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 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|
10 NOVEMBER 2014
A MESSAGE FROM THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS
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.
J. F. Dunford, Jr.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
Please make a donation today to send more care packages to the troops so that we can continue serving our troops who sacrifice so much to keep us safe.
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.
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!
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!
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
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
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.
We Are Adopting Another Unit That Needs Help
Thanks to your generous support we successfully reached our goal to raise $20,000 to help the 3 previously mentioned units in Afgahnistan, the 419th CSSB, C/3-82 MEDEVAC, and 877th Engineer Battalion.
Since we’re doing so well and still have three days until 9/11, we have decided to up the ante and attempt to help one more unit! We’re raising our goal by $5,000 and adding the 3-159th ARB ‘Quickstrike’ to our list of units to support.
Because of the drawdown and Obama’s shrinking of the mission in Afghanistan, our troops deployed on the front lines are increaslingly faced with fewer resources to work with. The PX on base that used to be full now has empty shelves and our troops don’t get the supplies they’re used to! As a result, we have been inundated with requests from multiple units.
You can make a difference in the lives of our troops on the front lines. A long deployment can be very lonely, especially for some troops who unfortunately receive little to no mail from home
We’ve heard time and time again from troops who receive our care packages and write back to tell us about how much of an impact it made for them to know that a complete stranger back home was thinking of them and sent their support. Show your support by donating today and help us reach our goal by 9/11!
3-159th ARB stands for 3rd Battalion, 159th Attack Reconniasance Battalion, known as “Quickstrike.”
Their unit logo features an advanced AH-64D Apache attack helicopter flanked by lightning bolts. The motto “Sine Metu,” latin for ‘Without Fear’, also appears on the patch.
The AH-64D Apache is one of the most advanced attack choppers in the US arsenal and the 3-159th is responsible for flying, fueling, fixing and maintaining them so that they can provide close ground support to troops fighting the Taliban.
Apaches are also used to conduct reconiassance and surveillance missions to gather critical battlefield data.
The 3-159th ARB resides on a US Army base in Bavaria, Germany when not deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. They were recently deployed in Balad and Baghdad, Iraq in 2008 and Kuwait in 2012 supporting Operation Spartan Shield. Now they are serving in Afghanistan
We need another $5,000 to send 200 packages to the 3-159th ARB as soon as possible! Let’s try to reach our NEW goal of $25,000 by 9/11. Donate now!
877th Engineer Battalion Needs Our Help
One More Week to Reach Our Goal
Because of Obama’s draw-down and shrinking of the mission in Afghanistan, our troops deployed on the front lines are increasingly faced with fewer resources to work with. The PX on base that used to be full now has empty shelves and our troops don’t get the supplies they’re used to!
As a result, we have been flooded with requests from multiple units.
We’ve already raised enough to send packages to the 419th CSSB and C/3-82 MEDEVAC but now we have a new request for another unit that needs your help!
Now we’re supporting the Forward Support Company, 877th Engineer Battalion (FSC 877 EN BN) a unit of the Alabama National Guard and is currently deployed in Bagram, Afghanistan.
Notice: In a previous e-mail we mistakenly wrote that the 877th Engineer Battalion was stationed in Balad. This was an error but we wanted to clear it up. We have confirmed that the 877th is stationed in Bagram, Afghanistan, not Balad. Sorry for the mix-up.
They have over 180 troops there and have been deployed since April. They hope to be home by Christmas, but until then, they need our help!
By Rachel Jinright
WSFA 12 NEWS
April 2, 2014MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) – The Alabama National Guard says two groups out of Haleyville and one out of Montgomery have been called to active duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.The Alabama Air National Guard’s 187th Fighter Wing will deploy on Saturday April 5th at 8 a.m. from the Dannelly Field Air National Guard Base. The wing’s F-16C+ Fighting Falcon aircraft, “Red Tails,” will provide armed overwatch and close air support for ground units in their area of responsibility.The 877th Engineer Battalion and the 1305th Survey and Design Team will deploy approximately 180 soldiers to conduct retrograde operations in support of the United States Central Command Material Retrograde Element mission in Afghanistan.
We need your help to raise another 180 packages to send to the 877th Engineer Battalion as soon as possible! We also have one more week to reach our goal of $20,000 by 9/11 which is next Thursday!
So far we’ve raised about $15,274 so we have another $4,727 to go! Donate now to help us reach our goal!
Busy Day for MAF Volunteers
Hundreds of Packages Ready to Go!
Today, we had twenty local Move America Forward volunteers working hard to prepare several hundred care packages for our troops on the front lines. They know we are running out of time to get these care packages to our troops in Afghanistan before 9/11.
Boxes have been packed, labeled, and they are ready to ship. We just need some more generous donors to sponsor these boxes so we can ship them off to Afghanistan! Click here to donate now!
Our deadline to reach our goal is next Thursday 9/11. We’ve already raised $12,823 towards our goal of $20,000 but we’re rapidly running out of time! We have just one week left to raise another $7,177 for the troops!
We hear over and over again from troops that receiving a care package got them through some of their toughest times on deployment. A message of support and love reminded them that they are in our hearts. Click here to send a care package and give our troops the best gift anyone can get while deployed; love, care, and support!