November 09, 2017
In celebration of Veterans Day, we'd like to highlight a few organizations that offer opportunities to express honor, gratitude, and support for the men and women who have served to protect our nation and our freedom. Read on to learn how you can become involved in supporting their mission.
"This nation will remain the Land of the Free only so long as it is the Home of the Brave." Elmer Davis
Honor Flight - The Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created to honor America’s veterans for their service and sacrifice. Honor Flights transport groups of veterans at no cost from 130 different airport hubs across the country to visit the national memorials that have been dedicated in their honor in Washington, D.C. Top priority is given to the senior veterans, including World War II survivors, along with veterans who are facing a terminal illness. Veterans who participate in the Honor Flight program are accompanied and assisted throught their trip by guardian volunteers who ensure that every veteran has a safe, memorable, and rewarding experience.
USO Wish Book - The USO Wishbook is an alternative giving catalog. The gifts you purchase from the USO Wishbook allow you to recognize or celebrate a special occasion while directly benefiting our troops and their families. Every gift made in a loved one's honor comes with a free e-card for you to personalize and present to your loved one to tell them how their gift will support our troops and their families. Once you have purchased your gift, the USO will ensure that your gift goes to lift the spirits of our troops and their families. Johnson's & Johnson's will match all donations dollar-for-dollar up to $400,000, from November 1 – December 31.
"Heroes are made by the paths they chose, not the powers they are graced within." Brodi Ashton
Canine Companions for Independence - Canine Companions for Independence has trained assistance dogs and selectively partnered them with US war veterans across the country. For a veteran making a new start putting their life back together after an injury, an assistance dog can provide the help and reassuring support they need to regain independence and enhance their quality of life.
A Million Thanks - A Million Thanks provides support and appreciation to our active, reserve, and veteran military men and women by sending letters of thanks and encouragement and granting betterment of life wishes, as well as providing higher education scholarships to their children. A Million Thanks was founded as a service project by 15 year old Shauna Fleming in 2004 with the goal of sending one million cards and letters of appreciation to U.S. military serving around the world. To date, A Million Thanks has distributed more than nine million letters U.S. troops stationed around the world. The organization now has over 50 official letter drop-off locations nationwide to expand the efforts of the organization.
"It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you." Former Vice President, Dick Cheney
Fisher House Foundation - A Fisher House is “a home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. Military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. The homes are normally located within walking distance of the treatment facility or have transportation available. There are 72 Fisher Houses located on 24 military installations and 29 VA medical centers. Many more houses are under construction or in design.
The Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members as well as the Hotels for Heroes program using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers without charge. The Fisher Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other military charities and scholarship funds for military children and spouses of fallen and disabled veterans.
Mission Continues - Communities across the country are growing stronger because veterans are finding ways to apply their skills and leadership at home. The Mission Continues offers the opportunity for veterans and civilians to give back to their community, and become stronger citizens. It’s a collective effort that empowers veterans to serve in new ways, solve tough challenges and mobilize communities to serve alongside them.
“In the aftermath, we are because they were.” RJ Heller
Operation Gratitude - Operation Gratitude annually sends 200,000+ care packages filled with food, entertainment, hygiene, and handmade items, plus personal letters of appreciation to Veterans, First Responders, New Recruits, Wounded Heroes, their Care Givers, and to individually named U.S. service members deployed overseas and their families waiting at home. Through Collection Drives, Letter Writing Campaigns, Craft Projects, and Care Package Assembly Events, Operation Gratitude provides civilians anywhere in America a way to say “Thank You” through active, hands-on volunteerism. Since its inception in March 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have assembled and shipped more than 1,600,000 care packages.
It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
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