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!
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
Lance Cpl. Caleb Erickson, USMC
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
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.
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