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Soldiers Reunite with K9 Battle Buddies

Soldiers Reunite with K9 “Battle Buddies”


Move America Forward has a special program to support the military war dogs and their handlers over in Afghanistan.

We’re so proud that these two troops can be reunited with the K9 soldiers they bonded with over in Afghanistan, but don’t forget we still have hundreds of military dogs still over there, working with US troops.

Nothing brings a serviceman or woman more joy than knowing that someone back home is thankful and thinking of them while they are on deployment.

Care packages include a wonderful array of high quality food, snacks, and hygiene items that troops overseas consistently request. Click Here to Send One Today.

Soldiers Reunite with the Dogs they Served with in Iraq and Afghanistan
by Arlette Saenz
ABC News
July 23


They’re the four-legged veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – military war dogs, doing everything from sniffing out explosive devices on the battlefield to providing companionship to soldiers during wartime.
“This is my best friend. This is my partner. This is my battle buddy,” Army Staff Sgt. Jason Bos told ABC News of his dog Cila. The two partners reunited in April after serving together on nearly 100 missions in Iraq.

“Her and I deployed together, the two of us, so we moved from one base to another, and we worked with people every day we didn’t really know, so this is my friend,” Bos explained. “I wanted her back and I did whatever I could to do that.”

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant James Harrington was awarded a Bronze Star medal after serving alongside dog Ryky in Afghanistan, where the two helped injured soldiers escape an ambush.

“Both of our training just kicked in and we did what we were trained to do without thinking,” Harrington told ABC News. “She saved me and other soldiers, and now she’s going to continue to save me emotionally as we go along.”

Ryky eventually earned a K9 Medal for Exceptional Service for her actions in Afghanistan.  After reuniting in June, Harrington, who suffers from PTSD, says Ryky will help him on his road to recovery.

Since 9/11, over 3,600 dogs have served in the military, with close to 2,000 dogs currently serving through various branches of the military. Earlier this year, the Army said 578 dog teams had served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Military Working Dogs are instrumental in sniffing out IEDs, bomb making materials, patrolling, or standing guard. It’s as dangerous for these K9s as it is for our soldiers, especially in the harsh environment of Afghanistan. Our K9 care packages include special dog-goggles to protect their eyes from dust storms, booties to protect their paws from the rocks and hot ground, and finally some doggy treats to enjoy for a job well done.

K9 Care packages include eye-protective dog goggles and scrumptious doggie treats in addition to the wonderful array of high quality people food, snacks, and hygiene items that troops overseas consistently request. Click Here to Send One Today.

A Special Message on Marc Lee’s Birthday

A Special Message from Debbie Lee


Through the ages we have celebrated the birthdays of famous people who have impacted our history. Our national calendars are marked with George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Dr Martin Luther King, Benjamin Franklin, and Christopher Columbus birthdays. The dates of our calendar are based on the birth of Jesus Christ.

As a mother, those birthdays that are most memorable to us are those of our children. The days that we labored and suffered intense pain to help the precious gift of a child pass from life in the womb to life in our arms. We never forget those special days and they are always highlighted on our calendars. Whether it is the first birthday or 40th birthday we celebrate each one, knowing the gift of life that God blessed us with.

I was blessed with two sons and one daughter and even though they share the same mother and father and grew up in the same home they are uniquely different. Even though they are adults now, my calendar is still marked with their special dates, and I celebrate who they are, what they have contributed to making this world a better place, and that God chose me to be their mom.

One of the difficult things for a parent who loses a child, is dealing with the birthday after they have died. I remember not long after Marc was killed, I was filling out a form and it asked “How many children do you have?” My heart sank and I didn’t know what the right answer was. I had to think about that. Today I can tell you “I have 3 children, one just beat me to Heaven.”

As you process through grief you learn ways to cope and handle the difficult days. Since today would have been Marc’s 36th birthday, I naturally think of how much I miss that young man. I remember the day he was born at 5:20pm. My mind wanders to the memories of bringing him home to his excited 3 year old brother and 2 year old sister. Marc at age 5, when he rode his bike down a hill, into a cement wall and was knocked unconscious because the brakes had failed. Seeing him in that hospital bed with his stuffed lion next to him and watching him wake up and him asking what had happened.

I can still hear his exhausted, raspy voice when he called to tell me he had made it through BUDs (Navy SEAL School). I can still see his smirky grin after he graduated and earned the honor of being a Navy SEAL. He was so proud, as were all of his family.

I remember his final hug as he left after he came to visit me just before he deployed. I remember my final goodbye at Fort Rosecrans Nat’l Cemetery as I fell and hugged the casket realizing I would never feel his embrace, see his smile, hear his voice and laughter. As I said before I have learned ways to cope through the grief.

You can’t ignore grief, you must process through it and accept it. Everything we do we have choices to make and this year on his birthday I choose to remember and honor Marc and the way he lived his life. I will be visiting Fort Rosecrans and will have a birthday dinner with my “adopted boys”, Marc’s teammates who are in the area, we will have cake. After all, it is still Marc’s birthday.

The majority of my day will be spent accepting Marc’s challenge in his last letter home to do random acts of kindness. He ended that letter with “to my family and friends do me a favor, pass on the kindness, the love, the precious gift of human life.” I will be finding members of the military and buying meals, coffee, handing out gift cards, flowers and then giving them a copy of Marc’s last letter home, a thank you card, and Marc’s hero card.

Each time I do this it brings so much joy knowing I am honoring Marc and giving others a glimpse into the heart of this amazing hero, my son, my mighty warrior.

My challenge to each of you is to do the same, help me celebrate Marc’s 36th Birthday by doing random acts of kindness today and giving that someone a copy of Marc’s last letter home. Take pictures to document what random acts of kindness you did, then send them to us at info@moveamericaforward.org or post them on our Facebook page or Twitter.

God loaned me Marc for 28 years and he has been deployed to Heaven for a new mission. Marc believed Jesus Christ was his Lord and Savior and there is no doubt that we know Marc is there today. I also believe and know I will one day be in Heaven when God calls me home but until then…… by God’s strength, with Marc’s joy, passion and love for life I stay in the battle for our troops and the families of the fallen. I choose to thank God for all the gifts and blessings he has given to me.

Okay now wipe the tears, print Marc’s letter and let’s go change the world!!

HOOYAH MARC LEE!!! I love you forever, Happy 36th birthday in Heaven!

Sincerely,

Debbie Lee
Gold Star Mother of Marc Alan Lee
Spokesperson and Military Liason
Move America Forward

 

Rogers Family Company Donating To The Troops

U.S. troops getting free coffee

Posted on November 12, 2013 by Chris Swift at www.rogersfamilyco.com
Coffee on the way to the troops
QUICK FACTS:

  • Rogers Family Company has donated 41,349 bags of coffee in the last two months to MoveAmericaForward.org.
  • On November 6, 2013 Rogers Family Company made its most recent donation of 10,922 bags of coffee to MoveAmericaForward.org which will be shipped to our active duty soldiers in individual care packages.

When I decided to write this article, I had no idea of the generosity this company and its owners were capable of. I was so proud to work for this company already, and learning the details of this giving program has now made me beam with pride.

Soldiers Enjoying Rogers Coffee

Rogers Family Company has faced many hurdles along the way, mostly bureaucratic, preventing an easy method for distributing our coffee donations. Finally, a connection was made with MoveAmericaForward.org via Scott Raab, Outreach Director for that organization. This relationship has begun to streamline the process, and allow Rogers Family Company to get more donations into the coffee cups of our soldiers, annually.

Soldiers Enjoying Rogers Coffee

INFO TIDBIT

Naively, I wondered why soldiers in the desert would want coffee. As of the writing of this article, it is 45 degrees in Kandahar International Airport. OK, I get it now. So you might be asking yourself, “who is Move America Forward?” Well, I will let them explain that. Move America Forward mission statement:

Move America Forward (MAF) is the nation’s largest grassroots pro-troop organization dedicated to supporting the brave men and women of our Armed Forces and their missions to defeat terrorism. MAF is supported by hundreds of thousands of pro-troop activists, veterans, and military families all across the nation who share in our unwavering support.

As a business, Rogers Family Company believes it is their duty to give back and who better to give to than those laying their lives on the line each day? Working with MAF has provided us with a direct link to individual soldiers, and allows us to make a difference in their daily lives. You would be amazed at the smiles and stories that come from these brave men and women when they receive one of these care packages. Small gestures generate huge responses.

 

Soldiers Appreciation Certificate

EXAMPLES OF SOLDIER COMMENTS/STORIES:

Oliver S. “. . . well we don’t have much access to coffee except in the chow hall which is only open at certain set hours …. exacerbating my condition is that although there is occasionally decaffeinated coffee rarely can I find the good stuff. So anyone is interested my section . . . would be grateful for some good ole ground & caffeinated coffee. . .” Ryan A. “. . . It really does not matter what it is just something that says “hey, you are not forgotten and we still care”. Letters from small kids have been the biggest hit so far. The soldiers love the letters from the kids and the drawings. The only two big request I have had so far is one, Kerige (not sure I spelled that right) the coffee machine that makes one cup at a time. The guys are asking for one that fills travel mugs. We have boxes of coffee but the last machine broke. . . “ History of Move America Forward:

Move America Forward was initially formed by The Honorable Howard Kaloogian and acclaimed broadcast journalist and television personality Melanie Morgan. In response to concerns raised by U.S. troops that the news media was frequently presenting inaccurate coverage that often ignored the success of their missions and accomplishments in the War on Terror.

Together, Rogers Family Company and Move America Forward are dedicated to improving the lives of our active duty soldiers through these care packages. Small gifts mean the world to these men and women.