December 2021 Newsletter
Christmas Care Packages to Spread Holiday Cheer
Christmas brings cherished memories that warm our hearts and usher in a season of hope and joy to people all over the world. Trees are trimmed, our halls are decked, gifts are exchanged, stockings are stuffed, feasts are prepared and enjoyed with families and loved ones. Church bells ring, pews are filled, and little tykes dress as angels and Wiseman for Christmas pageants.
This scene plays out across our great land and most of us take it just a little bit for granted. But the scene is often starkly different for those serving. Our troops often face their Christmas morning far from families and traditions and this can be very lonely.
Our troops do their duty without complaint, often they face blistering heat during the summer months and bone chilling cold during the winter. I recall a conversation I had with WWII veteran Irving Locker while where he spoke of spending a winter in a field in Europe where they had dug holes into the frozen earth in which to sleep. He was matter of fact and not looking for sympathy but it was certainly humbling to consider the deprivation our troops routinely face.
Our mission at Move America Forward is to put care packages into the hands of our troops and we do our best, with the help of our sponsors to make sure our troops can feel the love from home. During the Christmas season, we are including some extra special holiday items sure to brighten a lonely troops day. We have fluffy red and white stockings brimming with Christmas cheer, and we continue our Christmas tradition of including red and white striped candy canes sure to remind our troops of home. Of course, our troops will still receive all the regular goodies found in our care packages like jerky, hot cocoa, cozy and durable boot socks to protect hard working feet, hand and face wipes, coffee, nuts and playing cards and more.
We work hard getting care packages stuffed full of goodies and a special note from home prepped and shipped in time to bring cheer and support to our waiting troops. Volunteers come in from near and far and pitch in with smiles on happy faces and a can-do attitude to make sure we don’t let our troops down this Christmas season and have already shipped out thousands of care packages, but we still have more work to do.
Many troops spend months deployed far from their friends and family. Our troops are often the sole provider for their families back home, so there is often just not enough extra income to send care packages to their loved ones on deployment. That’s where MAF and our supporters fill in the gaps. Whenever a chaplain or unit commander writes to us about a certain private in the unit who never seems to receive mail, we make sure to single out that soldier for a care package! Of course, many of our troops register themselves, seeking a little support from home.
We all have experienced the feeling of having a complete stranger offer a kind word that can lift our spirits and brighten our day, that is why we offer the opportunity to all our sponsors to include a personal note of support with their care package that is sure to lighten the heart of a weary troop. During this season of giving, we are so thankful to have your generous support for our heroic troops.
We thought you would enjoy this magical classic poem that speaks to the heart.
Merry Christmas, My Friend
Written by Corporal James M. Schmidt
- ‘Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one-bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney, with presents to give
and to see just who in this home did live.
As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand.
On the wall hung pictures of a far distant land.
With medals and badges, awards of all kind,
a sobering thought soon came to my mind.
For this house was different, unlike any I’d seen.
This was the home of a U.S. Marine.
I’d heard stories about them, I had to see more,
so I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one-bedroom home.
He seemed so gentle, his face so serene,
Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine.
Was this the hero, of whom I’d just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?
His head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan.
I soon understood, this was more than a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night,
owed their lives to these men, who were willing to fight.
Soon around the Nation, the children would play,
And grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year,
because of Marines like this one lying here.
I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye.
I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.
He must have awoken, for I heard a rough voice,
“Santa, don’t cry, this life is my choice
I fight for freedom; I don’t ask for more.
My life is my God, my country, my Corps.”
With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
I watched him for hours, so silent and still.
I noticed he shivered from the cold night’s chill.
So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
and covered this Marine from his toes to his head.
Then I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold,
with an eagle, globe and anchor emblazoned so bold.
And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
and for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside.
I didn’t want to leave him so quiet in the night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
But half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure,
said “Carry on, Santa, it’s Christmas Day, all secure.”
One look at my watch and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend, Semper Fi and goodnight
Move America Forward Partners with Wounded Warrior Project to Provide Thanksgiving Dinners
Just in time for Thanksgiving, Move America Forward teamed up with Wounded Warrior Project of Northern California & Nevada Outreach Specialist Genesee Roberts to help some very special Sacramento area Wounded Warrior Families and Individuals to make sure they would have a true Thanksgiving feast.
Local Wounded Warrior families registered through Wounded Warrior Project to receive a special Thanksgiving meal kit.
According to WWP’s Genesee Roberts “This event was so much fun; each family was offered a turkey or a ham. They also received a full Thanksgiving meal kit which included: Potatoes, Rolls, Mac n Cheese, Green Beans, Corn, Cranberry Sauce, Gravy, Stuffing, Cookies, paper plates, napkins, and dish soap” Wow, they really thought of everything our special Wounded Warriors deserve to enjoy a big family feast.
Move America Forward’s Sacrament headquarters hosted the drive-thru event for the registered families. All-in-all we were able to serve 62 worthy families, benefiting over 100 people.
“WWP worked with Safeway in Jackson, CA to provide the Turkeys & Hams, they gave us a $200 discount and ensured we had enough meat for the event. We also worked with the .99 Cents Only store in Fairfield, CA who graciously donated over 500 items for the families to include: plates, napkins, dish soap, cookies, etc. The rest was funded by WWP to ensure our Wounded Warrior families in the Sacramento region had supplies and a meal kit for their holiday festivities.” Said Genesee
MAF’s Scott Raab loves this event and has handled several collaborations with Wounded Warrior Project including the current Thanksgiving dinner distribution ans well as last year’s as well.
“I’ve known Scott for a couple of years now through a couple of events we have ran together. WWP ran this event last year and he worked with my teammate for Sacramento while I served families in the Bay area. I look forward to this event every year as I know how hard it is to feed a family during hard times,” said Genesee.
Genesee was over the moon with how well the event went. “I truly wanted to send a major shout out to Scott Raab and your staff out here in Sacramento! They truly made this happen while I was gathering donations and coordinating the event. They organized all of the food donations AND built all of the kits for me! I am so thankful for your organization and the inspiring individuals that work with you!”
We love helping our troops and the opportunity to help out those who have returned from service, especially our Wounded Warriors is such a fulfilling feeling. We are just glad we can help.
A special Thank You from a Deployed Soldier
Recently Move America Forward received a very special thank you note we just had to share. I know sometimes our sponsors wonder if their care package actually makes a difference, well here is you answer!
Hello from the Middle East!
I wanted to take the time and say thank you for your contribution toward the many care packages that my team and unit enjoy very much. The joy that I see when one of the treasure boxes come in is limitless from my team. It brings us back home for only a moment. All the tastes from home, the reminders of where we come from. It means a lot to know that people care about us and what we do for the mission. The days seem to blend together as there is always work to be had. Being in the Air Force is not all that bad. They do provide us with all the things we need. With all the basic comforts that may come along with it. What really brings it full circle is the way we miss home. All of us miss our families, even more now that the holidays are right around the corner. That’s where your boxes come in handy. You help me boost moral with the treats and your letters. Just reading a simple word from home always has an uplifting feeling. Thank you for this happiness.
A little about myself. I come from a military family, so the road was already laid out for me. Being a rebel that I thought I was, I wanted to do things differently and work things out on my own. You can see how that played out. I’m originally from San Antonio TX. The gateway of the Air Force. I have a wife and 6 yr. old daughter. My daughter just started gymnastics and my wife is studying to become an herbalist. I have a house just down the street from my twin brother’s house. Been living the dream for about 4 years in Virginia. My brother and I always wanted to raise out family’s close together and I get to enjoy each other company for at least 1 day out of the week. Being deployed this year is difficult because now my daughter knows that Daddy is gone for work and won’t be back for what feels like forever. Being deployed is not so bad. My deployed family is a special family. I still reach out to the family back home from time to time. My brother being identical can fill the Dad role while I’m gone.
The Middle East is as dusty as the movies and TV depict it as. Maybe dustier or maybe the 50 shades of tan is starting to get old already. Did I mention that I miss the color green or just the simple thing of grass? The people out here are nice and it’s always an adventure to learn the local culture. The people here are always eager to teach the culture. The world looks very similar to ours as far as the cities and modern tech. Just with another worldly charm that begs you to spot the differences. It’s darn hot out here still. When I got off the plane it was a constant 130 just about every day. I work communications so most of my days are around my fellow nerds while we try to keep our computers from overheating and making sure the AC stays on. Then it’s making sure all the issues regarding communications are resolved along with any new requirement that comes down. I love my job, it’s a great thing doing something that is bigger than myself. My goal is to lead my team into becoming an effective and cohesive team. All while staying positive and having fun doing what we do. Thank you for letting me be the care package POC for my unit. Gives me a chance to be Santa Claus for the whole deployment. Thank you again for your support.
SSgt Joel P.
Troopathon Caps off 2021 with a special Christmas Broadcast
We are pleased to announce Troopathon will be back with a very special Christmas edition. Tune in to see our hosts Melanie Morgan and Rita Cosby with Newsmax’s own John Bachman as they share special messages of support for our troops from pro-troop celebrities, politicians and media moguls like Dennis Miller, Eric Trump Jr., Diamond and Silk, Mark Levin, Dean Cain, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and more!
Troopathon is back with warm tidings for our troops and fantastic interviews sure to stir the heart. You’ll hear from prominent movie stars, television actors, musicians, authors, talk radio hosts and other celebrity personalities. We will interview some veterans of past and current wars including a stirring interview with WWII veteran and D-day survivor Irving Locker, who recounts his personal story of serving our great nation. Our riveting Interview with World Trade Tower II survivor Richard Hannaford is not to be missed.
Enjoy a stirring, patriotic tribute from Lee Greenwood and friends as well as an amazing musical finale sung by award winning recording artist Tomaczek Bednarek.
Take an hour out of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season to focus you hearts and minds on our troops, they deserve our support, recognition and love.