellow Soldier were hit by an IED that left his fellow Soldier dead and left Lowrey severely injured. Lowrey lost his right eye, sustained a massive head injury from the explosion and suffers from PTSD. Less than a year after being injured, Lowrey, who’s been a cowboy all of his life, was back atop a horse and roping steers.
“This pretty much keeps me going - it’s the only thing that does,” Lowrey said. “Without it, I’d just be hanging out in my room somewhere.”
On May 10th and 11th, Lowrey officially launched the US Army Wounded Warrior Sports Program, by participating in a team-roping performance at Denny Calhoun Arena in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The program was designed to provide active-duty Soldiers who have sustained life-altering injuries, the opportunity to compete in a sporting event. The Army Wounded Warrior Sports Program pays for their athletic attire, registration fees, transportation and lodging and per deims. Lowrey traveled from his home in Alaska to El Paso, Texas and joined up with his fmaily for a ride to Silver City, N.M. There, he, his stepfather and grandfather loaded up a trailer with their horses and drove on to Las Cruces to participate in a weekend of roping. All three of them participated in the Troy Shelley Affiliate event.
“This is one of the best things the Armed Forces could have done, because it’s just therapy for these guys who feel like, ‘I lost that,’” said Retired SFC Pete Escobedo, Lowrey’s grandfather. “If you really want to do something with yourself … Jacob is a prime example. He’s really trying. We’re thankful for the Army for doing everything it can for him.”
Lowrey did well in the competition. In the first round he successfully roped two of six steers, in the first round. In the second round, he roped two more and another in the third round. That left him in third place in the event. In the last round, his steer got away. Despite his injuries and the limit it places on his depth perception, Lowrey was encouraged that his roping skills will continue to improve. Since his injury, he’s already won an all-around crown in Alaska and teaming with his step-father, he captured a team roping title at the Professional Armed Forces Rodeo Association’s 2007 World Finals that were held in Fort Worth, Texas.
“I’m not back where I was, by any means,” Lowrey said. “I just keep practicing and hope it eventually comes back.”
Since his injury, Spc Lowrey has struggled with coming to grips with his injuries. His step-father, knowing him so well, felt like getting him back on a horse and doing something that he loves is probably the best therapy for him, that he could think of. Over the weekend in Las Cruces, the three generations of cowboys took turns roping steers.
“Jake has done remarkably well in coping with his injury,” said his grandfather Pete Escobedo. “Instead of saying: ‘Well I’m injured,’ he says: ‘I’m going to do what I can. The Good Lord handed me this hand, so I’m going to do with what he dealt me the best I can.’”
His step-father and grandfather are both proud of what he’s accomplished since his injury, though both are aware that what’s happend to him, have changed him. Both feel it’s important for him to stay active and not allow him to sink into depression and self-pity. So, they do what they can to keep him active and doing things that he enjoys. By doing so, they in turn teach him that despite his injuries, he can participate in the things he enjoys and excel at them.
“If we can ever get him where he’ll just start talking again and intermingling with people and not being paranoid, I think life will be good,” said John Escobedo, his step-father. “When he’s on horseback or working out, he’s a normal guy. But we’ll be sitting at the house watching TV or something and it ain’t the same buy. We drove six or seven to the world finals - 14 hours of drive time - and he probably said three words. But you stick him on a horse or in the gym, where his comfort zone is, and he’s fine.”
Jake believes his desire to get back on a horse, get active and participate in what he loves, sets him apart from some of his wounded peers. While some of them were stuck pitying themselves and didn’t want to do anything, Jacob couldn’t wait to get active again and start doing the things he loves to do.
“Some of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation people told me about it (Wounded Warrior Sports Program) when I was at the Warrior Transition Unit,” SPC Lowrey said. “About two days later, I sent in the paperwork. I sent them about four or five events they could pick from.”
Army sports specialist Mark Dunivan, feels that this was the perfect venue for Spc Lowrey. He said he expects more applicants to follow and began participating in the program. He’s already been contacted by an amputee who wants to run in the USA Triathlon Physically Challenged National Champions, that is scheduled for July in New York. The hopes are, that as the word begins to spread about the program, that more Wounded Warriors will participate.
This is a great way for our Wounded Warriors to begin walking down the path to their recovery. So many of them were involved in different sporting events prior to joining the military, as well as during their time in the military. People like SPC Lowrey, Major David Rozelle and scores of other Wounded Warriors who have not let their injuries stop them from participating in sporting events that they love, serve as fantastic role models to other Wounded Warriors.
To discover more about the Army Wounded Warrior Sports Program, please visit the Army MWR website, or contact Army Sports Specialist Mark Dunivan by email at .
May 26, 2008
Today is Memorial Day, a National Holiday, that has been set aside for many years to honor our fallen Warriors for their service and sacrifice for our country. I hope that as you go about your day, you’ll pause often to think about the freedoms that these men and women sacrificed their lives for … freedoms that you and I haven’t earned ourselves, but instead were paid in full for us, with the blood of these brave and honorable men and women. They paid the ultimate sacrifice, so that we might continue to enjoy our way of life here in the United States.
Regardless of what you plan to do today, whether it be attending a ceremony in honor of our fallen Warriors, decorating the graves of fallen Warriors or spending time with your family and friends, I ask that you please take part in the National Moment of Remembrance to be observed at 3pm local time across the nation.
NATIONAL MOMENT OF REMEMBRANCE ON MEMORIAL DAY
Pause and unite at 3 p.m. in honor of our fallen.
Monday, May 26, at 3 p.m. local time, Major League Baseball games will stop, Amtrak train
whistles will blast across the country and hundreds of other nationwide participants will encourage Americans to pause for the Memorial Day National Moment of Remembrance. The ‘Moment’ was established by an act of Congress, to honor those who died in service
to our country.
All citizens, alone or with family and friends, wherever they may be at 3 p.m., local time, are asked to pause for a moment of reflection and rededication to give something back to our country in memory of our Nation’s fallen. The goal is to put “Memorial” back into Memorial Day.
A Gallup poll revealed that only 28 percent of Americans know the meaning of this noble holiday.
“We want Americans to contemplate those things that bind us together. The legacy of those who died to make this country better - from the Revolutionary War to the present - is something that strengthens and unites us. We want every child to say ‘I know why I am free and I know who died for my freedom.’ ” said Carmella LaSpada, Director of the White House Commission on Remembrance. The White House Commission on Remembrance was established in 2000 by Congress in Public Law 106-579. Its purpose is to promote the ‘Moment’ and the values of Memorial Day by acts of remembrance throughout the year.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has partnered with the Commission to bring recognition to the National Moment of Remembrance and encourages every American to attend Memorial Day events and to participate in the Moment. When we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, we are honoring those who have served and those still serving.
Other participants in the Moment include, NASCAR, the National Constitution Center, Liberty Bell, Pennsylvania Turnpike Authority, schools, universities, hospitals, United Spinal Association, retirement communities, shopping malls, National Parks, National Grocers’ Association, airports, bus lines, and the International Space Station.
Foundation Honors Military Members With “Civilian Challenge Coins”
May 25, 2008
The Challenge Coin has a long-standing history in the United States Military, one that I shared with our readers in August of last year, after our readers helped us raise money for 3BSTB, 1st Cavalry Division’s deployment coins. It’s a rich and storied history that has been passed down in the military since the early Roman Empire. In the US Military, Challenge Coins have been a tradition since World War I.
One family, who operates the F.H. Jr and E.J. Moore Family Foundation has decided to start a tradition of their own, involving what they call, Civilian Coin Challenge Coins. Patricia Moore came up with the idea of the Civilian Coin Challenge coins after reading the book Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell.
History of the Civilian Coin Challenge
Marcus Luttrellâ€™s book "Lone Survivor" forever changed meâ€¦ it was sobering and humbling, and conveyed a level of sacrifice and sadness that nearly crushed my heart and yet made that same heart so full of pride in our country and our militaryâ€¦.the Navy SEALS in particular.
Marcus has a story that talks about being an America, about those who fight for our freedom and safety, and about the existence of true warriors possessing almost inhuman strength of body, mind, and spirit.
After reading his book, I wanted to thank Marcus for being a human representation of the good in this country, for proving that true warriors do still exist and are willing to risk everything for their country, for his unwavering support of his Commander in Chief, and his continued belief in God even through his darkest hours. His book made me understand that a true warrior is someone who does not know how to quit. What he does, along with all other military personnel, allows me to be free, have rights as a woman, and to stay in my country to do the work that I am best at â€“ working with teens and young adults, preparing the next generation to carry on. My father served in the Navy yet I have known since I was young that I was not a good fit for the military. I respect the military, support our troops whole heartedly and support our country doing everything in its power to show appreciation, respect, gratitude and ultimately top-notch care of those who serve.
A while back I began my own tradition of extending my hand to military personnel whenever I see them and thanking them for what they do. I know military personnel can receive very high awards and recognition from their military family however I wished that there was some way a civilian, like me, could express their gratitude with more than a hand shake and a thank you. I learned that the military has a tradition of presenting a coin to personnel as a badge of honor. As a result I designed a coin to be presented to military personnel, representing American civilian recognition of honor, respect, and gratitude to U.S. Military for what they do for every American civilian. I then created a process whereby civilians can purchase the coins and present them to military personnel when they see them and from which the profits will go to improve medical care for wounded military personnel. The resultâ€¦..the Civilian Coin Challenge.
The coins are available to the public to purchase and give to their favorite active duty, veteran or retired veteran, to thank them for their service to our country. The foundation even suggests that you might want to buy a few, so that you have them on hand to “thank” a military member when you see them someplace in public. It’s a great idea and one that I’m sure our Troops will appreciate more than you know. It’s not often that a stranger approaches them in public, just to say “Thanks for what you do,” and it’ll mean a lot to them to receive such a coin.
Please take some time to visit The F.H. Jr. and E.J. Moore Family Foundation website, read why their foundation was formed and perhaps purchase a few Civilian Coin Challenge Coins. All profits that are made from the sale of the coins will be donated to improve medical care for wounded military personnel. Sounds like a great reason to purchase a coin or two.
Memorial Day 2008
May 24, 2008
For many people in the United States, Memorial Day signifies the official start of the summer. Many spend that weekend at the lake, hosting barbecues or partying with friends. Schools are either already out for the summer, or will be, soon after the Holiday. Over the years, the meaning of Memorial Day has become bastardized and many people donâ€™t even know or recognize the history or meaning behind this special day.
Memorial Day for me, has always been one of family tradition. Each year, our family gathers in my dadâ€™s hometown of Kiowa, Kansas, to pay our respects to family members who are no longer with us. A large portion of those we honor on Memorial Day served proudly in our country’s Armed Forces. My family has a long and honorable history of serving in our military, many of them serving during times when our country was at war. Many of those relatives are no longer with us. While some didnâ€™t fall during the war, many of them carried scars of their service and some died as a result of the injuries they received during their time of service. Theyâ€™ve always had my respect and utmost appreciation for the part they played in ensuring that I had the freedoms that I enjoy today.
My Memorial Day weekend this year, will be spent much like it has been for as long as I remember, honoring family members of many generations who have proudly served in our countryâ€™s Armed Forces in the different battles that American Soldiers have taken part in. From my great-grandfather who proudly served during the Civil War as part of the 122nd Regiment of the Illinois Infantry. My grandfather who served in the 353rd Infantry Regiment, 89th Division, American Expeditionary Forces, during World War I. Several great-uncles who proudly served during World War II and the Korean War. Uncles and cousins who saw combat in the jungles of Viet Nam. Iâ€™ll stop at each of their graves, take a moment to pay my respects and give my thanks for their service and sacrifice.
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day and was set aside as a time to honor the nationâ€™s Civil War dead. The day was first widely observed on May 30, 1868 in order to commemorate the sacrifices that were made by Civil War Soldiers. General John A Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former Soldiers and Sailors declared in General Order No. 11 that:
The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
At the fist celebration of â€œDecoration Dayâ€, then General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery. Following his speech, around 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of more than 20,000 Soldiers of both the Union and Confederacy, who are buried at the cemetery. This event in 1868 inspired communities in several states of the US to hold observances of their own. Several cities claim that their community is the birthplace of Memorial Day.
By the late 1800s, Memorial Day was being celebrated in many communities across the country. After World War I, observances began to honor not only those who fought in the Civil War, but those who had fought and died in all American Wars. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day as a National Holiday and that it would be celebrated each year on the last Monday in May.
Currently, our country is involved in two wars, one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. This generation of American Soldier has bravely stepped up and willingly given so much in the name of Freedom. Currently over 4,000 American Soldiers have given their lives and countless others have been injured. Itâ€™s imperative that we as Americans remember the sacrifices our Soldiers long gone and our Soldiers of today, have and are making for our Country and the freedoms that we enjoy.
I ask that each of our readers, while youâ€™re spending this Memorial Day weekend with your families and friends and hopefully paying respect and honoring Soldiers no longer with us, that you really stop and think about the sacrifices these men and women made for our country and for our freedom. While you’re at it, please take a moment to stop and remember the men and women who are still defending our right to freedom, as well as our wounded warriors, as they face the battle of a lifetime to overcome their injuries.
May 23, 2008
Last year, we highlighted a partnership between Best Buy and Fisher House to benefit our Troops and their families. Once again, theyâ€™re joining forces to equip Fisher Houseâ€™s national network of â€œhomes away from homeâ€ for service members receiving medical care and their families. Their goal is to equip the homes with even more technology, to allow them to stay in touch with their families and friends, while theyâ€™re away from home during hospital stays.
From May 25th to June 14th, Best Buy is launching a campaign nationwide, in order to generate support from their employees, customers and partners. Best Buy customers are able to donate to Fisher House at any Best Buy location, from the Best Buy website. Partners of Best Buy, including Samsung, Toshiba, Gateway and LG are donating flat screen televisions, lap top computers and appliances to the campaign.
This year, Fisher House has been designated as the Indy 500 charity. Proceeds from branded t-shirts and dog tags that will be sold during race week will benefit the charity. Best Buy employees will be on hand to staff the sales areas throughout the race. Best Buy employees will also be at the Fisher House in Richmond, Virginia in June to install newly donated computers and appliances. The Fisher House logo will also be featured on the Best Buy NASCAR car for the Coca Cola 600 to be run on May 25th.
As many of you are aware, Fisher House is a not for profit organization that builds and donates to the government homes on the grounds of military medical centers to ensure that the families of service members receiving treatment at these facilities can have their families close by during their hospitalization and recovery. Fisher House began that program in 1990 and in 1994 a similar program at VA medical centers began. Currently there are 38 Fisher Houses across the United States with 5 more under construction. Over 110,000 families have been served to date.
If youâ€™d like to take part in this worthwhile campaign, please visit the Best Buy website. If youâ€™re going to be attending the Indy 500, consider purchasing some of the merchandise that will be on sale to benefit the Fisher House Foundation. Everything that you contribute will go to benefit the men and women of our Armed Forces who are patients at a military medical center. You CAN make a difference for our Wounded Warriors and their families!
A Tradition Of Heroes
May 17, 2008
Today is Armed Forces Day, a day to honor and appreciate the men and women serving in our country’s Armed Forces, for the job they do and the sacrifices that they make, for the greater good of our country. This years theme, “A Tradition of Heroes” is a fitting one, when you think about how many of these men and women are following in the footsteps of their ancestors and serving our country, by serving in the Armed Forces. For many of them, it’s a family tradition that dates back to the beginnings of our country. For most of them, serving in the Armed Forces isn’t about getting accolades or recognition from other people, but instead, many of them feel that it’s their duty as citizens of this country, a way for them to “give back” if you will, for the freedoms that they’ve enjoyed throughout their lives as citizens of the United States of America. It is indeed, a heroic and honorable tradition.
Armed Forces Day was established in 1949, by President Harry S. Truman, as a result of the consolidation of all branches of the military services, under the Department of Defense. The day was intended to replace the separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard Days. While some of the services still celebrate their own special day, they all take part in Armed Forces Day. President Truman’s intention when establishing Armed Forces Day, was to set aside a day each year to appreciate the men and women serving in our Armed Forces for the job that they do for our country.
The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated with parades, open houses, receptions and air shows. Armed Forces Day also serves as a way to educating civilians and expanding their awareness of the Armed Forces and help them to understand the vast array of jobs that are done in the military and the role that these men and women play in our country. It’s a day that is set aside so that we might honor and acknowledge the men and women serving in our country’s military.
In communities across the country, events will be held in honor of Armed Forces Day. Check your local community calendar and find out what’s happening in your area. Take part in these events and seize the opportunity to show your support of the men and women who are part of our country’s armed forces. Don’t hesitate to ask questions of them about what they do and why they do it. Most of all, don’t forget to take the time to look them in the eye, shake their hand and tell them “Thank You for your service.”
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