April Monthly Newsletter 2014 Edition


Hop on Up to Send our Troops Special Easter Treats like Marshmallow Peeps

You know you love them! What would an Easter basket be without a few yummy Marshmallow Peeps!  We are proud to include the squishy goodness of authentic Peeps in our Easter Care Packages for The Troops. Of course we will still send all the other great treats soldiers crave like Jelly Belly candy diplomacy jelly beans, gourmet coffee from Rogers Family Coffee,  Crunchy salty almonds from Blue Diamond, beef jerky, Oreo cookies, Gatorade, lip balm, our Hoo-Ahhs field towels, deodorant and more.

We know nothing lifts a lonely soldier’s spirits like a letter from home, that’s why when you send an Easter package though Move America Forward your personal message of support will be included with our treats. Most of our deployed soldiers are used to spending holidays away from loved ones but let’s make sure they know we are thinking about them and sending our love today.

This month we find ourselves sandwiched between the birth dates of two American Heroes who sacrificed greatly for the freedoms we enjoy every day; two men who served together as Navy SEALs on SEAL Team Three, Charlie platoon and who today are reunited in Heaven. These two “brothers” both left legacies and led by example, out of hearts of compassion!

I challenge you to accept their challenges and carry on for them. Marc Lee was my youngest child who would have been 36 on March 20, 2014. I celebrated his birth and life by honoring him with random acts of kindness that encouraged and impacted others lives. Here is the email that I sent challenging others to do the same that day. CLICK HERE

I was moved by those who emailed me the random acts of kindness that they did to honor Marc and celebrate his birthday. People bought meals for our troops, doughnuts were brought in for the staff on North Island at the ID office.

A Gold Star Mother received flowers and we learned it was also her son’s birthday, flowers were placed on 10 other SEALs graves and pictures sent to their families letting them know we will never forget.

Here is another reply we received:

 “Hola Debbie, This is Terri from Texas! I read your post and Marc’s letter and knew exactly what I needed to do. As I ran my errand yesterday in town I prayed as I went asking the Holy Spirit to guide me to the one. I was in the grocery store paying for my groceries and the young lady behind me started putting her groceries on the belt. I told the check out lady to ring up her groceries and I would pay for them. The lady asked the checker “did she just pay for my groceries?” She was speechless and oh so grateful.I told her I needed to explain why. We were still in the grocery store and I began to cry I could barely tell the story. I did get the story out and her Marc’s letter, she began to cry. The bag boy put her groceries in with mine, we walked to her vehicle, she got her groceries and I got mine. As I was putting mine in my truck I noticed she forgot one of her bags. I jumped into the truck, tried to chase her down but lost her :( I took the bag back to the grocery store in hopes she would return to get what she left. I noticed she bought ice cream and the bag I had was the cones! Can’t have ice cream without the cone!Thank you for sharing your story and Marc’s letter. He was honored yesterday on his birthday with random acts of kindness! We will continue to honor him daily!”

Our next hero is Chris Kyle who one of my “adopted boys.” Chris was tragically murdered Feb 2, 2013. His birthday is April 8th and his family is also asking others to honor and remember him by paying it forward and living his motto to “Serve those who served us.”

Every day I do the random acts of kindness to serve those who served us, and I will never forget the blessing that both of these men were in my life and to so many others. Our world would be a different place if we all committed to do this every day.

These men are the epitome of what sacrifice is and our families understand that deeply, yet they are not the only ones. Each one of our men and women in the military sacrifice deeply, day in, day out so that we can live free. We owe it to them to live our lives worthy of the sacrifice they have made for us

Chris and Marc would want us to celebrate Easter this year and remember the sacrifice Christ made on the cross and his resurrection. That is why they are in Heaven today because they believed. This month let’s continue to honor these heroes with random acts of kindness and impact the world as they did.

Let’s live every day counting our blessings and sharing the gift of life!

Debbie Lee

An Easter Blessing for Our Troops
This prayer Lord, that I say tonight
Is for our troops who all must fight .
These are the troops that we all love
And so I pray dear Lord above
Please keep them safe while they’re away
And bring them home to us someday.
This prayer is not for ours alone
But for all military far from home.
I ask You to keep them safe and sound
On their way to where they’re bound.
We love them all that are asked to fight
So keep them safe for us tonight.Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands.
Protect them as they protect us.
Bless them and their families for the selfless acts
they perform for us in our time of need.

 

Shout out to Blue Diamond Growers!
A great big “Thank You!” goes out to Blue Diamond Growers for their generous donation of yummy, crunchy, nutritious almonds for our troops to enjoy. We are honored to have them join up with us in support of our troops.

Our troops love these almonds; they are handy, portable and packed with healthy protein that our troops crave, and a whole lot more tasty than an MRE! What a great addition to our sought after care packages for our troops!

Good Day Sacramento Covers MAF’s Birthday Celebration!
With Help from Rogers Family Company and a Whole lot of Volunteers we Shipped out over 2,000 Care Packages to our Troops!

On Tuesday March 11, 2013 a John Rogers of Roger’s Family Company, our MAF team and a whole lot of volunteers got together to pack, label and ship out over 2,000 packages to our deployed troops!  We were fortunate enough to have Good Day Sacramento there to feature us on their popular morning program.

Since September Rogers Family Company has stepped up in a big way by donating their premium coffees to be included in our Troop Support care packages.

“The Rogers Family Company is unwavering in our dedication to the US troops, active and veteran, and we will continue our service to them by providing as much coffee to the care package program at Move America Forward and others, as long as they are needed.” Said John Rogers.

The volunteers did an awesome job and there was even a great big cake to help us celebrate our 10 year anniversary.
We hope you had a chance to see our great team at work, but in case you missed it, check out our coverage here


If you have sent a package recently there is a good chance your package was among those that were sent out.  If you have been meaning to send a package and just haven’t gotten around to it recently, why not take a moment to send an Easter Package with your own personal note of support now!

Sign up for our Monthly Smiles Club and Help  Keeps Morale High Year Round!

Here’s an easy way to keep those smiles coming all year long – join the Move America Forward Monthly Smiles Club. Simply provide us with your monthly budget, and a little information from you and we do the rest. That’s all there is to it. Then you’ll know each month you’ve put a smile on a soldier’s face.

We can also set up programs that send packages out for all the different holidays through the year. We have members who send out packages for Easter, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and others who send out packages every other month or even quarterly. We’re here to help with whatever you or your company, group or organization wants to do to support the troops. There’s no obligation, and you can stop sending packages at any time.

Here’s a thank you we just received from a soldier who got a package through Move America Forward, as you can see, it really meant a great deal

Look at these Smiling Faces!!

These soldiers are excited to have received their care packages thanks to our generous sponsors who always have their backs!
“We received the care packages.  Thank you so much for the support.  I  put in some pictures of our Soldiers opening theirs. “ – SSG Michael W. 759th Ordnance Company





If you have a question or would like additional information, contact Lisa Baron, our
Monthly Smiles Director at LisaBaron@MoveAmericaForward.org.

Registering a Soldier is Easy

Registering a soldier to receive support packages is easy. If you have the address of someone deployed on active military duty, click here for our Military Sign-Up Center or copy this link (http://www.moveamericaforward.org/soldier-sign-up/) and e-mail it to them so they can sign-up themselves. Once signed up they’ll be eligible to receive packages and messages of support from caring fellow Americans.

After 50 Years Vietnam Soldier Army Staff Sgt. Lawrence Woods is Laid to Rest at Arlington National Cemetery

Shot down over Vietnam in October 24, 1964, Staff Sgt. Lawrence Woods is finally laid to rest in a coffin containing additional remains found at the crash site of  his previously recovered crew mates.  Sergeant Woods, and a crew comprised of Army and Air Force members, flew a resupply mission aboard a C-123 Provider when their aircraft was shot down killing the seven man crew. While the remains of the other six men were recovered shortly after the crash, remains of Sergeant Woods could not be found at the time.

Woods’ children, Steven R. Woods and Lisa Szymanski, accepted a folded American flag. ‘I would like to say “thank you” today to those who have never forgotten, who remember the soldiers and what they do every day,’ Szymanski said at the burial, reported the Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle.  ‘I would like to thank the people who taught us what those initials mean – Prisoner of War and Missing in Action. We will never forget what you have done for all of us, and we appreciate it.”

Woods remains were recently recovered and identified by a joint U.S. and Vietnamese team.

The other crew members previously identified included Air Force Capt. Valmore W. Bourque, Air Force 1st Lt. Robert G. Armstrong, Air Force Staff Sgt. Ernest J. Halvorson, Air Force Staff Sgt. Theodore B. Phillips, Air Force Airman 1st Class Eugene Richardson, Army Pfc. Charles P. Sparks.

Welcome home brother, may you rest in peace.

Share MAF with a Friend
The more soldiers that register, the more we need to reach out to individuals, groups and organizations who’d like to show their support. If you know an individual, company or organization who’d like to support our troops, would you please pass this newsletter along, or copy this link and e-mail it: http://www.moveamericaforward.org/april-monthly-newsletter-2014-edition/




Did You Know??

April 2, 1792Congress established the first U.S. Mint at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
April 4, 1968Civil Rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was shot and killed by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1986, Congress established the third Monday in January as a national holiday in his honor.

April 6, 1917The U.S.  issued a declaration of war, thus entered World War I in Europe.
April 9, 1865General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

April 10, 1945The Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald was liberated by U.S. troops. Of a total of 238,980 Buchenwald inmates, 56,545 perished.
April 12, 1861Under the command of General Pierre Beauregard, the Confederacy fires upon Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. This represents the opening volley of the Civil War.
April 14, 1865President Abraham Lincoln was shot and mortally wounded by actor John Wilkes Booth while the President and First lady along with their guests were watching a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater in Washington. He was taken to a nearby house and passed away the following morning.

April 15, 1912In the early morning hours the unsinkable Titanic with 2,224 persons on board collided with an iceberg and sank at 2:27 a.m. Over 1,500 persons drowned while 700 were rescued by the liner Carpathia which arrived in the early morning hours.

April 18, 1775The famous Midnight Ride of Paul Revere and William Dawes as the two men rode out of Boston about 10 p.m. to warn patriots at Lexington and Concord of the approaching British.

April 22, 1864 - “In God We Trust” was included on all newly minted U.S. coins by an Act of Congress.
April 30, 1789George Washington became the first U.S. President as he was administered the oath of office in New York City

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

 

March Monthly Newsletter

LOOK WHO’S TURNING 10!!

Move America Forward is proud to announce that we are celebrating 10 years of unwavering support of our troops.  From the start we at Move America Forward have dedicated our mission to supporting our troops in their war against terror.  From our first Troopathon on we have learned how many other people like us who love our troops and want to support them and our support programs have allowed us and them to continue standing proudly behind them.

Many things have changed over the past ten years, some good, and some not, however through all the changes our country has seen,  Move America Forward has held fast to its commitment to our troops.

Our Outreach Director, Scott Raab has a unique perspective on just how special it is to receive a care package.  As one of MAF’s veterans, Scott personally knows what it feels like to receive a package when he was far from home. “As a combat veteran who actually received Care Packages while deployed, it is a great honor for me to ensure that others are receiving the same support on the front lines today. Every day we work to help our heroes and getting to know them, their families or any of the hundreds of thousands of our supporters is a privilege, one I am thankful for everyday.”  — Scott Raab, Outreach Director.

As social media director, Jonathan Salazar keeps his finger on the pulse of MAF’s twitter and facebook outreach efforts. “MAF is an exceptional organization that supports our Military members and their families. I am privileged to work with wonderful individuals who love this country and support our Military – may we always support our troops.”– Jonathan Salazar, Social Media Director

While not a veteran herself, Lisa Baron, our Director of Troop Support is married to a veteran and also the daughter of a WWII  Marine. “I am so honored to help our troops in some small way, especially through overseeing our Monthly Smiles Program and our Corporate Program which allows caring citizens and companies to show their support.” – Lisa Baron, Director of Troop Support

In honor of our ten year anniversary, we created a special new logo.

All of us at Move America Forward are deeply connected to our support mission, but probably no one more so than our own Debbie Lee “Being part of MAF for over 7 years, I have been blessed and am honored to work with patriots and supporters whose priority has been to let our brave warriors serving know that we love and appreciate them. We will never forget their sacrifices for our freedoms! –Debbie Lee, Proud Mother of Navy SEAL Marc Alan Lee KIA 8-2-06

In honor of our ten year anniversary, please take the time to honor those who sacrifice and serve on our behalf.

Since my son Marc’s death I have dedicated my life to honoring and supporting our troops and the families of the fallen. I do understand who pays the price for my freedoms!

Men and women through the ages have defended you and I and the freedoms we enjoy every day. I don’t think a day has passed since 2006 that I haven’t had the privilege of shaking a Veterans hand and giving him a thank you card as a small token of my appreciation. I’ve spoke at numerous military organizations and groups across the US and am always humbled to be in the presence of those who were willing to give their lives for me.

Several years ago I was invited to speak to our local chapter of the Vietnam Vets of America. After speaking they wanted to support me and be able to do something to help other Gold Star families who stayed at the Heroes Hope Home in Surprise, AZ. We determined that a fire pit in the back yard and a memorial area for all of the branches of the military would be just the project.

Last month I hosted these Vietnam Veterans to a thank you luncheon and dedication of the fire pit and memorial area. It was a beautiful 75 degree afternoon celebrated with local Gold Star families and the caring and generous group of Vietnam Vets.



Our Vietnam vets were treated so poorly when they came home and I believe they are the reason so many work so hard to make sure our troops coming home today are thanked and honored.

It still isn’t uncommon for me to shake a hand and say thank you to a Vietnam Vet and have him reply with tears in his eyes, “You are the first one that has said thank you to me since I returned home.”

March 30th has been declared by our Senate as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day. I typically spend that day accepting the challenge in Marc’s last letter home and honoring our Vietnam Vets by visiting the local restaurants and coffee shops and treating the Vietnam Vets who are there to a meal or coffee. It is such an honor and a rewarding experience.

I would encourage each of you to read Marc’s last letter and accept his challenge to do those random acts of kindness for our Vets. March 20th is also Marc’s birthday and I will be honoring and remembering him in San Diego, where he is buried, by passing out his last letter home and doing Random Acts of Kindness!

To all of those who are reading this who are Vietnam Vets, “Welcome Home!” To everyone who has served, you are my heroes and I am always so happy and honored to hear from you!

Counting my blessings and you are one!

Debbie

Troop Tweets

Are you on Twitter? Follow us @M_A_F to share your story, let others know how to donate and even request a care package to be sent out for you. Stay informed on the latest news.  Use the #SOT and #CarePackage hashtags to let everyone know how to help.

So go ahead and tweet us a troop picture or support message @M_A_F and you just might find your tweet featured in one of our upcoming newsletter!




MAF IS PROUD TO HONOR
LANCE CPL. CALEB ERICKSON
OF MINNESOTA


Lance Cpl. Caleb Erickson, USMC


Lance Cpl. Caleb Erickson, 20, of Waseca, Minn.., was killed in Afghanistan’s Helmand Provence on February 28, according to a news release from the Department of Defense.
The Defense Department reports, Lance Cpl. Erickson’s convoy was attacked by a suicide bomber. Erickson was the gunner in the last truck of the convoy when it was attacked according to reports from his family members. Erickson was airlifted to a military medical facility, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Erickson, a 2012 graduate of Waseca High School was a starter on the varsity football team and also a wrestler, according to his father. According to his father, Caleb’s grandfather had served in World War II and Caleb had planned on joining the Marines since he was 16 years old.

Erickson, a Marine deployed out of Camp Lejeune in October, 2013 and was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.

Caleb Erickson is survived by his parents, Barry and Karla Erickson, and a sister, Rue Erickson.

Operation Mail Call: HUGE SUCCESS SO FAR!

 

Move America Forward had a very GOOD problem that we urgently needed your help with last month.

As a result of the holiday generosity of several great companies, we received a large influx of donated items that our troops need. Move America Forward staff and volunteers have been working around the clock to pack and prepare all the extra donated product for shipping but we had a big problem. With so many extra boxes, we simply didn’t have the extra money for postage to ship the much needed supplies and care packages to our troops!

We had 1,620 boxes of care packages and supplies packed and ready to ship, but without money for postage, they were stuck in our Sacramento warehouse.  We needed your help to purchase postage and get them out of our warehouse, where they are doing no good, and over to Afghanistan and into the arms of our troops that so desperately need them.

Now we are so close!!! With your help we are going be able to get all 1,620 boxes. Thanks to all who participated, if you can please help us send one of these love packages to our troops. It will be greatly appreciated and do a lot of good for someone so far away!!

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


Facebook

Twitter

Monthly Smiles

Soldier Signup

Groups Send Our Troops a Great Big Valentine’s Hug


Dexter United Methodist Girl Scouts and Sunday School Classes Enjoyed Putting Their Personal Touches on Their Valentine’s Cards for the Troops

Thanks to the generosity of students from Dexter United Methodist Sunday School and their Girl Scout troops in Michigan; St Philomene Catholic School students in Sacramento, California who also participated last year;   Lakewood Elementary in El Dorado, California;  Raelene Nunn; and Cindy & Susan from Pony Express, our February care packages included over 800 hand-made Valentine’s cards full of love and support for our troops.

We wanted to make sure this Valentine’s Day our troops would be treated to some extra special packages. We sent out a call to our supporters and asking them to take part in a project to bring some heart-felt love to our troops and these groups and individuals answered the call in a big way.

Troops love to receive care packages full of goodies from home, but time and time again, we hear about how  these troops treasure the notes of support that are included long after the last cookie is munched and the last bit of beef jerky is nothing but a memory.  Troops often carry these reminders of loving support with them in their personal packs, that’s just how highly valued they are.

According to Joan Klark from Dexter United Methodist Church in Dexter, Michigan ” The church is very active in the community, and the invitation to send Valentines was well received. Many children and young people participated in our invitation. The response we received from the children and youth and others in our church and community was outstanding. Several Girl Scout troops took part as well.”

  “Our whole school got together to make Valentines’ Day cards.  We are a small school, 101 students.  Thank you again.” said  Gretchen Novis, of St. Philomene School.

Thanks to all the schools, groups and individuals who participated, MAF is so grateful to them for the extra special Valentine’s our troops will receive.

Did You Know?…

March 4, 1789 – After adopting the U.S. Constitution, the first meeting of Congress under the Constitution took place in New York City.

March 5, 1770 – The Boston Massacre took place as a group of Americans taunted British troops who then opened fire, killing five and injuring six.

March 6, 1836 – The Alamo falls to Mexican troops led by General Santa Anna. “Remember the Alamo” became a rallying cry for Texans who went on to defeat Santa Anna in the Battle of San Jacinto in April.

March 11, 1918 – The first cases of Spanish Influenza on U.S. soil are reported as over 100 soldiers become sick at Fort Riley, Kansas. Over the next two years nearly one fourth of the U.S. population falls ill from the pandemic, resulting in more than 500,000 U.S. deaths. Worldwide this deadly virus killed an estimated 50 million people by the end of 1920.

March 19, 2003 – The United States launched an aerial strike targeting military sites against Iraq in an attempt to topple dictator Saddam Hussein from power. The air strikes were swiftly followed by a ground invasion of Southern Iraq by U.S. and British ground troops. The troops swiftly advanced North and conquered  Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, just 21 days later, ending the despotic rule of Saddam Hussein

March 23, 1775 – Patrick Henry delivers his now famous lines, “I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!” during his speech at the Virginia convention in Richmond, VA which helped further spark the fires of revolution.

March 30, 1981 – Following a speech at a hotel in Washington, D.C., President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest by John Hinkley, Jr. while walking toward his limousine. The president was then rushed into surgery to remove a 22-caliber bullet from his left lung. Secret service agent Timothy McCarthy and police officer Thomas Delahanty were shot as well as Reagan’s Press Secretary, James Brady, who was shot in the head and remains partially paralyzed but survived. Hinkley was found not guilty by reason of insanity and remains incarcerated in a psychiatric facility.

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

 

February Monthly Newsletter



Chris Kyle
April 8, 1974 -February 2, 2013
Debbie Remembers Chris Kyle

As an AVID Bronco Fan February 2, 2014, Super Bowl Sunday was a day I will never forget. I cheered on my team with family and friends. My son, my 4 grandsons, my daughter-in-law and I proudly wore our Payton Manning jerseys. I wore my Bronco back- to- back super bowl hat and my toe nails sported a blue and orange pedicure.  And even though the game didn’t quite end as I would have hoped, I am proud to say I am team Broncos from my head to my toe….

Yet there is another memory that will always set February 2nd apart from anything else. Last year on that dreadful day a nation mourned as we learned Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in American history had been murdered in Texas.

Chris had become just like a son to me, after my son Marc’s death.  Chris was actually with Marc when he died and another piece of my heart was sliced away when I received the call that Chris was gone. It’s a good thing God gave me a big heart.

I picked up my copy of American Sniper that Chris gave to me to find some of his quotes to use in this article, as I opened the book I re-read his note that he signed to me and I would like to share his words with you.

Our world is blessed to have so many selfless brave warriors. I now have two men in whose memories I carry on to honor them. Marc’s last letter home challenged us to do more random acts of kindness, “pass on the kindness, the love, the precious gift of human life.” Chris’ motto was “to serve those who served us.”

We can follow their example, honoring and remembering them by combining their two mottos and doing random acts of kindness for our troops and the families of the fallen as our act of service.

Marc and Chris we’ve got your watch and are carrying on as you would have us to. You are deeply loved and deeply missed!!!!

Forever Grateful,
Debbie Lee

Send a Little Love to our Troops for Valentine’s Day!

Take time to share your love with one of our thousands of deployed troops this Valentine’s Day. Click here to send care packages. To make our Valentine’s package even more special MAF will include yummy and fun Valentine’s candy conversation hearts and extra special home-made Valentine’s cards provided by some caring school children and church groups. Of course, our troop support packages will include all our regular great treats like Oreo cookies, premium beef jerky, Jelly Belly jelly beans, Rogers Family Company premium coffee and HOO-AHHS filed wipes and much more. Everyone loves to get a reminder on Valentine’s Day that they are loved, let’s take the time to give some of that love to our troops!

It’s easy to do and our Valentine’s packages start at a super affordable $24.99.


Registering a Soldier is Easy
Registering a soldier to receive support packages is easy. If you have the address of someone deployed on active military duty, click here for our Military Sign-Up Center or copy this link (http://www.moveamericaforward.org/soldier-sign-up/) and e-mail it to them so they can sign-up themselves. Once signed up they’ll be eligible to receive packages and messages of support from caring fellow Americans.

Monthly Smiles Club Keeps Morale High Year Round

Here’s an easy way to keep those smiles coming all year long – join the Move America Forward Monthly Smiles Club. Simply provide us with your monthly budget, and a little information from you and we do the rest. That’s all there is to it. Then you’ll know each month you’ve put a smile on a soldier’s face.

We can also set up programs that send packages out for all the different holidays through the year. We have members who send out packages for Easter, Forth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and others who send out packages every other month or even quarterly. We’re here to help with whatever you or your company, group or organization wants to do to support the troops. There’s no obligation, and  you can stop sending packages at any time.

Here’s a thank you we just received from a soldier who got a package through Move America Forward just in time for Christmas, as you can see, it really meant a great deal!

If you have a question or would like additional information, contact Lisa Baron, our
Monthly Smiles Director at LisaBaron@MoveAmericaForward.org.

Thank You Highlight:
“Thank You So Much for the Great Care Package”
MAF helps Honor these Brave Four Chaplains

Move America Forward was honored to join American Legionnaires, other veterans, patriots, and strong supporters of our military on February 3, 2014 to celebrate and commemorate the service and selfless sacrifice of Four Chaplains who gave everything. A plaque was established in their honor at Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial, San Diego, on the 71st annual “Four Chaplains Day”.

February 3, 1943 during WWII, the troop ship USAT Dorchester was torpedoed in the north Atlantic on its way to Greenland with 900 souls aboard. In the chaos of the explosion, which knocked out all electric power and lighting on the Dorchester, the Four Chaplains acted to calm the troops and pass out life vests as the Dorchester began sinking. When they ran out of life vests for the troops, each of the Four Chaplains, knowing death was certain, took off his life vest and put it on a soldier without one.

The awe-inspiring “Immortal Chaplains” – Rev. George Fox (Methodist), Rabbi Alexander Goode, Father John Washington (Roman Catholic), and Rev. Clark Poling (Dutch Reformed) – each went down with the ship and survivors later testified that they witnessed the Four Chaplains go to their deaths together, arms linked, praying together, sacrificing their lives “so that others may live.”

Their selfless heroism of service and sacrifice led Congress to award each a Purple Heart and Distinguished Service Cross in 1944, and an unprecedented Congressional Medal of Valor in 1961. By a unanimous Act of Congress in 1988, February 3rd was declared to be observed annually as “Four Chaplains Day.”

Did You Know…?

February 1, 2003 - The Space Shuttle Columbia broke apart in flight over Texas as it was reentering the earth’s atmosphere. All seven crew members aboard were killed.The accident was most likely the result of damage caused during liftoff. Following the Columbia disaster shuttle flights were suspended for approximately two years. Columbia was the second space shuttle lost in flight. In January 1986, Challenger exploded during liftoff.

February 10, 1942 -  2nd Lt. Alexander Nininger was posthumously awarded The first Medal of Honor during World War II for heroism during the Battle of Bataan.

February 20, 1962 - John Glenn became the first American launched into orbit. Aboard Friendship VII Mercury capsule, Glenn reached an altitude of 162 miles, completing three orbits in just under five hours. Glenn was the third American in space, preceded by Alan Shepard and Virgil “Gus” Grissom who had each previously completed short sub-orbital flights.

February 21, 1994 - Aldrich Ames, a CIA agent was arrested on charges he spied for the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991. Ames was convicted later that same year. He is currently serving a life sentence in a Federal penitentiary in Pennsylvania.

February 27, 1950 - The 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, limiting the president to two terms or a maximum of ten years in office.

January 2014 Newsletter

THANKS TO ONE AND ALL!!

Move America Forward would like to say a big THANK YOU to all the people, companies, groups and organizations who sent Thanksgiving and Christmas packages and messages of support. You helped make it a little easier for our troops during a time of year when it’s harder than ever to be far from home and family. Thanks to your generosity and support, the holidays were brighter for thousands of American soldiers.

If you sent a package and have not yet received a thank you, please be patient. Sometimes it’s very hard or even impossible for a soldier to drop a note in the mail, as much as you would all love to hear back from the soldier you have sponsored.

Registering a Soldier is Easy

Registering a soldier to receive support packages is easy. If you have the address of someone deployed on active military duty, click here for our Military Sign-Up Center or copy this link http://www.moveamericaforward.org/soldier-sign-up/ and e-mail it to them so they can sign-up themselves. Once signed up they’ll be eligible to receive packages and messages of support from caring fellow Americans.

Calling all Kids!  Send Heartfelt Thanks for Valentine’s Day!

We are inviting school children from across the nation to send us their Valentine’s Cards to be included in our special Valentine’s packages for our troops.

Our goal is to have every state in the nation represented in our special Valentine’s Care Packages for the troops, which include our regular care package goodies plus some extra special Valentine’s goodies to let the troops know there is lots of love coming their way.

If your child’s school would like to participate, email our Director of Troop Support, Lisa Baron LisaBaron@MoveAmericaForward.org

Let’s make sure our troops feel the love this Valentine’s Day!

Companies Pitch In to Help Out

Many companies support the troops through our Corporate Sponsorship Support Program. By raising funds doing everything from selling dress down days to holding bake sales and even holding silent auctions, and donating products like our delicious Christmas blend coffees, hundreds of corporate support packages have reached our troops! Thanks to Corporate Sponsors like Rogers Family Company, Stag Arms, JDA Professional Services, Inc., The Schwartz Foundation, Munich Re America, Somerset Hills Shopping Center, Inc., and many more many troops have received packages with special letters from their corporate partners. If your company would like more information on how you can send support packages through Move America Forward, contact lisabaron@MoveAmericaForward.org, and Lisa will be happy to help you put your own corporate program together.



The fresh beginning of a New Year always brings so many aspirations, goals, and ideals to conquer the world. It doesn’t take long before reality sets in and we fall back into our old patterns. They say it takes 3 weeks of daily practicing your new pattern or habit for a successful change. I pray that 2014 will bring blessings in every aspect of your life and that your goals are attained.

I know that each and everyone of you have been a blessing to me, the MAF family and our brave warriors who defend you and I and the freedoms we enjoy every day. Without your faithful support we wouldn’t have been able to send 210 tons of care packages.

I have dedicated my life since the death of my son Marc to honoring and supporting our troops, the fallen and their families. Most of the time that’s about 80 hours a week and yet that still isn’t enough to balance the sacrifice they make for me.

We have been blessed to meet and support so many TRUE HEROES with the support from amazing patriots. Marc’s last letter home talked about how distorted our priorities are in America that we have lost the real meaning of a hero.

Many people refer to a rock star, sports figure, movie star as their ‘hero. They may be “famous” or a “celebrity” but not a hero.The definition of a hero is, “in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will for self sacrifice.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t know any celebrities who would sacrifice their life for you or me. They may “appear” to face danger as a character in a movie but not in reality.

Our troops in the combat zone courageously face that adversity every moment of every single day. Their families keep the home front burning not knowing if today could be the day that they receive that knock on the door informing them their hero has selflessly sacrificed and won’t be coming home.

There are not words descriptive enough, actions deep enough, expressions broad enough to describe the deep love, respect and gratitude I have for our men and women who serve and keep me free. You are the real American heroes!!!!

I look forward to 2014 and continuing to support our Heroes and share the love that America has for them locked arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder with the amazing MAF supporters and American Patriots!

Start the New Year out with a Smile

The Christmas season can be so hectic that sometimes we just don’t quite get around to checking everything off our “To Do” list.  If you intended on sending a care package to our troops for Christmas and just never got around to it, why not take the time to start of the New Year with a gift to our hard-working troops?

Did you Know?

January 1, 1863 – President Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves in the 11 Confederate States  still  in rebellion against the Union with the issuance of  The Emancipation Proclamation.

January 3, 1959 – Alaska was admitted as the 49th state.

January 28, 1986 – Just 73 seconds into its flight,  The U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger exploded over central Florida killing all seven crew members  aboard including its  lone civilian passenger , teacher Christa McAuliffe, the first civilian in space.

January 20, 1981 – At age 69, Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the oldest United States president to take office.

January 22, 1901 – Queen Victoria of England died after reigning for 64 years,  ending the longest reign in  of any British monarch in  history.

January 28, 1915 – The U.S. Coast Guard was created by an Act of Congress, combining the Life Saving Service and the Revenue Cutter Service.

December 2013 Newsletter

MAF in the News

We are always excited to see Move America Forward in the news because we know when the media highlights our troop support care package program, our soldiers WIN. That’s why we were excited to see Breitbart.com highlight our care package program for the Holiday Season.  Thanks Breitbart.com for helping us spread the word on supporting our troop!

Holidays are for Sharing

If you want to send a big bunch of Christmas Cheer, we offer several packages that are meant to be shared by two, four or more soldiers. Just click on our Happy Holidays Shop to see what’s special for the holidays, and check out our gifts designed to be shared.


Thanks to our Corporate Partner Rogers Family Company

Gourmet Coffee for our Troops!

When Move America Forward approached Rogers Family Company about the possibility of partnering up to provide high quality coffee in our care packages, Rogers Family Company responded with an enthusiastic “Yes!” For the last few months all of our care packages have included their delicious blends including some special seasonal offerings like Peppermint, Chocolate Truffle, and Pumpkin Spice!

“Rogers Family Company is dedicated to doing whatever we can year-round to make sure our troops feel supported, and during this time of year, we are increasing our efforts. In the last two months, Rogers Family Company has donated thousands of bags of coffee to MAF which will be included with the much needed care packages” according to Rogers Family Company spokesman and blogger Chris Swift.

Swift and The Rogers Family Company understand the importance of reaching out to our troops in a tangible display of support. “At some point, each and every one of us has felt a deep loneliness.  Having someone reach out, pat you on the back, and simply acknowledge your existence can put a smile on your face.  Now, imagine a total stranger doing the same thing.  A person you have never met, reaching out and giving you a hug, just to say thank you for being you.  That’s powerful!” said Swift

Recently Swift had the opportunity to visit our MAF offices to personally assemble their coffee in our Care Packages and meet some of our dedicated volunteers. “I had the unique opportunity on November 20, 2013 to hang out with a group of volunteers as they packed up care packages bound for Afghanistan.  Kids and parents, side by side in a highly-efficient assembly line. In a two hour period, these 10 volunteers put together 290 care packages, breaking the previous record of 232 packages.  The group was gleeful when they shattered the record, AND were ready for more, but the second shift of the day was on their way in to start the process all over again.” said Swift.

MAF is proud and thankful for the opportunity to include Rogers Family Company gourmet coffee in all our care package to our troops. Please take the time to spread some holiday cheer and provide our troops with a special package including Rogers Family Company coffee and other delicious seasonal treats!

 

Our Group Gift Department
Makes it Easy

Our Group Gift department makes it easy for any size company or group to support our troops – all you have to do is let us know your budget, and how you’d like your soldiers selected, and we’ll do all the work. We’ll offer you a variety of options for packages, and select soldiers that meet your criteria – whether it’s home state, branch of service or gender. We can even include a customized message from your company, group or organization in every package.

Imagine opening up your mail one day and reading this:

“Thanks for the great package of goodies. It’s always a great thing to receive mail here in Afghanistan. It has been hard being away from family and I love the Move America Forward program – it’s great for those of us who never get much mail. Thank you again for your kindness.” Stephanie.

Of course, sometimes soldiers just aren’t in a position to send a thank you when they receive a package, but we know how much they appreciate it. We’ve even been contacted by soldiers who’ve safely returned stateside asking us to put them in touch with the person who sent them a package, so they could tell them personally what it meant to them, and how badly they felt they couldn’t send a thank you at the time. To contact group gift, email LisaBaron@MoveAmerica.org with your questions, and she’ll be glad to help out.

When MAF Gets the Call
- Here’s What We Do!

In mid-October MAF received a telephone call out of the clear blue from a gentleman in Houston, Texas. He had 90,000 Holiday Greeting Cards to donate to MAF.

Wow, 90,000 holiday cards for the troops fighting the war on terror. We could include a dozen or so in each care package. They could easily be shared by the troops. While we live in the age of the internet and our troops often have the opportunity to make internet contact with their loved ones and friends, there is nothing more special – even in this day and age – than receiving a greeting card. (No different than when our donors add a special message along with their donation for us to include in each care package).

So we said YES. The only request was: MAF had to figure out the pickup and delivery back to headquarters in Sacramento by the end of October. We came up with Plan A, Plan B and eventually implemented Plan C.

What was Plan C?

MAFs Executive Director would fly to Houston, rent a truck, load the product and drive back to Sacramento. After all, he is our “miscellaneous” go-to guy.

Well you know such plans can sometimes have their bumps. Actually the whole Plan C worked pretty well…we got the cards back to Sacramento.  But…

It was raining in Houston on Wednesday. The truck was not rented ahead of time and was only found after a third location visit. Four hours lost. Then the truck was changed. The first one offered had 99,000 miles on it while one nearby looked new and had only 7800 miles. Newer truck, easier ride, better fuel economy!

Then there was the loading of nearly 200 boxes, for a total weight of nearly 8,000 pounds. The storage location was deserted with no one around to help load the truck. Well, after nearly 3 hours of loading in the high humidity Houston (Californians are NOT used high humidity), the truck was on its way.

The first overnight was in San Antonio. It is a straight shot west on I-10 through the rolling hills of Southwest Texas. Throughout the drive were massive lightning displays. Turns out just 75 miles north, in the Austin area, the storms had dropped over 14 inches of rain in just a few hours causing massive flooding in the surrounding area. Yes, our holiday cards remained dry!

From San Antonio, the truck next overnighted in El Paso. And the final night in Blythe which is at the California-Arizona border, on the banks of the Colorado River. Then on Saturday is was a full day’s drive to Sacramento – with one “luxury stop” at Central California’s famous Harris Ranch for a gourmet hamburger. (Every time you see an American in military uniform, thank them….we enjoy our hamburgers thanks to them.)

One side trip was made while driving through to Phoenix when the truck went 30 miles off I-10 to show Debbie Lee, MAF spokeswoman, our truck load.

Yes, it was after dusk. The traffic in the Phoenix area on late Friday was slower than slow so our plan in seeing Debbie was a few hours late. The truck spent an hour with Debbie who marveled at the quality of the cards, not to mention the generous donation. Debbie suggested a back way return to I-10. Well the back way worked perfectly but not before some second guessing as it was largely a route through the pitch dark desert for 45 miles.

On Monday morning the loaded truck was at Total Service Logistics, Inc., a state of the art warehousing, transportation and distribution firm, located just a mile from MAF headquarters. TSL’s owners are fantastic MAF supporters and offered to house the boxes for free. Then out of the clear blue they offered to ask their service club members to make it their holiday project to sort the 90,000 cards into categories to make our deliveries to the troops more impactful, rather than random. More on that in the coming weeks.

That’s what we do when we get the call. We are so grateful to the donor of the cards and to all of our supporters who contribute monetary donations, time, ideas and free products to help make the tours of duty of our troops fighting the war on terror a little more comfortable.

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. Once the soldier has registered they’ll be eligible to receive packages and messages of support from caring Americans like you.
MAF shipping Holiday Care Packages until December 31st! Make Sure to Get Your Donations in Early!

MAF Volunteers, Staff and supporters of every kind are all pitching in to make sure every package ordered gets in the mail by Christmas. Santa’s elves want you to know they’d really appreciate it if you don’t wait until the very last minute to order. And just a reminder to all you procrastinators: packages sent to the military must go by USPS Priority Mail, so we’re not able to offer an overnight delivery option like UPS or FEDX. But if you do miss the deadline, don’t worry….MAF is sending Holiday Care Packages all the way until December 31st, and even if it shows up after December 25th, the troops are going to be more than willing to celebrate Christmas when it arrives. So if you haven’t had time yet, take a moment to remember our brave men and women serving far from home.

 


Thank You Highlight:

“This is Chitta, we just received a care package sponsored by your organization. Thanks so much!”

MAF Makes Your Christmas Shopping Easy!

MAF is making it easy to send a gift to a soldier in the name of family, friends or co-workers. It’s just like making a donation to any other charity in a friend’s honor.  If you just want to send a package or two, or  to send packages in the names of each of your many clients, customers or everyone on your holiday list, we’ll be happy to do all the work for you.

All you have to do is give us your budget and your list, and we’ll do the rest. We’ll even supply you with a letter you can print out or email letting your list of friends know a gift has been sent in their name by you to a deployed service member.  It’s one gift that’s sure to produce smiles all around. Just contact LisaBaron@MoveAmericaForward.org and paste GIFT IN NAME in the subject line.

Gift of Monthly Smiles!

MAF even makes it easy to give year round .You can give someone aMembership in the Monthly Smiles Club and we’ll send a soldier a package in their name every month all year long. So long after the Christmas decorations are put away, your holiday gift will still be reminding your recipient of you – and reminding a soldier far from home that someone still cares about them.

We can work with your budget to send packages and to include a personal support message. We’ll even prepare a special letter for the person you’re giving the gift to. Then every month both you and the person who received your gift will get a notification from us letting you both know that a package went out. No need to pay up front; we’ll simply charge your credit card each month when your package ships.

What a great gift for a special client, friend or family member or group or employees. If you’d like to find out more, just complete our Monthly Smiles email form and in the area for messages, tell us you want to know more about giving a membership in the Monthly Smiles Club.

ALREADY DONE WITH THE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING?

You can still Sponsor a Care Package and send a box full of goodies and Christmas spirit to a soldier, sailor, marine, or airman RIGHT NOW!

This time of the year most of us our focused on the holidays and the preparations. We have just finished Thanksgiving and I hope that all of you were blessed to celebrate with family and friends.

I was blessed to have 2 Marine families at our holiday table that was lavished with way too much delectable food. My son Kristofer and his friend Adam, their wives and 5 and ¾ children, as well as my cousins, focused on what we were thankful for.

We had a vase and throughout the day we put slips of paper with what we were thankful for into the jar. At the end of the day we gathered and read the notes.

As you can imagine there were duplicate themes of faith, family, and friends. My youngest grandson who just turned 2 had me write his note as he voiced in his limited vocabulary, “for you.” He also had me write another one later in the day and said “Uncle Marc,” Grandkids are such a blessing…

We set a place for my son Marc this year at the table. It’s been 7 years since he was killed in Ramadi and no one has to remind us that he won’t be there. Time does change things but the void never goes away.

I’ve been to numerous weddings and formal military parties where they set a place to honor the fallen teammate. They turn the glass upside down representing that the hero won’t be there to toast, the lemon on the plate represents the bitter loss, and salt for all of the tears that have been shed.

Through the years I’ve come to know so many other Gold Star families who will forever have that empty seat at their table. That place setting not only represented Marc but each and every hero who has sacrificed their life fighting for our freedoms. They gave their all for their teammates, for you and for me.

Our troops and their families give so much on a daily basis that most will never recognize. They give time away from their families that can never be recouped, even when they aren’t deployed they give intense amounts of time to training; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. They choose to serve and give up careers that financially would provide much more for their families. Many are wounded and lose limbs, sight, and are physically scarred for life. They must adapt to wheel chairs, prosthetics, service dogs, numerous therapies trying to restore some type of a new normal in their lives. Many suffer with PTSD, TBI and thoughts of suicide and struggle with scars that cannot be seen.

Thanksgiving may be over for another year, but I will daily tell our troops, and their families Thanks for Giving!! The sacrifices you have made and continue to make for me and for this country are greatly appreciated and will never be forgotten.

As we enter December and Christmas this year, please celebrate the hope we have because of those who sacrifice for our freedoms. Baby Jesus born in a Manger sacrificed his life on the cross so you could be free from sin and spend eternity with Him, and our troops who sacrifice so that we can enjoy freedom in America.

As you celebrate pick a family of a fallen hero, and a deployed family and bring a little extra joy and support to them during this Holiday Season. Then go to America’s Mighty Warriors on FB and post what you did to bring joy to these families.

Merry Christmas to you and special love to those who are deployed and the families they are away from!


As 2013 draws to a close, we at MAF want to take a moment to solemnly remember all the brave members of our armed services who gave their lives in service to our great nation. To the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, and best friends who bravely gave their all, your light will shine bright in our hearts today and every day.

Name Branch
Viola, Alex A. U.S. Army
Vazquez, Richard L. U.S. Army
Robertson, Forrest W. U.S. Army
Grant, Christopher O. U.S.M.C.
Turnbull, Lyle D. U.S. Army
Quinn, Patrick H. U.S. Army
Moreno, Jennifer M. U.S. Army
Hawkins, Patrick C. U.S. Army
Peters, Joseph M. U.S. Army
Patterson, Cody J. U.S. Army
Lopez, Angel L. U.S. Army
Collins, Jeremiah M. U.S.M.C.
Baysore, Jr., Thomas A. U.S. Army
Gibson, Jonathan S. U.S. Navy
Jones, Landon L. U.S. Navy
Nevins, Liam J. U.S. Army
McGill, Timothy R. U.S. Army
Strickland, Joshua J. U.S. Army
Wickliffchacin, James T. U.S. Army
Brown III, William D. U.S. Army
Thomas Jr., Robert E. U.S. Army
Lobraico Jr., Todd J. U.S.A.F
Bowden, Joshua J. U.S. Army
Ollis, Michael H. U.S. Army
Young, Ricardo D. U.S. Army
Togi, Jason U.S. Army
Alvarez, Kenneth Clifford U.S. Army
Hostetter, Jonathon M.D. U.S. Army
Banner Jr., George A. U.S. Army
Hicks, Jamar A. U.S. Army
Grace Jr., Keith E. U.S. Army
Herrera, Octavio U.S. Army
Welch, Nickolas S. U.S. Army
Burley, Nicholas B. U.S. Army
New, Stephen M. U.S. Army
Lawson, Eric T. U.S. Army
Nouv, Caryn E. U.S. Army
Russell, Jonam U.S. Army
Smith, Stefan M. U.S. Army
Nichols, Rob L. U.S. Army
Maddox, Anthony R. U.S. Army
Zimmerman, Sonny C. U.S. Army
Tuttle, Benjamin W. U.S.M.C.
Milliard, Errol D.A. U.S. Army
Stapley, Tracy L. U.S. Army
Clayton, Hilda I. U.S. Army
Rogers, Justin R. U.S. Army
Garver, Corey E. U.S. Army
Sanchez Jr., Javier U.S. Army
Johnson, Justin R. U.S. Army
Alt, Ember M. U.S. Army
Ellis, Robert W. U.S. Army
Moody, William R. U.S. Army
Brown, Jared W. U.S.M.C
Thomas Jr., Jesse L. U.S. Army
Leonard, Jaimie E. U.S. Army
Clark, Todd J. U.S. Army
Sisson, Justin L. U.S. Army
Pierce, Robert A. U.S. Army
Mullen, Sean W. U.S. Army
Stoeckli, Kyle P. U.S. Army
Ramirez, Ray A. U.S. Army
Raymundo, Mariano M. U.S. Army
Nunezrodriguez, Joe A. U.S. Army
Drake, Christopher R. Nat. Guard
Flores, Dwayne W. U.S. Army
Aguon, Eugene M. Nat. Guard
Rhea, Trenton L. U.S. Army
Name Not Released Yet U.S. Army
Baker, Jeffrey C. U.S. Army
Daehling, Mitchell Kirk U.S. Army
Gilbert, William Joseph U.S. Army
Sonka, David M. U.S.M.C.
Christian, Eric D. U.S.M.C.
Murach, Thomas Paige U.S. Army
Phillips IV, Francis Gene U.S. Army
Prescott, Brandon Joseph U.S. Army
Cardoza, Kevin U.S. Army
Landrum, Brandon J. U.S. Army
Voss, Mark T. U.S.A.F
Pinckney, Victoria A. U.S.A.F
Mackey III, Herman U.S.A.F
Santiago Jr., Trinidad U.S. Army
McClure, Charles P. U.S. Army
Simpson, Michael H. U.S. Army
Fannin, Daniel N. U.S.A.F
Dickson, Richard A. U.S.A.F
Nishizuka, Reid K. U.S.A.F
Cyr, Brandon L. U.S.A.F
Hess, Robert J. U.S. Army
Blanchard, Aaron R. U.S. Army
Austin, Barrett L. U.S. Army
Yoder, Jarett M. Nat. Guard
Ruffner, Matthew P. Nat. Guard
Name Not Released Yet
Santos Jr., Deflin M. U.S. Army
Robles-Santa, Wilbel A. U.S. Army
Ward, Christopher M. U.S. Army
Steel, James Michael U.S.A.F
Reagan, Curtis S. U.S. Army
Cable, Michael C. U.S. Army
Wade, Tristan M. U.S. Army
Groves III, James E. U.S. Army
Proctor, David T. U.S. Army
Pike, Christian Michael U.S. Navy
Blass, Steven P. U.S. Army
Henderson, Bryan J. U.S. Army
Knutson, Sara M. U.S. Army
Scialdo, Marc A. U.S. Army
Shannon, Zachary L. U.S. Army
Schad, Rex L. U.S. Army
Pedersen-Keel, Andrew M. U.S. Army
Suggs, Cody D. U.S. Army
Bunn, Larry D. U.S.A.F
Davis, Jonathan D. U.S.M.C.
Schoonhoven, Mark H. U.S. Army
Chambers, David J. U.S. Army
Wittman, Aaron X. U.S. Army
Sims, Markie T. U.S. Army
Mondragon, Enrique U.S. Army
Price, Job W. U.S. Navy
Robinson, Leonard U.S. Navy
Lipari, Kevin E. U.S. Army
Guillory, Michael J. U.S.M.C.
Trent, Nelson D. Nat. Guard
Reid, Nicholas J. U.S. Army
Williams, Wesley R. U.S. Army
Checque, Nicolas D. U.S. Navy
Orgaard, Tyler J. Nat. Guard
Linde, Darren M. Nat. Guard
Denier, Anthony J. U.S.M.C.
Monahan Jr., Christopher M. U.S.M.C.
Ebbert, Kevin R. U.S. Navy
Shanafelt, Zachary U.S. Army

*as reported 11/18/2012 – 11/17/2013

CLICK HERE TO SEND CHRISTMAS CARE PACKAGES NOW!

November 2013 Newsletter

We Honor Our Veterans!

Monday, 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!”

We also wanted to take a moment to honor some of Move American Forward’s Family Veterans.

Debbie Lee — Most of you are aware of the ultimate sacrifice made by Debbie Lee’s son Marc Lee when he was killed on August 2, 2006 helping to save the lives of his teammates. We honor Marc’s sacrifice and he is always in our hearts.  In this month Debbie’s Corner we will hear Debbie Lee talk about being Marc’s mom as well as her brother Jim, her eldest son Kristopher and her son-in-law Christopher all of whom proudly served.


Marc, Christopher and Kristopher

Lisa Baron – Many of you may know me through Monthly Smiles, our Corporate Giving program or our Monthly Newsletter. I have always felt a calling to ensure our troops are honored and remembered.  Perhaps it’s the fact that I was born on Veteran’s Day but more likely it is due to growing up listing to my father’s stories about his time as a Marine with the legendary First Marine Division during WWII.


Eugene J. Durk, USMC

Having fought and survived the grueling battles on Guadalcanal, Peleliu, and Okinawa my dad was a living reminder of the sacrifices made by most American men of his generation. Tucked reverently in my dad’s steamer trunk alongside his uniforms and mementos lies a tear stained letter written to my father in 1945 from his sister June informing him of the death of her husband Richard at Luzon in the Philippians. Although the tears shed on this letter dried nearly 70 years ago, this silent testament is a stark reminder that many more were not as fortunate as my father who returned whole and intact and went on to spend 61 years married to the love of his life, my mother Joan, and to raise eight children who were lucky enough to call him dad.

I was fortunate enough to marry my husband Michael, the son of an Army Veteran in 1990. At the time I met him he was a plank owning member of the 110 ft. U. S. Coast Guard Island Class Cutter Attu.  My husband spent nearly 25 years on active duty as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard. As a Caribbean Ninja as the crew called itself,  the Attu crew served on the front line on the war on drugs and had one of the best drug interdiction records in the Caribbean at that time.


Michael J. Baron, USCG (Retired)

My husband spent nearly 25 years on active duty as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard and served in many vital roles from pollution and hazardous material response to drug interdiction and law enforcement and I am proud of his service to our country.

Diane Nagy — My uncle Michael Nagy was flying one of the last planes shot down in WWII and we honor our veterans this Veteran’s Day. Please remember all our brave who have ever sacrificed and continue to sacrifice to keep our flag flying at unreachable heights. It is because of them, that we have the freedoms we enjoy, and for them, that we continue to fight for our freedom!


Michael Nagy, US Navy

Michael was a gunner for a Navy Torpedo Bomber on his way home after completing his last mission. His route home crossed the path of the aircraft carrier USS Independence en route to Japan, which was short two torpedo-bombers. Mike and his crew volunteered to fly in the place of one of the missing aircraft, and joined them for “one last mission.” Mike never returned from that mission.

A few years later, his brother John (my father) while serving in the Army, went to Maizuro Harbor in Japan to search for Michael, in hopes he might still be alive.  It was there that he learned from a villager that Michael had indeed given his life, when his plane was shot down and paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Scott Raab - There is nothing in my life that I am more proud of than enlisting in the United States Navy. I served as a Communications Intelligence Analyst and Anti-Terrorism and Force Protection instructor to members of every branch of the military and our civilian counterparts. As a disabled combat veteran now working through Move America Forward to help those who took an oath to  protect and defend our Constitution, I am extremely humbled every day by your generosity and kindness.

I knew at a very young age that I would serve my country and it was no surprise to my close circle of family and friends when I left home to pursue that end. Most families have their traditions. In my family each generation has answered that call to serve. So in my family, service was a part of our tradition. Of course it was a very difficult for my mother to see her only son leave after the events of 9/11. It is one of the only times I can ever remember seeing her cry. The hardest part for me and many others is never being able to tell her where I was or when I would return. One of the hardest conversations I have ever had was when I told her I was extending my enlistment for an additional year from a satellite phone overseas.  For many months I was only able to tell her I was safe and doing my duty and would be home soon. These are the hard times every military family goes through.

My fondest memory was the day I came back home. It’s hard to describe that moment, however, I can tell you that the reason all of us work so hard to make sure we reach ever single Marine, Soldier, Airmen and Sailor possible is because that day takes so long for families to get to.


Scott Raab, US Navy and Grandfather (WW2 Vet)

Every generation of my family has served in uniform for as long back as we can trace. My grandfather, a World War II veteran, is my role model and still the one person I  want to impress. He once said “There is no higher honor than supporting your country, to protect the freedoms and liberty that it represents. No matter if you serve or support those that do.” I am reminded of those words especially on Veterans Day and whenever I have the honor to talk with someone serving or who has served, their family or one of you that takes the time to think of them and send a care package with your message of unwavering support.

This Veterans Day like all others I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so kind and generous to those who have served and for never forgetting all the sacrifice that they make serving our great nation.

We know many of you have a veteran in your circle of family and friends. We are asking you all to please take the time to thank your friends, co-workers or loved ones this year who have served our country so proudly.

We 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 you are sending your package.



 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, 1860 – Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th U.S. President of the United States.

November 10, 1775 – Happy 238th 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, 1863 – President 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, 1945 - The Nuremberg War Crime Trials began with 24 former of Nazi leaders charged a variety of crimes including crimes against humanity.

November 22, 1963 – President John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, was assassinated while traveling 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.

 

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 multicolored 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, coffee and lots more.  And ever Thanksgiving   package includes a special personalized message to our troops at no extra charge.

 



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.


Me and My Brother Jim, an Air Force MSgt

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!

 



MAF Honors Fallen Hero Army Nurse Jennifer Moreno

1st Lt. Jennifer Moreno, 25, died in an improvised explosive device attack along with three other U.S. service members on Oct. 6 in the Zhari District.

Lt. Moreno belonged to an elite joint Special Operations cultural support team which accompanied  Ranger and Green Beret units.

According to Army Ranger Regiment spokesperson Tracy Bailey, the team was hit during a night mission that prevented a high-profile suicide attack in the city of Kandahar. According to Bailey a person wearing a suicide bomb detonated near the Ranger-led patrol, and then a series of other bombs exploded.

In addition to the four fatal casualties, 30 soldiers were wounded by the explosions, Bailey said.

Moreno, originally from the San Diego  was deployed out of Madigan Army Medical Center. Army records show that Moreno was the first soldier to die in Iraq or Afghanistan while serving under Madigan’s flag.

Earlier this month, in a statement, Col. Ramona Fiorey said the whole medical community at Madigan was “deeply saddened” by Moreno’s death.

“We’ve lost a superb officer and a caring nurse who served with marked distinction and honor throughout her career,” Fiorey said.

This was Moreno’s first deployment.

Three others were also killed in the enemy attack: Sgt. Patrick Hawkins, 25, of Carlisle, Pa.; Sgt. Joseph Peters, 24, of Springfield, Mo.; and Pfc. Cody Patterson, 24, of Philomath, Ore.

Moreno is survived by her mother and two sisters in San Diego and one brother currently serving  in the Army.

HOLIDAY DUO

It’s November already!  So, 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 who won’t have a chance to celebrate these special days with their friends and loved ones.

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 to ass 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 order your package today for November from the order button above and we will automatically send out a package in the same amount billed to your same credit card in time for Christmas.

Holiday Support Made Easy

The Holiday’s are just around the corner.  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

Signing Up a soldier for a Support Package is Easy

If you have the address of someone deployed on active military duty to sign them up to receive a package.from program, or copy this link and e-mail it to them so they can register themselves.


“I Am Happy to Serve My Country”


TOP TWEETS OF THE MONTH




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. Once the soldier has registered they’ll be eligible to receive packages and messages of support from caring Americans like you.

October Monthly Newsletter

MAF is Proud to Honor Fallen Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis


The Pentagon says Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis of Staten Island died August 28, 2013 in Ghazni Province from wounds received during a firefight with insurgents. Ollis was an infantryman in the 10th Mountain Division’s 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team based at Fort Drum in northern New York.

Ollis was an ROTC student at the Michael J. Petrides School , Staten Island  and enlisting shortly after graduating in 2006. After serving in Germany and Fort Campbell in Kentucky, he arrived at Fort Drum in November 2011. He previously had done combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. His unit was deployed to Afghanistan in January.

Shortly before his death, the 24-year-old  Ollis learned he had been awarded the Bronze Star as had his father before him who had served in Vietnam.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo had flags on state government buildings flown at half-staff on Wednesday, September 4 in honor of Staff Sgt. Ollin.

“Along with all New Yorkers, I extend my sympathy to the friends, family and fellow soldiers of Staff Sgt. Ollis,” Governor Cuomo said. “We mourn the loss of this young soldier but we will remember and honor his service to our nation.”

Ollis is survived by his parents Robert and Linda Ollis, and two sisters.

Move America Forward Monthly Smiles member Thomas DeMarzo of Staten Island who has known Ollis and his family since Michael was a small boy has ordered a Monthly  Smiles package be sent out to a soldier serving in harm’s way on monthly basis in the memory of Michael Ollis as his way of honoring Michael’s service and sacrifice.

Farewell and Following Seas to Best Selling Author and Patriot Tom Clancy

Patriotic Author Tom Clancy, renowned for his best-selling military thrillers passed away October 1, 2013 at a Baltimore hospital. Clancy was 66.

Clancy’s writing career spanned over three decades as he rose to prominence with such works as “Patriot Games” and  “The Hunt for Red October.” Clancy is best known for his technically detailed espionage and military plot lines that are set during and in the Cold War and his best known recurring character CIA operative and later politician Jack Ryan who is featured in more than a dozen of Clancy’s works..

Clancy’s newest novel which will feature Jack Ryan one final time in “Command Authority,” is scheduled for a December 3, 2013 release date.

Many of Clancy’s novels were also produced as blockbuster movies and top-selling video games. Four films based on Clancy novels featuring Jack Ryan have been produced. Ryan is portrayed by Alec Baldwin in the 1990 film “The Hunt for Red October”, Harrison Ford in “Patriot Games (1992)” and “Clear and Present Danger (1994)”, and Ben Affleck in the 2002 film “The Sum of All Fears”. A fifth film entitled “Jack Ryan: Shadow One” is scheduled for release in 2013 with Chris Pine in the role of Ryan.

In addition to films, Clancy lent his name to a series of popular video games such as the “Splinter Cell” and “Ghost Recon” series and he was also a part-time owner of the Baltimore Orioles.

Clancy, well known as a political conservative and prominent supporter of the National Rifle Association, made headlines when he blamed liberal lawmakers for gutting the CIA and indirectly causing the attacks on September 11 on The Bill O’Reilly Show shortly after the attacks.

Clancy also authored several non-fiction military themed works including “Special Forces: A Guided Tour of U.S. Army Special Forces” and “Battle Ready”.


“MAIL MAKES OUR DAY”

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, 1863 – President 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, 1944 – The 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, 1945 – The United Nations was founded.

HOLIDAY TRIO

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 who won’t have a chance to celebrate these special days with their friends and loved ones.

Move America Forward is happy to offer a special Holiday Trio promotion that will 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 ass 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 order your package today  for October from the order button above and we will automatically send out a package in the same amount billed to your same credit card in November and December as well.

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. Once the soldier has registered they’ll be eligible to receive packages and messages of support from caring Americans like you.

On Sept 29th I sat staring at my computer to write this with a heavy heart.  The last Sunday in September was declared Gold Star Mother’s Day by Congress in 1936. I became a Gold star Mother on Aug 2, 2006 when I was notified that my son Marc Alan Lee had been killed in Ramadi, Iraq becoming the first Navy SEAL to lose his life in Iraq.
This was never a club that I or any other Mother aspires to join. We are Mothers who birthed a child who gave their lives fighting in combat defending our freedoms. Becoming a Gold Star Mother is not something that you congratulate someone for as an uninformed radio host did on an interview I did. Yet it is an honor knowing that our children made the choice to serve and defend the freedoms we enjoy every day and selflessly sacrificed their lives.

 

We were blessed that God picked us to be their parents and that we had them for the years that we did. As painful as it was to lose Marc after 28 years, I can’t imagine not having him at all. I have so many amazing memories of him that will be passed down from generation to generation. Marc’s spirit is still very much alive and still impacting people all over the world when people hear his heroic story or read his last letter home.
As Mothers, children are one of the greatest gifts and blessings we have and we’ve given our very best for this Nation. Losing a child is documented as the toughest loss to bear. I’ve often thought how much more difficult it must be to lose a child from a drug overdose or drunk driving accident. Where you just want to shake your child and say “what were you thinking?”
It doesn’t get any more noble or honorable than for your child to give all of their tomorrows so that every American can enjoy their todays. Through the centuries our troops have fought, bled and died for the red, white and blue, that represents America! As Mother’s we never envisioned having that same red, white and blue flag draped over our child’s coffin as we said our last goodbyes. The flag, our national anthem, taps, bagpipes playing amazing grace, hold a new level of understanding and emotion to us. We do understand the price for freedom, and have paid deeply!
Thank you America for remembering the sacrifice of our loved ones who gave their final breath defending the values we hold dear. Thank you for honoring the families of the fallen.
Since Marc’s death I have dedicated my life to honoring and supporting our troops and the families of the fallen. The parents, spouses, children, siblings, and teammates of our fallen heroes all need our support and love as they process through the grief. We at America’s Mighty Warriors are always here for you and recognize the price you have paid so that we may remain the Land of the free and home of the brave. We will never forget!!!
Remembering,
Debbie Lee

Spooktacular News!


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 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 coffee, beef jerky and soldier friendly field towels from Hoo-Ahhs and many other treats and necessary items.
THANK YOU MAF SUPPORTERS – September to Remember

Move America Forward was honored to donate well over 300 of our Wounded Warrior Care Packs (WWCP) to a yearly event recognizing veteran needs by the Veterans Affairs Voluntary Services Committee(VAVSC), “September To Remember”. The WWCP program was started to help alleviate the costs to hospitals that provide these type of personal hygiene products every month nationwide, so they can focus on other services like providing a hot meal or helping veterans get to and from their appointments. The event was well attended and many other Volunteer Service Organizations also were in attendance.

Our Wounded Warrior Care Packs (WWCP) were specifically designed in partnership with Veteran Affairs Voluntary Services (VAVS) to ensure it provided exactly what doctors and veterans needed for their overnight stay while seeking treatment for Traumatic Brain Injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder or physical therapy after losing limbs in the line of service.

Our Veterans put everything on the line for us when they put on the uniform. We may never be able to repay them for protecting our freedoms but thanks to supporters like you we are able to show them that we appreciate everything they have done.

Whether it’s sending a care packages to the front lines in Afghanistan, giving a veteran a WWCP or just writing a message, anyone can make a huge difference to those who sacrifice so much. What will you do?

TOP TWEETS IN SEPTEMBER


 

 


FUND THE VA AND TAKE CARE OF OUR VETERANS!

Don’t use our veterans as political pawns!

Veterans risked their lives to protect our country and many have paid dearly and sacrificed greatly.  Many have lost limbs and have been severely injured fighting our enemies and protecting our country.

Unable to work many veterans rely on these checks to survive and support their families.  Many of our VA hospitals are housing veterans that are recovering from battlefield injuries and we can’t stop taking care of them just because Washington can’t agree.

Today’s politicians need to take a lesson from George Washington when he said “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by our nation.”

Demand your elected official take care of our Veterans!!!

Here are a few comments from others who have already signed!

Shawn F. from Springdale, PA writes:
It is time to put petty feelings aside and fund the government, especially those things that help our soldiers and veterans. Our veterans fought so that we could be free and we repay them by keeping them from their own memorial. It is time for this to end.

Leland B. from Norwalk, CA writes:

If you are living in freedom, THANK A VETERAN as they made it possible

Sarah B. from Gouldsboro, PA writes:
I tweet in the name of a great grandmother which links me to 5 brothers who served as colonels in Revolutionary War. My passion for Vets runs deep.

#   #   #

All Donations are Tax Deductible

Donations by Check Can be Sent To:
ATTN: Scott Raab
Move America Forward
8795 Folsom Blvd. Suite 103
Sacramento, CA 95826

To sign up a deployed service member to receive a care package or to request care packages if you are a deployed service member, visit www.moveamericaforward.org or call (916) 441-6197.

Your September 2013 Newsletter is Here!

MAF HONORS FALLEN HERO
STAFF SGT. JOSHUA J. BOWDEN


The Department of Defense  has announced the death of Staff Sgt. Joshua J. Bowden, 28, of Villa Rica, Georgia. Bowden  died of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked  his unit with small arms fire.  Bowden’s unit was on dismounted patrol on Aug. 31, in Ghazni, Afghanistan when the incident occurred.

Bowden was assigned to the 242nd Ordnance Battalion (EOD), 71st Ordnance Group (EOD), out of Fort Carson, Colorado as an explosive ordnance disposal specialist.

Bowden joined the Army in 2005. He was on his second deployment. He previously deployed to Afghanistan from 2008-2009.

 

His awards include the Purple Heart, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor device, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge, Parachute Badge, Air Assault Badge and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Badge.

Bowden was a 2003 graduate of Alexander High School in Douglas County, Georgia where he was a dual-sport athlete and was the captain of the school’s soccer team in his senior year.

Tom Worthan, Douglas County Board of Commissioners Chairman offered his condolences to Bowden’s family.

“We grieve with Josh’s family and friends over the loss of this brave soldier who died defending freedom,” Worthan said. “We know that God has a special place in Heaven for these souls who willingly stand between us and evil. We will be praying for Josh and his family during these difficult days.”

 


16 GRATEFUL SOLDIERS APPRECIATE A PACKAGE FROM HOME

 

THE PRICE OF FREEDOM

September 11, 2001 – Terrorists Attack on U.S. Soil

September 11, 2013 – Terrorists Attack U.S. Consulate in Benghazi

September 11, 2001. It’s hard to believe that twelve years have passed since the September day that will forever change our nation.  We at MAF honor the brave men, women and children who lost their lives that fateful September morning in 2001.  We remember the heroics of countless NYPD fire and police units who responded without thought to their own safety and the incredible sacrifices of those aboard flight 93 who through their selfless sacrifice saved countless lives. Although the Twin Towers no longer grace the New York Skyline, the Pentagon remains, its beige stone facing bearing the scars of the terrorists attack.

On September 11, 2012 terrorists once again attacked the U.S. on the grounds of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Although first reported as an unorganized local protest surrounding a movie, it soon became clear this was a directed and organized strike which needlessly cost the lives U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, former SEALs Glen Doherty  and Ty Woods  along with  foreign service worker Sean Smith.

Take time to honor these heroes and their sacrifices by flying your flag in remembrance of these great American heroes and our dedicated troops who help protect our freedoms each and every day.

Send a package today

and Move America Forward will include a U.S. Flag pin in your package as well as your personal message of support to our troops.

 


A patriot is a person who loves, supports, and defends their country and its interests with devotion. I was honored to be surrounded by patriots this past month!  It started in Texas as the Patriot Tour kicked off its seven city events in Houston.  Marcus Lutrell, Taya Kyle, Chad Fleming and I shared moving, heroic stories of sacrifices that were made by patriots so that America can continue to be the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.”

It brings so much pride and comfort to be around so many patriots, who are devoted to supporting and defending our great country!  I typically don’t speak on Aug 2nd as it can be an emotional day, but on the seven- year anniversary of Marc’s passing I was in Austin for night two of the Patriot Tour. What better way to honor and remember him than to share Marc with thousands of patriots, how he lived, who he was, and the sacrifice he made.

I returned to Texas the middle of the month to host other Navy SEAL Gold Star families to a retreat. These families had patriots who gave their final breath devoted to the values that keep America free. It was an honor to let these families, who have given their very best for this nation, know that we will NEVER forget their hero and his sacrifice!

These are patriots who sacrificed greatly and whose lives were changed by the actions of a few terrorists who attacked our great nation, leaving death, devastation, and destruction on American soil.

Innocent lives were stripped from thousands of Americans, leaving their families and our nation whirling in the shock and pain. We tried to process what had happened and how could depravity reach so deeply into the souls and minds of these terrorists to commit such evil actions.

Yet we watched a nation that stood together, we watched patriotism rise to probably the highest level I have known in my lifetime. People generously donated time, resources and finances to support and rebuild America. Flags lined the streets of hometowns everywhere, and unity was felt across our land.

The lives of everyone of these families that I shared the stage with this past month or loved on at the retreat, had a loved one sacrifice their lives defending their teammates, their families, this country, because of the attack on us Sept 11th. Their actions let the families who lost loved ones that day, know that we would not tolerate the terror inflicted on us.

 



Send a package today
and Move America Forward will include a U.S. Flag pin in your package as well as your personal message of support to our troops.


As we approach Sept 11th, we need to remember those who died that dreadful day, those who have given their lives fighting since that time and that the enemy would still love to inflict more pain, death and suffering. That was evident on Sept 11, 2012 as our embassy was attacked and we lost four more patriots in Benghazi.

We must choose to rise to the same level of patriotism we saw the weeks following 9-11. We don’t need to wait for another tragedy for that to happen.

You don’t have to join the military to be a patriot. I’m challenging you today to raise the level of patriotism  and devotion with which you love, support, and defend our country and its interest.

As Marc said in his last letter home, “I find that being here (Iraq) makes me realize the great country we have and the obligation we have to keep it that way.”

May God continue to bless you, our troops, and America!
Debbie Lee


Calling All Shutterbugs!

We love receiving thank you notes back from soldiers when they receive packages from our supporters.  It lets us all know how much our support means.  We also love receiving pictures.  That’s why we are starting up a Photo of the Month Feature.  We’d love to receive a photo with a brief note about you or if you are deployed or the friend or loved on of a deployed soldier.

Just email your photo and a brief note to LisaBaron@MoveAmericaForward.org and look for your submission in the coming months.

Did You Know…?

September 5, 1774 – The First Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia with 56 delegates, representing every colony, except Georgia. Attendants included   John Adams, Patrick Henry, George Washington and John Jay, future First Chief Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.

September 11, 2001 - Marks the worst Terrorist attack in U.S. history.  American Airlines Flight 11 carrying 92 people and United Airlines Flight 175 carrying 65 people were diverted by the Jihadist hijackers to New York City where they were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The impact and fires led to the collapse of the towers, killing 2,752 persons including hundreds of rescue workers.

United Airlines Flight 93, which had departed Newark for San Francisco, and American Airlines Flight 77, which had departed Dulles (Virginia) for Los Angeles, were also hijacked. Flight 77 with 64 people on board was diverted to Washington, D.C., where it was used to attack the Pentagon, killing everyone on board and 125 inside the Pentagon.  Flight 93 with 44 people on board was also diverted toward Washington but crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to overpower the terrorists on board.

September 11, 2012 - Terrorists attacked the U.S. Consulate Compound in Benghazi, Libya killing U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens, as well as two former Navy SEALS and  a Foreign Service worker. Ten others on the ground were injured.  The attacks led to the resignation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

September 13, 1814 – The Battle of Baltimore began with the bombardment of Fort McHenry.  Francis Scott Key anxiously watched the attack aboard a nearby ship. Key anxiously watched the British attack overnight and at dawn saw the American flag still flying over the fort, inspiring him to write a poem which was later coupled with the tune of a popular song and became the U.S. National Anthem in 1931.

September 17, 1862 – The Battle of Antietam marks the bloodiest day in U.S. military history as General  George B. McClellan led Union troops against Confederate forces led by Robert E. Lee near Sharpsburg, Maryland. By nightfall over 22,000 men were dead, wounded, or missing from both sides of the conflict.

September 18, 1947 – The U.S. Air Force was established as a separate military service

September 29, 1789 – Congress establishes a regular Army under the Department of War, consisting of several hundred troops

August Monthly Newsletter

 



Freedom comes at a cost! We have all heard the quote “Freedom is not Free” and most Americans enjoy those freedoms but have not had to pay much, if anything at all. Our family has paid deeply, not financially with our life savings, but even more precious than gold, with a life.

I’m sitting in my Heroes room as I type this and am surrounded by pictures of Heroes who have paid that price and have fought, some bled and many have died so that we could be free. Next to me are the uniforms that my son Marc Alan Lee wore on the battlefield, jumping from aircraft, training or attending an official ceremony.  His combat boots and dive gear sit on the floor next to me and on the shelf is the final cloth that we would associate with Marc, the folded flag I received at his funeral.

It’s hard to believe that Aug 2nd it will be seven years since I was notified that Marc had heroically sacrificed his life so that his teammates could live and our freedoms would be protected. As you can imagine that is the most devastating news a parent could receive and the toughest day of my life.

In 115 degree temperatures, carrying 150 plus pounds of gear, and fighting for 2 hours in the worst battle in Ramadi, Marc and his teammates never quit. They persevered, steady, in their course of action, with purpose, in spite of difficulties and obstacles. Marc’s buddy Ryan had been severally wounded and twice Marc stood up into the direct line of fire to provide cover to get the medic up on the roof and then again to get everyone down. They RESCUED Ryan and sent him off for medical attention and they returned to their base. Discouraged, exhausted, physically and emotionally, thinking that Ryan had probably died, they stripped off their gear and got some water to refresh themselves. The Chief came in and informed them they had just found 30 of the terrorists who had just attacked them. Without hesitation Marc answered “Roger that lets go get them.”

They didn’t whine and complain, they didn’t listen to what their body was telling them, but they let their minds take control and they persevered and went back to the battlefield. Marc’s final actions that day would find him standing into the direct line of fire, persevering, even in the face of death. He never quit!!!!

Losing a child is the deepest pain anyone could ever experience and I wouldn’t wish that even for my enemies. Time changes the frequency and depth of that pain, but it never completely goes away and as we approach the anniversary of his death it resurfaces. The wounds of grief are healing, but this is one of those times you see the tender scars, yet…………..I’m reminded of Marc’s actions, and recognize perseverance is exactly what has helped me to heal and encourage others through their grief process.

The days following Marc’s death I knew God would give me the strength to survive. It wasn’t what I was feeling at the time, but what I knew in my mind. Just as Marc and his teammates didn’t listen to their physically exhausted bodies but let their minds take control, I choose to do the same.

I will be honest and tell you that there have been tears flowing as I write this and think of Marc and how much I miss him, his crazy sense of humor and antics, his ornery grin, his beautiful brown eyes, his amazing hugs, his ability to love so selflessly, his faith, and love for his family.

Perseverance is described as “steady, persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement.” Marc displayed that throughout his life and I think that is one of the main character qualities in a SEAL.

I made the choice in the midst of the grief, difficulties, obstacles and discouragement to never quit and persevere. The purpose: to honor and remember Marc, the course of action: to thank and support those who have paid for my freedoms and the families left behind, the state: steady and faithful with God’s love and joy.

Just above me I have a wall with pictures of my family, biological and adopted.  All of them were very connected with and deeply loved Marc. It has been a blessing and pleasure to embrace my new family, my “adopted boys” and watch them as they marry and have babies and live life. They were Marc’s final gift to me.

So as you remember the sacrifice Marc made on August 2, 2006, please also remember the sacrifice of each of our fallen heroes and their families. I would encourage each of you to read Marc’s amazing last letter home and accept his challenge, and do a random act of kindness and then pass a copy of his letter to the person you do it for!

HOOYAH MARC LEE! YOU ARE NEVER FORGOTTEN!

MAF Remembers Medal of Honor Recipient Air Force Col. Bud Day, 88

Retired Air Force Col. George “Bud” Day, a Medal of Honor recipient who served as an enlisted Marine during World War II and as an Air Force pilot in both Korea and Vietnam died Saturday, July 27, at his Shalimar, Florida home surrounded by family. Day spent over 5 years as a POW in Vietnam and was Arizona Sen. John McCain’s cellmate at the notorious “Hanoi Hilton”

Day was shot down over North Vietnam on Aug. 26, 1967. He bailed out, but with significant injuries including a broken right arm and knee and temporary blindness in one eye. Day eluded capture for 10 days before being taken prisoner where we was brutally tortured but never divulged sensitive information thus earning him the Medal of Honor. In all, he earned more than 70 medals during service in World War II, Korea and Vietnam including more than 50 for combat.  In addition to the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor, he was awarded the Air Force Cross, the highest combat award for airmen.

In Vietnam, he was John McCain’s cellmate. During his imprisonment he was tortured so badly that after being freed in 1973, he never recovered full function of his hands and arms.

“As awful as it sounds, no one could say we did not do well. (Being a POW) was a major issue in my life and one that I am extremely proud of. I was just living day to day,” he said in a 2008 interview with The Associated Press. “One really bad cold and I would have been dead.”

In a Twitter post Sunday, McCain remembered Day as “my friend, my leader, my inspiration.”

Born Feb. 24, 1925, in Sioux City, Iowa, Day enlisted in the Marines in 1942 while still in high school. After returning home, Day graduated law school and passed the bar exam in 1949. In 1950 Day joined the Iowa National Guard and attended flight school. He was called to active duty in the Air Force the next year and did two tours as a bomber pilot in the Korean War.  Day volunteered for service in Vietnam where he was assigned to a fighter wing in 1967. After the war and his release, Day retired to the Florida Panhandle in 1977 but remained active in veterans’ rights issues.

Day is survived by Doris, his wife of over 50 years, four children and fourteen grandchildren.

Congrats to our Weber Grill and SF 49ers Limited Edition Football Winners!

As part of  our fund raising efforts for Troopathon 6 held June 27, 2013, Move America Forward  received generous donations of a limited edition San Francisco 49ers Football from the 49ers  and a Weber SPIRIT® E-310™gas grill from Weber Grill.

We are pleased to announce that our Troopathon Giveaway winners have been selected and thanks to their generous donations to the troops will be receiving special prizes from two very special organizations that went above and beyond this year to help Move America Forwards 6th Annual Troopathon!!!

THANK YOU SF 49ERS

Congratulations: BRENDA H. – Danville, CA

 

Her donation qualified her to win the limited edition Wilson “The Duke” Military Appreciation 49ers Football with a camouflage NFL ribbon on the side

THANK YOU WEBER GRILL

Congratulations: BUCK O. – Tucson, AZ

 

His generous Donation to the troops qualified and won a brand new Weber SPIRIT® E310™Gas Grill from the leaders in American Grilling.

CONGRATS TO THE LUCKY WINNER OF THE MAF + STAG ARMS AR-15 GIVEAWAY!

MAF is proud to announce the conclusion of our TROOPATHON AR-15 GIVEAWAY made possible by STAG ARMS. We made this special giveaway free and available in order to help spread the word about Troopathon and our efforts to support the troops overseas! Thousands of patriots signed up to win and we are pleased to announce that one of them has been selected and notified!

Congratulations to Jim E. of Michigan whose name was picked by random drawing as winner of the STAG ARMS AR-15! Jim will have a choice of 3 different STAG ARMS models, each available in left-handed or right-handed configuration.

When notified as being the winner, Jim E. had this to say:

“I’m super grateful! My family and I love to enjoy the outdoors and shooting together. I support our troops 100% and I hope they all come home safely.”- Jim E. Winner of
STAG ARMS AR-15
THANK YOU HIGHLIGHT
 

AUGUST 4, 2013 CELEBRATES NATIONAL COAST GUARD DAY

U.S. Coast Guard Day honors the military branch that protects our waters and shorelines.

On August 4, 1790, the Revenue Cutter Service was created by the U.S. Congress. Congress authorized the construction of ten cutters. These ships were built to  enforce U.S. tariff laws. The Revenue Cutter Service was the predecessor the U.S. Coast Guard.  The name “Coast Guard” was first used in 1915.

Celebrate U.S. Coast Guard Day by learning more about the responsibilities and functions of the U.S. Coast Guard. They are now playing an even more extensive role in Homeland Security to protect our country.

We salute Coast Guard personnel today and every day.

It’s Hot, Hot, Hot!  Help our Troops tackle the Heat and Grime with Hoo-Ahhs® Field Towels!

We all know how great a shower feels after a long hard day of work but often our soldiers are out in the field and just don’t have the luxury of showering off all that dirt and grime. Move America Forward  proudly includes  Hoo-Ahhs® sturdy, non-shredding over sized per-moistened field towels in all our troop support packages.  MAF has always included hand wipes in our packages, but we felt there had to be a product out there that could really tackle the grime and sweat our hard working troops deal with every day without leaving them sticky and dried out like an alcohol based wipe.

Hoo-Ahhs® are alcohol- free and moistened with an unscented aloe and vitamin E based formula that’s  gently on skin but strong enough to clean off greasy camouflage paint, sweat, sunscreen and insect repellent.

If you haven’t sent a support package in a while, why not SEND A CARE PACKAGE NOW, including Hoo-Ahhs® and lots of other great treats and necessities for our troops.

TOP PRO- TROOP TWEETS OF THE MONTH





 

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. Once the soldier has registered they’ll be eligible to receive packages and messages of support from caring Americans like you.

July Monthly Newsletter

Thanks for Making Troopathon 6 a Big Success!

Move America Forward’s Troopathon 6 “Salute Our Troops” was broadcast live Thursday, June 27, 2013 from the Richard M. Nixon Library in Orange County, California.

We owe this year’s success to the generosity of our supporters who, even in these tough financial times, responded so positively to our call for aide.  Without the outpouring of support, we would be unable to complete our mission of putting packages into the hands of our brave troops.

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, host of the #1 rated hit HUCKABEE on the Fox News Channel and his highly rated Cumulus Media Networks’ syndicated radio program, The Mike Huckabee Show joined award-winning radio talk show host, author, columnist, journalist, TV anchor, and reporter Melanie Morgan;  Debbie Lee,  a Gold Star mother and founder of America’s Mighty Warriors; Larry O’Connor talk radio host, editor and news commentator in hosting Troopathon 6.


Troopathon hosts Debbie Lee, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Melanie Morgan, and Larry O’Connor


The Lindy Sisters performed several songs


Mike Huckabee plays bass with John David Kahn on guitar

Our dedicated team worked tirelessly to make sure this year’s Troopathon would do our troops proud. Thanks to our dedicated hosts and awesome guests, we were able to raise $321,041 to continue our mission of sending package to the brave men and women serving far from home.

Help us reach our goal! Donate HERE!


 


Thank You Highlight: “My wife is always glad to hear I am being taken care of”

Hot and Humid!

We all know that this summer has already served up some record heat here in the states, but July is traditionally the hottest month in Afghanistan with temperatures forecast to reach a sweltering 119 degrees in some regions of Afghanistan this week. According to a recent article in Army Times a soldier on extended foot patrol carries an average load ranging from 87 to 127 staggering pounds!  With this in mind Move America Forward is happy to include Gatorade mix with our package so our troops can replenish some much needed fluid and electrolytes lost during what for these heroes is just a routine work day.

If you’d like to send a package to our troops that will include some thirst quenching Gatorade, click here.

We’d also like to thank some of our very special Troopathon Angels for their generous contributions of $1,000.00 or more.

 

  • Rick W. donated $11,000
  • Lucia U. donated $10,000
  • Mark Levin donated $7,500
  • Coalition to Salute America donated $5,000
  • Caryn B. donated $5,000
  • Richard U. donated $5,000
  • Freddie M. donated $3,000
  • Sandra B. donated $2,500
  • Sally R. donated $2,500
  • Juliet J. donated $2,500
  • The Rumsfeld Foundation donated $1,000
  • Susan C. donated $1,000
  • Kyra G. donated $1,000
  • Roy and Nancy T. donated $1,000
  • Alexander S. donated $1,000

Although we wish we had the space to thank each and every donor personally, rest assured that all of our donors have made a tremendous impact that will enable us to send out thousands of troop support packages to our troops serving in harm’s way.

Didn’t have a chance to watch Troopathon live? CLICK HERE to Catch some of our Highlights

A Special Thanks to our Corporate Sponsors


  • Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library
  • USTREAM.TV
  • KSFO AM 560
  • Cumulus Broadcasting
  • Breitbart.Com
  • Donationsafe
  • TNA Wrestling
  • Ultimate Fighting Championship
  • SIMULTV
  • Dymo Endicia
  • Action Military Surplus

 


 

Faith, Freedom, Fun,
Families, and Friends

June’s calendar was packed and filled with lots of work and tons of blessings. I don’t have the space in the newsletter to go into detail about all of the events but will touch on most of them. It started with spending  time with Chris Kyle’s family in Dallas and “passing on the love, the kindness, the precious gift of human life,” as my son Marc challenged us in his last letter home. Chris and I were very close and just as he adopted me to honor Marc, I will do the same for his family to honor him. That’s what family does!

When I returned home to the Heroes Hope Home we hosted one of the SEAL widows, and then the next week we had three widows and their nine children who had traveled from Texas for a week of all expense paid pampering, love, relaxation and hope. These Gold Star Families have given their very best for this nation and this is a simple way we can let them know we will NEVER forget the price they have paid for our freedoms.

June 21st I headed to San Diego for the Change of Command for Admiral Pybus who has led the command for all of our SEALs and support groups at WARCOM for the past 2 years. Admiral Pybus was on my door step the morning after Marc died and has been an amazing support and his friendship has been such a blessing. He is now leading the NATO special forces and has recently been pinned a 3 star Admiral!

June 27th was the Grand finale for the months of extra work that was invested to make Troopathon 6 our best production yet. Melanie and I were blessed to have Gov. Mike Huckabee and Larry O’Connor join us as Co-hosts along with an amazing lineup of guests from around the world. We were joined by some of our heroes serving in Afghanistan, former Navy SEALs, Gary Sinise, Gov. Rick Perry, Donald Rumsfeld, numerous Hollywood, Sports and talk radio celebrities who agreed with us that we needed to make sure our troops know they are not forgotten.

Our goal was to raise $400,000.00 dollars and we are currently at just under $350,000.00. You can still contribute at www.troopathon.org to help us successfully reach that goal.

 

I want to say a huge THANK YOU to each of you who watched the eight hour telecast and donated to send packages to our troops to let them know we love and appreciate the sacrifices they are making for our freedoms. We couldn’t do it without you and the faithful support from those who gave their time to be a guest or host at this year’s event. We each volunteered our time and talents because we recognize the huge sacrifice our troops are making for the freedoms we enjoy every day.

The next morning I left LA and headed to San Diego for the Change of Command for Capt. Green who has been commanding the West Coast SEALS for the past two years. He was in charge of ST3, Marc’s team when he died. I remembering receiving a call the evening Marc died from him in Iraq, he told me “If one of my four kids grows up to be half the man Marc was, I would be honored.”  He has been another faithful friend since Marc’s death. Captain Green is headed back into the combat zone, and as you pray for all of our troops, please remember him too.

As I drove that morning my mind was focused on our Operation Red Wing families as they remembered the tragic anniversary of June 28, 2005, which took an entire platoon of SEALs  with the exception of Marcus Lutrell. I have come to know many of these families and we carry each other’s burdens and support each other. I will “never forget and never quit.” Marcus wrote “Lone Survivor” to honor his fallen “brothers,” and tell their heroic stories. He has become another one of my “adopted boys.” I am blessed to be participating with Marcus in his “Patriot Tour” that begins Aug 1, 2013 as we continue to tell the stories of our amazing heroes and honor them for their selfless sacrifice. I would love to see you at one of our events. For more info go to www.marcusluttrell.com

As I look back on June I have so many things to be grateful for. Most of what I did this month wouldn’t have happened in my life if it weren’t for the loss of my son, my hero, my “Mighty Warrior.” He made the choice to give his life for his “brothers,” his family, and our freedoms. I chose, by God’s strength, to carry on, accept Marc’s challenge in his “Glory Letter,” and honor him by supporting our troops and their families. My “family” has become HUGE and I am blessed to have so many heroes in my life.

We couldn’t do what we do for our troops without the amazing support of each one of you! May God richly bless each one of you and protect our troops! Celebrating my Faith, freedoms, family, friends, that bring fun into my life!

Debbie Lee

 


MAF is Proud to Honor Warrant Officer Sean Mullen

Army Special Forces Warrant Officer Sean W. Mullen, 39, of Rehoboth Beach, Del., was killed by an improvised explosive device June 2, 2013 in the Lashkar Gah province of Afghanistan when his unit came under insurgent attack.

He enlisted in the Army in 1995 and trained as a Special Forces medic before completing Warrant Officer School last year.

Mullen was assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) out of Fort Campbell, Ky., This was Mullen’s sixth deployment in support of an overseas contingency operation.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal with seven oak leaf clusters, the Good Conduct Medal with four knots, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, the Iraq Campaign Medal with three campaign stars, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korea Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with numeral “2″ device, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with one oak leaf cluster, the Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon, the Joint Unit Meritorious Award, the Army Meritorious Unit Commendation Award with one oak leaf cluster, Special Forces Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Air Assault Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge and the Parachutist Badge.

He is survived by his widow, Nancy, his parents and one sister.

TOP TWEETS OF TROOPATHON


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


Soldier Signup


Monthly Smiles