Introducing Thanksgiving Care Packages for the Troops

INTRODUCING THANKSGIVING CARE PACKAGES
SEND A PIECE OF HOME TO
THE TROOPS FOR THANKSGIVING


This year over 24,000 American troops will spend Thanksgiving in Afghanistan, fighting for our freedoms. This year, let’s make sure to THANK our troops and PRAY FOR THEM as we sit around the table with our loved ones to say grace and eat a bountiful feast. And sponsor a Care Package from Move America Forward to send a little bit of Thanksgiving cheer to our troops fighting over in Afghanistan!It’s the least we can do to help remind them of home and let them know that we support them! Please send them your support and items they can’t get in Afghanistan.

Wish Our Marines a Happy Birthday



WISH OUR MARINES A HAPPY 239TH BIRTHDAY!

Don’t forget to take some time to recognize our United States Marine Corps who are celebrating their 239th Birthday today!

The Marines were born November 10th, 1775 when our founding fathers met at the 2nd Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Among the things they voted for that day was a resolution to raise two battalions of Marines to protect American shipping and fight pirates lurking around the Bahamas.

Since then, the Marines have been an indispensable component of America’s military power and legendary for their toughness and never-quit attitude that has carried them through some of the most fierce and bloody battles in history like Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Da Nang, Fallujah and others.

We still have thousands of Marines serving in Afghanistan, fighting the Taliban. Show your support for them by sending some care packages through our postage-only care package drive Operation: Mail Call. Click here to donate now.

For a special limited time you can send care packages to our troops for less, we’ve received enough free product that we only need you to pay just for the postage!

 



 

 

Care Packs Mailed Postage Amount
2 Boxes
$27.60
5 Boxes
$69.00
10 Boxes
$138.00
25 Boxes
 $345.00
50 Boxes
 $690.00
100 Boxes
 $1,380.00


10 NOVEMBER 2014
A MESSAGE FROM THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS


In his birthday greeting 70 years ago, General Alexander Vandegrift, our 18th Commandant noted that, “A Birthday is a fitting time to peer backward – and forward.” That year, Marines reflected on an extraordinary year in combat during their amphibious drive across the Pacific. Despite the challenges and the horrific conditions, Marines prevailed at Guam, Saipan, and Peleliu. On 10 November 1944, Marines looked back with pride on their accomplishment – confident in their ability to meet future challenges.

In 2004, 20,000 Marines deployed to Al Anbar Province, Iraq – many Marines celebrated the birthday in places like Fallujah, Ramadi, and Al Qaim while decisively engaged in combat. That year, Marines also responded to crisis in the Pacific following a tsunami which claimed the lives of more than 200,000 people. On 10 November 2004, Marines looked back with pride on their accomplishments – confident in their ability to meet future challenges.

As we celebrate our 239th birthday, Marines are in combat in Afghanistan. Since we last gathered to celebrate our Corps’ birthday, we also responded to crises in the Philippines, South Sudan, Libya, and Iraq.

Some things change. This year found us in different climes and places that our predecessors in 1944 and 2004. We have adapted our organization, training, and equipment to the ever-changing operating environment. Some things remain the same. Marines attacked this year’s challenges with the same courage, commitment, loyalty, self-sacrifice, and adaptability as their predecessors in Peleliu and Fallujah. For that reason, on 10 November 2014, we Marines can look back with pride on our accomplishments- confident in our ability to meet future challenges.

Thanks for who you are and what you do. Happy Birthday Marines.

Semper Fidelis,

J. F. Dunford, Jr.
General, U.S. Marine Corps
Commandant of the Marine Corps

 

 


We have 1,000 care packages ready to ship in our
Sacramento warehouse – they just need
postage!


The cost to mail each box is $13.80 from the USPS.  We have set a goal to raise $13,800 so that we can send 1,000 boxes.  Will you please help us purchase the postage to mail these supplies to our troops?

November Monthly Newsletter 2014 Edition

Veterans Day is
November 11, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, is Veteran’s Day.  We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have served our great nation. To all of our Veterans, we say “Thank You!” Your sacrifice and service has kept us safe at home.  Please take the time to thank your friends, co-workers or loved ones this year who have served our country.  In honor of America’s brave veterans, please take the time to fly your flag.
If you are a veteran, check out some of these discounts available to Veterans.http://www.military.com/veterans-day/veterans-day-military-discounts.html
We’d like to offer you the opportunity to send out a special troop support package in honor of your loved one who has served.Simply enter your order and in the message area please enter your message to our troops and let them know in whose honor your are sending your package.

Freedom for Jailed Marine Andrew Tahmooressi!
Mexican Judge Orders Marine Released

We were pleased to see that a Mexican judge has finally decided to release the American Marine Andrew Tahmooressi who has been unfairly held in a Tijuana jail for the last 7 months. He flew back to his home in Miami, FL on November 1, 2014. We are so happy to have this American Marine back home. He, like all of our men and women in uniform, are our heroes.

We just wanted to share a few pictures with you from the big rally to support Andrew Tahmooressi that MAF helped to organize back in August! It was a great event with an estimated 150 – 200 attendees. We had reporters from all across Northern California and as far away as Los Angeles. With the signs, chants, and press coverage, we sent a strong message to President Obama, Governor Brown, and Mexican President Nieto. Now, our prayers have finally been answered.


As a Marine, Andrew served two combat tours in Afghanistan before being honorably discharged in 2012. On March 31, 2014, he was on his way to meet some friends in the town of San Ysidro, California, a town very close to the Mexican border. He made one unlucky wrong turn and found himself on a one way road into Mexico with no way of turning around or getting off the highway.

After accidentally crossing the border, he informed Mexican border agents that he had loaded firearms in his vehicle and just wanted to turn around. Instead of being allowed to simply turn back, he was arrested and held for 8 hours before being charged with possession of illegal weapons (Mexico has very strict gun control laws). It took 7 months for Andrew to finally be released.

Despite repeated calls for help, neither Governor Jerry Brown nor President Obama did anything to bring our Marine home. The President, as Commander-In-Chief never lobbied hard against the Mexican Government to get Tahmooressi back, it appears the Mexican government decided to release Andrew by their own volition, three days before America’s elections. We are so happy to have Andrew home, but imagine the months of suffering that this young man had to go through that could have been avoided if Obama had been willing to fight for his freedom!

We Give Thanks!

Thanksgiving is a day when many of us count our blessings, and take a moment to remember family and friends who can’t be with us to share the day. At Move America Forward we’re thankful to each and every one of you who send packages and messages of support to our deployed to let them know they’re not forgotten.

We’d like to make sure as many soldiers as possible get a taste of the holidays, so we’ve put together some special Thanksgiving treats in our packages that range from hot apple cider mix, to festive multi-colored candy that’s sure to bring a real taste of home. Of course our packages are packed with plenty of our regular treats like beef jerky, nutritious trail mix, candies, cookies, Rogers Family coffee and lots more. And every Thanksgiving care package includes a special personalized message to our troops at no extra charge.

 



“It was like an early Christmas in the shop”



The leaves are beginning to fall from the trees and we are experiencing the crisp cool temperatures that November brings. Along with that we have two holidays that we celebrate this month, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. No matter our circumstances we all have so much we can be thankful for!

Among the top of my list for things I am thankful for are our Veterans who have served and sacrificed. Our warriors who through the ages, in numerous wars and conflicts, wearing different uniforms have selflessly given for the freedoms we enjoy every day. This month I would like to highlight those who have served in my family and honor them and the uniforms they proudly wore.

My oldest son Sgt. Kristofer Lee, served in the Marines from Aug 2000-December 2005. He was the Communication Specialist for his unit and was also the martial arts green belt instructor.

My son-in-law Christopher served in the Army as a Lieutenant from 2001-2003 and was deployed to Iraq.

My youngest son Marc was in the Navy from 2001-2006. He was the first Navy SEAL killed in Iraq 8-2-06 and was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star with Valor, Purple Heart and numerous other awards.

My brother Jim is a Master Sergeant in the Air Force for 30 years and has deployed to the combat zone over 10 times.

Our family has represented every branch of the military and proudly wore the different uniforms of each branch. I’m looking at Marc’s uniforms hanging on the wall next to me as I type this. A hero, my son, my mighty warrior once wore each one of those uniforms.

He wore some during BUDs, some while jumping out of an airplane with a parachute strapped on, others for formal events with ribbons and his Trident perfectly placed. Yet others saw the sands of Iraq in heavy combat and felt the warm blood drench the cloth as Marc gasped for his last breathe of air as he defended his teammates and our freedoms.

The fabric of these uniforms isn’t anything special, what made it special was the one who filled it. They filled it with courage, determination, love, humor, commitment, perseverance, selflessness and hope. Each one of our Vets who served through the ages have also displayed those same characteristics.

As a nation we owe it to each and every one of those who proudly wore the uniform a depth of gratitude and respect. We owe it to our fallen heroes to never forget their sacrifice. We must live our lives daily showing our Veterans that we understand and are grateful for all they have given for us.

As a nation we come together on Veterans Day to corporately recognize, honor and thank everyone who has served. I hope that it’s not just Veterans Day that you remember and support our Vets. I choose to do it 365 days of the year as I do recognize the price they paid for my freedoms.

Marc’s last letter home talked about how we could change our world by doing more random acts of kindness.

He ended that letter with a challenge:

“To my family and friends, pass on the love, the kindness, the precious gift of human life.” I would challenge you on Veterans Day to accept Marc’s challenge and fill your day with random acts of kindness for those who have served.

If you have served please know that from the depth of my heart I send my love, respect, gratitude and support!!!! You are an American hero!

HOLIDAY DUO

Turkey, pumpkin pie, football, family, parties, shopping, worship services, and decorating! Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner!  This is such a busy and fun filled time for many Americans here at home, but it’s also a special time to remember our troops serving in harm’s way that won’t have a chance to celebrate these special days with their friends and loved ones. As part of your Holiday Traditions why not include remembering our service members with a special package from home.

Move America Forward is happy to offer a special Holiday Duo promotion that will automatically send a package from you next month in  December along with your special note of thanks to celebrate these special holidays.

Our Thanksgiving packages will be packed with our regular treats but will also include special holiday treats like candy corn, special holiday edition coffee and hot cider.  To add a touch from home and our Christmas package will have extra treats like soft peppermints, a fleecy red and white Christmas stocking and hot chocolate as well.

Just contact Lisa Baron at LisaBaron@moveamericaforward.org  and let her know you are interested in the Holiday Duo and she will get all the info from you she needs to make this happen

Signing Up a soldier for a Support Package is Easy

If you have the address of someone deployed on active military duty click here to sign them up to receive a care package. Or copy this link:

http://www.moveamericaforward.org/soldier-sign-up/

and e-mail it to them so they can register themselves.


Before you know it you will be asking yourself where another year has gone. Let MAF make it easier to remember our troops. If your company, group, school, club or organization would like to send soldiers holiday packages, now’s the time to get in touch with our Group Gift Coordinator and get your program underway. There’s still time for us to put together a custom program for you that could include sponsoring a group or unit, sending packages to soldiers from your home state, or supporting members of a particular branch of the service. We want to be able to do everything possible to make your program special, so if you’re even thinking about “We should really do something to support the troops” this holiday season, send an email to LisaBaron@MoveAmericaForward.org

Did you know?


November 4, 1979 –  Iran Hostage Crisis begins as  Iranian  student militants  overrun the U.S. Embassy in Teheran, Iran, taking  52 Americans hostage who were held captive for 444 days. Diplomatic relations between the two countries have not resumed.

November 6, 1860Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th U.S. President of the United States. Lincoln was the first Republican President elected to office.

November 10, 1775Happy 239th Birthday United States Marine Corps!

November 11, 1919 - First Proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson as Armistice Day and officially changed by congress in 1954 to Veterans Day.

November 13, 1942 - Five members of the Sullivan family  — Joseph, Francis, Albert, Madison and George — serving in the US Navy aboard the USS Juneau lost their lives during or shortly following  a Japanese torpedo attack in the waters off Guadalcanal during World War II.  Due to the Deaths of the Sullivan brothers, the U.S. Navy no longer allows close relatives from serving on the same ship.


November 19, 1863President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address during ceremonies dedicating the Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Battlefield as a National Cemetery. Lincoln’s speech clocking in at just under two minutes is now considered one of the greatest speeches in American history.

November 20, 1945The Nuremberg War Crime Trials began with 24 former of Nazi leaders charged a variety of crimes including crimes against humanity.


November 22, 1963President John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, was assassinated while travelling with his motorcade in Dallas, Texas. The President was pronounced dead at 1:00 PM CST at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. At 2:38 p.m., Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President of the United States aboard Air Force One.

November 26, 1789 - Although traced backed to the Pilgrims in New England.  President George Washington declared that there be a Thanksgiving Day, a day of prayer and public thanksgiving in gratitude for the successful establishment of the new American republic.


All Donations are Tax Deductible
Please make all checks payable
to “Move America Forward”
Donations by Check Can be Sent To:
ATTN: Scott Raab
Move America Forward
8795 Folsom Blvd. Suite 103
Sacramento, CA 95826

Special Thanks to Our Wonderful Sponsors!
Weber Grill, Jelly Belly, Rogers Family Company, Stag Arms, Breitbart Media, Paradies Family Co.

 

WSJ: OBAMA CONSIDERING OPTIONS TO CLOSE GITMO

| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

| CONTACT: Danny Gonzalez, Dir. of Communications (714) 926-6189

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. –Move America Forward (MAF), the nation’s largest grassroots pro-troops organization, joined thousands of pro-troop supporters in horror at the latest reports from the Wall Street Journal that President Barack Obama might be considering options to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees to prisons in the United States.

“From day one we have opposed President Obama’s goal of closing GITMO or transferring some detainees to prisons on American soil.” said Danny Gonzalez, Director of Communications for the group. Gonzalez was part of a MAF delegation that visited Guantanamo in 2008, toured the base, and concluded that detainees were not being mistreated.

“The latest report, though the White House may deny it, is disturbing because Obama continues to say that his goal is to close GITMO and bring terrorists to American soil. So far he has been unable to do it thanks to both Congressional action and public outcry.  According to the Wall Street Journal, he has asked his staff to prepare several options to do so which could violate a Congressional law banning the use of public funds to transfer GITMO detainees.”

“At a time when Islamic terror is displaying naked aggression around the world, beheading Americans and other Westerners, fighting near Baghdad, Iraqi Kurdistan, Syria, and elsewhere, the last thing we need to do is release more terrorists who may ultimately return to the battlefield.” said Gonzalez.

“Another part of Obama’s plan is to spread GITMO detainees in prisons around the United States. This is extremely dangerous,” said Gonzalez. “Recently in Oklahoma, we have seen the dangers of allowing jihadist thought to promulgate in our prisons. Alton Nolen, who cut off the head of one co-worker with a knife and almost killed a second man, converted to Islam and was radicalized in prison. Obama would be inviting disaster by allowing more jihadists to proselytize and convert others in U.S. jails.” concluded Gonzalez.

After visiting Guantanamo Bay in 2008, Move America Forward launched a “Don’t Close GITMO” TV-ad campaign in 2009. In 2011 MAF organized public protests to “Stop GITMO North” in the city of Thompson, Illinois after President Obama sent Eric Holder there to determine if the prison could be used to house terrorist detainees.

To arrange an interview with Danny Gonzalez or any other MAF spokesperson, please contact MAF Communications Director, Danny Gonzalez at (714) 926 – 6189 or e-mail danny@moveamericaforward.org

Move America Forward, a registered 501(c)(3) charity, based in Sacramento, supports our troops and their missions in the war on terror. Move America Forward is supported by hundreds of thousands of pro-troop activists, veterans and military families across the nation. To date, they have shipped over 300 tons of care packages to our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

#  #  #

October Monthly Newsletter

 

MAF is Proud to Honor Hero

September 28, 2014 was Gold Star Mother’s Day, a day our nation proudly express’s our love, sorrow, and reverence towards Gold Star Mothers and their families. Move America Forward has had the honor to work directly with so many amazing Gold Star families over the years, we thought it would be a great time to share some of these courageous stories.

Today we bring you the story of Matthew J. Holley, a combat medic in the 101st Airborne whose parents John and Stacey Holley fought for all military families to make sure all of our fallen warriors return home with the honor and respect they deserve.

John Holley was one of the Gold Star Parents we were able to take with us to Iraq in 2006. A trip he credits with helping him honor his son and move forward in his life. We have had the pleasure of working with John and Stacey Holley ever since and are so grateful for all they have done for other military families. Please take the time to read the story below and learn about their son.

On a cool autumn afternoon in November 2005 the world seemingly ended for John and Stacey Holley.  With the ringing of the doorbell and the appearance of uniformed military strangers on the porch of their North Idaho home, their quiet lives were shattered by the news that their son and only child SPC. Matthew J. Holley had been killed along with three other soldiers by a roadside bomb while on patrol in Taji, Iraq. He was a Combat Medic with the 101st Airborne Division out of Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.

When Matthew made the decision to become a soldier he was following in the footsteps of four generations of family members before him, including both John and Stacey.  He was driven by a few valued lessons in life that he was raised on. The first to know and respect “that to whom much is given much is expected” and second that whenever the opportunity availed itself “to take his eyes off of himself and to put them on to others.”

 

Etched on SPC Matthew Holley’s gravestone are the following words, “To Serve a Cause Greater Then Myself”.  Profound words spoken by a profound young man to his mother and father for his reason to join the United States Army and become a Medic. Matthew’s zest for life was to apply those valued lessons handed down to him and in doing so share a little of that freedom so many in our nation take for granted, or a little of that free spirit we all have.

Like so many who feel called to serve our nation, Matthew loved the Red, White and Blue.  He loved the freedom it exudes and offers anyone who lives in the United States of America.  As many in our generation, most will always remember that fateful Tuesday in 2001 when the towers fell.  Matthew was just one week short of his 17th birthday, but as his mother reflects back, she believes that day was as much a catalyst for his decision to serve our nation as any.  It was on that day that he saw the cause for freedom and all he had been raised to believe in challenged, and he expressed that “if there was one thing worse than dying, it was being alive and not being free.”

Even in the midst of their grief, John and Stacey knew that they were not the only parents who would face such a crisis.  They were not the only American family destined to hear the ringing of a doorbell, or to learn the news of a loved one’s ultimate sacrifice from the lips of complete strangers.

 

Unbeknownst to them John and Stacey’s sorrow would quickly turn to horror when they discovered that Matthew’s casket would return to San Diego’s Lindbergh Field as common freight. 

There would be no honor guard to welcome their fallen hero back to his hometown.

Instead, Matthew Holley’s remains would be carted around by forklifts and baggage handlers, like a crate of auto parts. Determined to welcome their son home with honors befitting his sacrifice to our nation, the Holley’s embarked on a quest to challenge the law, and to begin a journey of healing that would touch the lives of Gold Star families across our nation.

In 2011 the Holley’s released their co-authored book, Medals, Flags and Memories.  In the book they share the story of their struggle in the weeks and months following Matthew’s death, as they fought to enact the law known today as “The Holley Provision” or as some have come to refer to them as “Angel Flights.”  John and Stacey chose not to write simply a memoir of grief and loss.

Rather their desire was to share a journal of personal transformation, a guidebook for anyone who finds themselves struggling in the storm of their lives.  It’s a journey of faith, love, and ultimate perseverance.  But beyond all of these things, it’s an unmistakable demonstration of the American ideal in action.

Today each fallen heroes casket is met by honor guards in white gloves and crisp uniforms, instead of baggage handlers with forklifts.  The legislation, was signed into law by President George W. Bush in October 2006, and enacted by the Pentagon in January 2007.

 

Faced with the entrenched bureaucracy of our government, the Holley’s proved that an ordinary family can tip the scales of American justice.  And, in an age where many people feel alienated and powerless, the Holley’s have shown how ordinary citizens can impact the change in federal law, and transform the world we live in.

In a sense, one world ended for John and Stacey Holley in November 2005, when Matthew died to preserve the American dream. But another world opened up, as the Holley’s discovered the power of prayer, determination and belief in the values that our great country was founded on. John and Stacey have honored Matthew’s death by reminding us that his sacrifice and the sacrifice of all those who serve our great nation is not in vain or without the honor due. That the American dream is still very much alive and well, and it is within the grasp of each citizen who dares to reach out and claim it.

 

Copies of Medal’s Flags and Memories can be
purchased online through www.amazon.com


 

LLTB may be an acronym that people post on FB pages; it stands for Long Live the Brotherhood. Most Americans will never experience or be able to comprehend the depth of love and bond that exists with those brothers in arms.

My son Marc tried to explain that to me before he died. I could comprehend that you get really close to them as you train for combat and then deploy to the combat zone. He told me they were like brothers to him. I reminded him I didn’t birth them so they really couldn’t be brothers.

The week Marc died we had 5 of them in our home and I saw how much they loved Marc and that they were hurting just as much as we were. It was at that moment that the light went on and my eyes were opened to that unique bond and relationship that these young men shared and that they were Marc’s brothers. Since those were Marc’s brothers I knew I had adopted/inherited a bunch of new sons.

The ultimate proof of that bond, that love, was that the day Marc died he gave his life for them, giving the gift of life to his brothers.

I have been blessed for this past 8 years to develop a mutual love and relationship with “my boys,” some amazing men. The week Marc died they started calling me MommaLee, and it is a name I cherish

It’s been fun to watch them marry and attend the dress rehearsals and weddings, just like family, or to visit them for vacations, and attend change of command, promotion or retirement ceremonies. There have been many family dinners and gatherings on my trips to San Diego.

Next came the exciting phone calls and birth announcements. “Hey MommaLee we’re pregnant!” Invites to baby showers, phone calls moments after the little bundle arrives, and the first pictures sent via text. I feel a little like the fairy tale of the old woman in the shoe, she has so many children she didn’t know what to do? I have 9 biological grandchildren, and over 30 “adopted grandkids.”

This past week I was able to meet another one of the little girls God has blessed me with and hold her and play with her. Children are such a gift from the LORD.

On Sept 2nd I received another one of those texts letting me know that Leif, another one of “my boys” was in the hospital with his wife Jenna and that her water had broke and that “the big day had arrived.”

I was so excited, this was the first baby for Leif and Jenna, and they chose not to know the sex before the little bundle arrived.  I received texts throughout the day keeping me posted of her progress. They had to induce and still the progress was slow. I continued to pray and anxiously waited for the next text or phone call. I chuckled at one of the texts that came close to the end of the day in true Navy SEAL fashion “Making some movement towards extract.”

Finally at 2:23 am ET I received this text.

Tears began to trickle down my cheek, what an honor that they would name their little boy after “my little boy,” who grew all too quickly to become a Navy SEAL who would give the gift of life to Leif and so many other teammates; a hero who would defend us and sacrifice everything for our freedoms in America.

After I put the phone back on my nightstand I put my head back on my pillow and tried to balance my mixed emotions. I was so excited for the new life, and honored that they named him after Marc, knowing that Marc’s sacrifice allowed Leif to become a Father. Again the tears flowed wishing Marc was here to share this moment and so many others of life.

I thought back to his wise words that ended his last letter home, to my family and friends, pass on the love, the kindness, the precious gift of human life.” This is exactly what Marc was talking about, and on Sept 3rd in the wee hours of the morning we were able to experience another precious gift of human life.

May we never take for granted the precious gifts we are given!

Congratulations to Jenna Lee and Leif Babin with your precious new gift of Brian Marc Babin. I am deeply touched by the love and support of the “Brotherhood.” LLTB!


Rally for Marine Andrew Tahmooressi Sends a Message to CA Governor Brown, President Obama and Mexican President Nieto

We just wanted to share a few pictures with you from the big rally we had on August 26, 2014 to support Andrew Tahmooressi!  It was a great event with an estimated 150 – 200 attendees. We had reporters from all across Northern California and as far away as Los Angeles. With the signs, chants, and press coverage, we are sent a strong message to President Obama, Governor Brown, and Mexican President Nieto.



Great job everyone who showed up and thank you for taking time out of your day to stand up for Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi!

 

We are SCARING Up Some

FOR OUR TROOPS!


As the air begins to take on a bite of Fall and the leaves turn to gold and red here at home our thoughts turn to childhood fun like legions of little ghosts and goblins hitting the streets to Trick or Treat.

We wanted to bring a small bit of that celebration to our troops serving so far away. So starting in October, our packages will include yummy colorful candy corn, pumpkin spiced coffee, special orange cream filled Oreo cookies as a reminder to our troops that even though they can’t be here to celebrate with their own kids, and raid their Halloween candy stash, they can still get a little treat from the folks back home who haven’t forgotten their service.

 

Soldiers often see a nice bump in packages during the Christmas season, but that is still two months away and some of these brave men and women never see packages from home. Why don’t you take a moment to send a package now, and we will include the candy corn along with our regular goodies like gourmet Rogers Family coffee, beef jerky and soldier friendly field towels from Ohh Ahhs and many other treats and necessary items.





Thanks from
Force Guardians!


It’s October already!  So Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner.  This is such a busy and fun filled time for many Americans here at home, but it’s also a special time to remember our troops serving in harm’s way that won’t have a chance to celebrate these special days with their friends and loved ones.

Move America Forward is happy to offers a special Holiday Trio promotion that gives you the chance to have a automatically send a package from  you each month for October, November and December along with your special note of thanks to celebrate these special holidays.

Our Halloween and Thanksgiving packages will be packed with our regular treats but will also include special holiday treats like candy corn to add a touch from home and our Christmas package will have extra treats like soft peppermints, a fleecy red and white Christmas stocking and hot chocolate as well.

Just click here to contact Lisa Baron, our Director of our Troop Support, and she will get your information and set you up for this special 3 month promotion. It’s easy to set up and Lisa will take care of everything for you so you don’t have to worry about finding the time to order packages for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Did You Know…?


October 1, 1946
The International War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany sentenced a dozen high-ranking Nazi war criminals to death including Hermann Goering, founder of the Gestapo and chief of the German air force

October 3, 1863President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation designating the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.


October 8, 1918
During World War I, U.S. Sergeant Alvin York single-handedly took out a German machine-gun battalion, killing over a dozen and capturing 132. He was later awarded the Medal of Honor and the French Croix de Guerre.


October 13, 1775
The United States Navy was born after the Second Continental Congress authorized the acquisition of a fleet of ships.

October 17-25, 1944The Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in history, took place off the Philippine Islands, during World War II in the Pacific. The battle involved 216 U.S. warships and 64 Japanese ships and resulted in the destruction of the Japanese Navy including the Japanese Battleship Musashi, one of the largest ever built.


October 23, 1983
A truck loaded with explosives was driven into the U.S. and French headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon by terrorists, exploding it and killing 241 U.S. Marines and 58 French paratroopers.

October 24, 1945The United Nations was founded.

Calling all Troops!
Signing up to receive packages is easy!

If you are deployed or have the address of a deployed military member, you can click here for our Military Sign Up Center to sign them up to receive one of our great care packages loaded with plenty of the TLC our soldiers need to remind them that people back home support their mission.

If you prefer, copy this link and e-mail it to your soldier so they can sign up themselves. (http://www.moveamericaforward.org/soldier-sign-up/)  Once the soldier has registered they’ll be eligible to receive packages and messages of support from caring Americans like you

Monthly Smiles Needs YOU!

Life can get tough, and sometimes for budget or other reasons even as simple as having your credit card expire we have experienced a drop off in our Monthly Smiles Program.

With Thanksgiving and Christmas still months away we at Move America Forward are seeing a spike in package requests from our soldiers. We are trying our very best to leave none of these troops empty handed.  That is why we are asking for help in considering our Monthly Smiles program.

Monthly Smiles is a vital part of successfully supporting our troops during their deployments.  Support has dropped off creating a hole in our Monthly Smiles Program which compromises our ability of fulfilling all the package requests we receive. We hate to say no to our troops or leave them empty handed, that’s where you come in.

If you would consider joining our monthly smiles program we would love to have you and we make it so easy to get a regularly scheduled 100% tax deductible Monthly Smiles Package out on your behalf, including a personal message from you. Just fill out the Monthly Smiles Form and we will contact you regarding payment method and budget.
If you have a question or would like additional information, contact Lisa Baron, our Monthly Smiles Director at LisaBaron@MoveAmericaForward.org.

Check Out Our Moving Tribute for September 11, 2001

 

Do You Know What The Holley Provision Is?


“The Holley Provision” and One American
Family’s Sacrifice in the War on Terror

This past weekend was Gold Star Mother’s Day, a day our nation proudly express’s our love, sorrow, and reverence towards Gold Star Mothers and their families. Move America Forward has had the honor to work directly with so many amazing Gold Star families over the years, we thought it would be a great time to share some of these courageous stories.

Today we bring you the story of Matthew J. Holley, a combat medic in the 101st Airborne whose parents John and Stacey Holley fought for all military families to make sure all of our fallen warriors return home with the honor and respect they deserve.

John Holley was one of the Gold Star Parents we were able to take with us to Iraq in 2006. A trip he credits with helping him honor his son and move forward in his life. We have had the pleasure of working with John and Stacey Holley ever since and are so grateful for all they have done for other military families. Please take the time to read the story below and learn about their son.

 

Thanks to the efforts made by the Holley Family a “Holley Provision” exists to ensure all of our fallen heroes return honor and respect they deserve.


The story of  Army SPC. Matthew J. Holley~

On a cool autumn afternoon in November 2005 the world seemingly ended for John and Stacey Holley.  With the ringing of the doorbell and the appearance of uniformed military strangers on the porch of their North Idaho home, their quiet lives were shattered by the news that their son and only child SPC. Matthew J. Holley had been killed along with three other soldiers by a roadside bomb while on patrol in Taji, Iraq. He was a Combat Medic with the 101st Airborne Division out of Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.

Growing up, Matthew was the child that most parents hope for; he was charismatic and talented both athletically and artistically.  By the age of 18 he was a three time U.S. National Karate champion and a talented amateur artist. For most who knew him, Matthew was a person of few words, choosing instead to let his actions speak much louder.  He thrived on the challenge of being the best he could be.

When Matthew made the decision to become a soldier he was following in the footsteps of four generations of family members before him, including both John and Stacey.  He was driven by a few valued lessons in life that he was raised on. The first to know and respect “that to whom much is given much is expected” and second that whenever the opportunity availed itself “to take his eyes off of himself and to put them on to others.”

Etched on SPC Matthew Holley’s gravestone are the following words, “To Serve a Cause Greater Then Myself”.  Profound words spoken by a profound young man to his mother and father for his reason to join the United States Army and become a Medic. Matthew’s zest for life was to apply those valued lessons handed down to him and in doing so share a little of that freedom so many in our nation take for granted, or a little of that free spirit we all have.

Like so many who feel called to serve our nation, Matthew loved the Red, White and Blue.  He loved the freedom it exudes and offers anyone who lives in the United States of America.  As many in our generation, most will always remember that fateful Tuesday in 2001 when the towers fell.  Matthew was just one week short of his 17th birthday, but as his mother reflects back, she believes that day was as much a catalyst for his decision to serve our nation as any.  It was on that day that he saw the cause for freedom and all he had been raised to believe in challenged, and he expressed that “if there was one thing worse than dying, it was being alive and not being free.”

Even in the midst of their grief, John and Stacey knew that they were not the only parents who would face such a crisis.  They were not the only American family destined to hear the ringing of a doorbell, or to learn the news of a loved one’s ultimate sacrifice from the lips of complete strangers.

Unbeknownst to them John and Stacey’s sorrow would quickly turn to horror when they discovered that Matthew’s casket would return to San Diego’s Lindbergh Field as common freight. 

There would be no honor guard to welcome their fallen hero back to his hometown. 

Instead, Matthew Holley’s remains would be carted around by forklifts and baggage handlers, like a crate of auto parts. Determined to welcome their son home with honors befitting his sacrifice to our nation, the Holley’s embarked on a quest to challenge the law, and to begin a journey of healing that would touch the lives of Gold Star families across our nation.

In 2011 the Holley’s released their co-authored book, Medals, Flags and Memories.  In the book they share the story of their struggle in the weeks and months following Matthew’s death, as they fought to enact the law known today as “The Holley Provision” or as some have come to refer to them as “Angel Flights.”  John and Stacey chose not to write simply a memoir of grief and loss.

Rather their desire was to share a journal of personal transformation, a guidebook for anyone who finds themselves struggling in the storm of their lives.  It’s a journey of faith, love, and ultimate perseverance.  But beyond all of these things, it’s an unmistakable demonstration of the American ideal in action.

 

Today each fallen heroes casket is met by honor guards in white gloves and crisp uniforms, instead of baggage handlers with forklifts.  The legislation, was signed into law by President George W. Bush in October 2006, and enacted by the Pentagon in January 2007.

Faced with the entrenched bureaucracy of our government, the Holley’s proved that an ordinary family can tip the scales of American justice.  And, in an age where many people feel alienated and powerless, the Holley’s have shown how ordinary citizens can impact the change in federal law, and transform the world we live in.

In a sense, one world ended for John and Stacey Holley in November 2005, when Matthew died to preserve the American dream. But another world opened up, as the Holley’s discovered the power of prayer, determination and belief in the values that our great country was founded on. John and Stacey have honored Matthew’s death by reminding us that his sacrifice and the sacrifice of all those who serve our great nation is not in vain or without the honor due.  That the American dream is still very much alive and well, and it is within the grasp of each citizen who dares to reach out and claim it.


Copies of Medal’s Flags and Memories can
be purchased online through www.amazon.com


You can make a REAL DIFFERENCE to our troops on the ground in Afghanistan by sponsoring a special Halloween Holiday Care Package filled with seasonal goodies like pumpkin spice coffee, candy corn, holiday Oreos, hot chocolate, and much, much more!


  

Do You Know What Our Troops Love?

Our care package program makes sure our troops know they are supported, appreciated and supplies them items they desperately need. Each care package is a taste of home while they serve so bravely in harms way. One of our most popular and most requested items is coffee.

Troops in Afghanistan displaying and enjoying coffee they received from Move America Forward care packages

 That’s why we include coffee from our friends at the Rogers Family Company in every package. The aroma alone is enough to picture your family at the kitchen table in the morning getting ready to start the day. This feeling of being home with family, if only for a few moments, while they get ready to start another shift, patrol, or watch is why we make sure to include it in every care package.

To brighten the mornings of America’s bravest, PLEASE CLICK HERE NOW, and help give our troops that feeling of home.

Our volunteers make sure it is loaded with the items and treats our troops love. Other top requested items like Beef Jerky, Wet Wipes, and Oreo’s are in every box. Most importantly they make sure to put in your personal message. This note, no matter how many words, will be read countless times while deployed.



When you send a care package to a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine you are not only sending a fresh cup of coffee, you are personally telling our troops thank you for all their hard work to keep us all safe.




 

Troop from Engineer Battalion Writes Back to Say Thanks

We are so lucky at Move America Forward to have supporters like you who make it possible for us to help so many troops risking their lives for our safety and freedom. We pride ourselves on shipping the very best quality products and supplies that our troops need. We are also lucky enough to hear back from them in messages they send us. I hope you have the time to read a few below.

There are over 28,970 men and women serving in Afghanistan. Show them your support! Please make a donation today to send more care packages to the troops right now! 

When it comes down to it, our troops are the best on the planet and they never shy away from their oath no matter the hardship, the task, or the mission. And yet somehow they still find the time to write us back.

 

 



 

 

 

 

 



 

Thank You! Look What You Did!

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

We Had a Great Week  

Answer the Call Campaign Helped Hundreds of Troops!

 

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind for Move America Forward. We challenged you to Answer the Call and answer it you did! We set an ambitious goal to raise $20,000 for our troops September 11th. Thanks to amazing generosity like yours we were able to reach out goal and even raised it towards the end to $25,000.

In the end, we did not reach our new goal, but it’s OK we got very close! The total raised during the Answer the Call campaign was $23,947 so we only fell $1,053 short of our expanded goal, easily beating our preliminary goal of $20,000.

 

Would you like to help us reach our 25,000 Goal? Donate NOW, its not too late

 

Move America Forward employees proudly dropping off hundreds of care packages at the U.S.P.S.

The rest of the packages will be shipped in the next week, spread out to different units deployed that are in need of our support.

9/11 HEROES WALL – JOIN THEM TODAY

 

These generous donors gave $199 or more to thank our troops and help Answer The Call: 9/11 Never Forget. Donate now to help us reach our goal. Remember to include your personal message to the troops when making a donation.

 

9/11 Flag Memorial

 

 

We helped out the John Vinson Family with their annual 9/11 Memorial Flag Display.

The Vinsons have been waving flags every September 11th since 2001 when they started with just one flag. Each year the demonstration grows and now they are up to over 4,000 flags on display.

 

We put together this video showing the progress of setting up the memorial flags starting at 6 AM and working until sundown.

 

Click below to watch the video and please share it with everyone you know!

 

In The News

 Over the last couple days, MAF has been on every local TV station at least once and that has generated a lot of attention for our troops and the importance of continuing to support them! We could not have done it without you!

 

There are great photos up on our website of the memorial display, as well as tons of photos of our volunteers packing the care packages!

If you still have not donated to help our troops, it’s not too late! We are still taking donations even now that Answer the Call is over. Just click here to make a valuable donation to our brave troops. They deserve every bit of support we can send them!

Must See Video: 9/11 Flag Memorial

Today marks one of the darkest days in American history. 13 years ago today the terrorists declared war on all Americans, and attacked innocent civilians, killing thousands of Americans and people from around the world.

For the past two years, MAF has been invited by John Vinson and his family to help them put up a huge memorial flag display to mark the anniversary of the terrorist attacks. This year MAF put together a video showing John and his team of volunteers placing the flags in the ground.


LINK FOR TRIBUTE VIDEO: http://youtu.be/SYqVCUSjZfI
LINK FOR MORE PICTURES: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk3pxtpZ

People of every race, religion and creed, have been slaughtered by the radical Islamic terrorists of Al Qaeda. All killed in a jihad on America, a war against freedom and liberty. Young people growing up today were born after the 2011 attack. They see a world that had been changed irrevocably by the terrorists. Some of them may not understand how drastically the world changed that day. Remembering 9/11 and sharing that experience with others is the best way to educate those who don’t understand the kind of evil we are still fighting today. Here in Sacramento, where Move America Forward is headquartered, we found an example of one local man who is doing what he can to remind others of what happened today, 13 years ago.

John Vinson says that when he woke up September 11th, 2001, and heard about what had happened in New York City, he was confused, afraid, frustrated and angry. He channeled his anger by picking up an American flag and going to a freeway overpass and simply waving it proudly and defiantly at the enemy, for all the passing motorists to see. Those that passed by and saw him waving the colors honked and cheered and encouraged him.


John Vinson, who started the annual display and wife Nancy
Over the years John has continued to fly the flag every 9/11, except today he has well over 3,00 flags to fly and he’s moved from the freeway overpass to a field in view of a busy street in West Sacramento. But his idea is the same as ever, to fly the flag (now a collection of flags laid out as a memorial to the fallen) in defiance of those who would try to destroy our freedom. Today there are 340 flags on display plus 2,977 flags that represent each of the the victims who perished on 9/11. 

 
The memorial put on by John Vinson grows larger each year

We appreciate the efforts of people like John Vinson, or the countless other patriots around the country who are flying their flags today, supporting our troops.
If you haven’t already figured out how YOU will remind people of what today means, please think now, figure out WHAT YOU CAN DO with the tools God gave you, to remind your fellow Americans that we have been attacked, and we are at war, and we have brave troops that need our support!Here at Move America Forward we continue our diligent efforts to support our troops with care packages and support from home. If you would like to take part in our small efforts to comfort our brave troops deployed over in Afghanistan, sponsor a care package today.