Monday, November 30, 2009

Thank You Cards from Across America Sent to Troops for Thanksgiving Holiday

(BUSINESS WIRE)--U.S. Army Soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan over the Thanksgiving Holiday will be reading thousands of thank you cards written by Americans from across the nation. Volunteer Ambassadors with the Army’s Freedom Team Salute program campaigned on ”Make A Difference Day” on October 24 to encourage individuals in their communities to write thank you cards that would be sent to troops deployed in harm’s way.

“We shipped over five thousand cards to the troops overseas,” said Colonel David Griffith, Director of Freedom Team Salute. “Our goal was to send all of the cards to Soldiers for Thanksgiving but our office is still receiving thank you cards. It just demonstrates how people want to do whatever they can for our men and women in uniform who are away from home and making sacrifices for this nation.”

The Freedom Team Salute Ambassadors participating in “Make A Difference Day” set-up outside grocery stores, shopping centers, VFW and American Legion Posts, and Community Centers with one mission in mind – get members of their local communities to take a few minutes to sign or write Thanksgiving thank you cards for Soldiers deployed. Many people were so excited to be able to thank Soldiers that they brought bundles of cards signed by friends and family members.

School teachers participated and used the opportunity to have their students get involved by creating hundreds of handmade thank you cards that were signed by children of all ages. Bass Pro Shops, headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, notified all of their store locations to welcome any Freedom Team Salute Volunteer Ambassador requesting permission to reach out to their customers.

The expressions in the thank you cards were heartfelt and filled with patriotism. One individual wrote “Good morning and Happy Thanksgiving. I hope and pray that you have a quiet and uneventful day. We will be thinking of you and your buddies and the peace we are enjoying here at home because of you. We do appreciate all you are doing for us! God Bless You!” Another person simply said -- “Thank you for putting yourself second and your country first.”

“It will be awesome to get a box of cards to distribute to our Soldiers,” said Command Sergeant Major Brian Lambert with the 16th Military Police Brigade at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, when notified that a box of cards was being mailed to his unit. “Our younger Soldiers are just beginning to understand the power of a card or letter in the mail. I know they will enjoy receiving them.”

Each card was accompanied with a U.S. Army decal with Freedom Team Salute information printed on the back encouraging the Soldiers to go to to thank individuals who have supported them and made a difference in their lives.

U.S. Army Freedom Team Salute was established in 2005 by the Secretary of the Army and Army Chief of Staff to give the public the opportunity to thank all U.S. Army Veterans for their service by recognizing them with Commendations. The program also gives all Active Duty, Army Reserve, and National Guard Soldiers the opportunity to recognize their Parents, Spouses, Supporters, and Employers. Over 2.2 million individuals have been honored with Freedom Team Salute Commendations.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

General David Petraeus and the Men and Women of Central Command Receive 2009 AMERICAN PATRIOT AWARD before Nearly 630 People

/PRNewswire/ -- On Friday, nearly 630 people gathered to honor the National Defense University Foundation's 2009 American Patriot Award recipients: General David Petraeus, Commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and the Men and Women of CENTCOM. The event, one of Washington, D.C.'s most prestigious galas, was held on Friday, November 13, 2009, in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

Program participants for the 2009 American Patriot Award Gala included honoree General David Petraeus, USA, General Ann Dunwoody, USA, and General John Rogers Galvin, USA (Ret). Grammy nominated jazz saxophonist Ski Johnson performed live. Leon Harris, Anchor of ABC 7/WJLA-TV, emceed the event.

Five military heroes accepted the American Patriot Award on behalf of their services, along with General David Petraeus, USA. The five heroes included: CSM Rocky Shapla, USA; CDR Stephen Hall, USN; GYSGT Josue Magana, USMC; Tech. Sgt. Timothy R. Evans, USAF; LCDR Holly Harrison, USCG.

Notable guests included White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel; LTG Dennis Via, USA, Director, C4 Systems (J6) Joint Chiefs of Staff; and, National Defense University President VADM Ann E. Rondeau, USN; Members of Congress, the Administration, and Diplomatic Community; and past and present Armed Forces Service Heroes. The Gala was attended by more than 600 guests.

More than 40 "patriots" from all five branches of the military service attended this year's celebration, through the "Sponsor a Patriot" program. Many of these young patriots recently returned from Iraq, Afghanistan or other overseas deployments. Some are recovering from injury sustained while deployed; others are actively serving their country on military installations and in communities across America

Beyond honoring the recipients, the Gala supports National Defense University (NDU) and its crucial mission of educating national security leaders. Students of NDU are the next generation of ambassadors, national and international military commanders and civilian defense industry leaders -- patriots who have committed their lives to furthering the security of our nation and the world.

"Paying tribute to General Petraeus and the service men and women who put their lives at risk every day to safeguard our national security is the focus of this year's National Defense University Foundation's American Patriot Award," said Walter Stadtler, Ambassador (Ret), President and CEO, National Defense University Foundation. "These unsung heroes are the ultimate patriots and are most deserving of this award."

Previous recipients of the American Patriot Award include: The Honorable Henry A. Kissinger; General Colin Powell; The Honorable Caspar Weinberger; former President George H.W. Bush; The Men and Women of our Nation's Defense Team; The Honorable Bob Dole; The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye; The Honorable Ted Stevens; The Honorable John Glenn; The Honorable John Warner; and The Honorable Ike Skelton.

IBM is the Patriot Sponsor for this year's Gala. Eagle Sponsors include: C4 Enterprises, LLC; Lockheed Martin Corporation; and, Raytheon Company. Liberty Sponsors include: Agility Defense & Government Services; The Boeing Company; Caterpillar Inc.; EADS North America, Inc.; G4S Wackenhut and WSI; L-3 Communications Corporation; Northrop Grumman Corporation; William D. Smythe Family Foundation; and TriWest Healthcare Alliance.

The National Defense University Foundation, Inc. was established in 1982 to support and enhance the mission and goals of the National Defense University through promoting excellence and innovation in education by nurturing high standards of scholarship, leadership and professionalism.

The National Defense University is the country's preeminent institution for military, diplomatic and civilian national security education, research and outreach. It is the only university providing a common educational experience for all the various professional communities engaged in national security. The main campus is located at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On Veterans Day, Nation Salutes Those Who Served

/PRNewswire/ -- On Veterans Day, Nov. 11, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki called on Americans to honor the 48 million men and women -- including America's 23 million living Veterans -- who have served our Nation in uniform.

"Americans come together today to honor and thank those who have safeguarded our Nation both in peace and war," said Secretary Shinseki. "Veterans Day is a time to renew our national resolve to care for those who have borne the battle. Our character as a country is revealed through the honor we accord them and measured by the respect with which we care for them."

Shinseki joined President Obama, military officials and leaders of the major Veterans organizations at a public wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery at 11 a.m. Following the ceremony, VA hosted an observance program in Arlington's amphitheater.

"President Obama has called for a Department of Veterans Affairs that is Veteran-centric, results-oriented, and forward-looking," said Shinseki. "We are privileged and honored to have that mission, and I am proud of the 298,000 great Americans who come to work every day to serve Veterans, over 30 percent of them Veterans themselves."

Americans attend programs and ceremonies honoring Veterans at many VA facilities across the country on Veterans Day. In some locations, Veterans and VA employees participate in programs conducted by civic and Veterans organizations. For a list of Veterans Day regional observances, visit

"We have a sacred trust with those who wear the uniform of the United States of America," President Barack Obama said in his Veterans Day proclamation. "We reflect upon the invaluable contributions of our country's Veterans and reaffirm our commitment to provide them and their families with the essential support they were promised and have earned."

Memorial Day is a time to commemorate deceased military members, especially those who have died during military service. Veterans Day is an opportunity to honor the men and women who have worn the uniform and thank living Veterans for their service.

"In partnership with Congress, Veteran service organizations and the American people, we will ensure that America's legacy is one of unwavering commitment and compassionate care for its Veterans," said Shinseki.

Since the beginning of November, VA's Web site has hosted oral histories of Veterans from every state and some territories produced by the Library of Congress in its Veterans History Project. Each day leading up to Veterans Day, five additional Veterans from different states have recounted their military experiences on the VA Web site,

In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued America's first Veterans Day proclamation. The Veterans Day observance has evolved over the years. America's custom of observing the end of World War I in 1918 at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month became a legal holiday known as Armistice Day in 1938.

In recognition of military service members' sacrifices in World War II and Korea, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day so that, as President Eisenhower said, a grateful Nation might pay appropriate homage to the Veterans of all its wars who have contributed so much to the preservation of this Nation.

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Statement By the Honorable Tom Ridge on Veterans Day

/PRNewswire/ -- Vietnam combat veteran Tom Ridge, the nation's first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and current chairman of the National Organization on Disability, issued the following statement commemorating Veterans Day:

"Today we pay tribute to the valiant service of the United States Armed Forces - those who have protected our nation in wars past and present. We also honor their loved ones, for when one person wears the military uniform, the whole family does, with far-reaching sacrifice. From the recent tragedy at Fort Hood, to our brave fighters on today's front lines, to the long legacy of courage that defines the American story, may we salute those who have faced, and continue to face, the diverse and dangerous demands of war.

"Often the challenges of military life do not end when our troops leave the battlefield. This is particularly true for our wounded warriors, those brave men and women who live every day with emotional and often painful injuries borne on the battlefield. Housing, job training, education and health care make up the 'duffel bag' of issues that these military heroes must shoulder long after they return home.

"On this Veterans Day, as we pause to reflect on the privilege of freedom, the price of it and our duty to it, let us do so with a renewed commitment to help our veterans enjoy the very way of life they have fought so hard to protect."

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Golden Corral Restaurants Salute America’s Heroes with Free Dinner on Military Appreciation Monday

(BUSINESS WIRE)--On Monday, Nov. 16, Golden Corral will thank thousands of active-duty and former United States Military personnel for their service with a free dinner buffet and beverage, while raising donations for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). A tradition started nine years ago to celebrate our nation’s heroes, Golden Corral’s Military Appreciation Monday has served more than two million complimentary meals to military personnel and generated nearly $3.3 million in contributions for state and local DAV chapters.

“We have 45,000 employees in 485 restaurants nationwide who are very passionate about supporting our military service men and women, and look forward to supporting Military Appreciation Monday annually,” said Ted Fowler, president and chief executive officer of Golden Corral. “While the current economy is challenging, we remain committed to recognizing the military through this program and look forward to reaching 2.5 million meals served and $4 million raised this year.”

Golden Corral has enlisted Gary Sinise, celebrated actor/director, Bo Derek, pop icon and actress, and Collective Soul, the platinum award-winning band, to record public service announcements for Military Appreciation Monday. Sinise, Derek and Collective Soul are all actively involved in supporting active-duty and retired military personnel through a variety of organizations and initiatives including tours to military installations overseas.

“This is the fifth year I’ve had the pleasure to partner with Golden Corral in supporting our troops, past and present, through Military Appreciation Monday,” said Sinise. “The number of meals given away and amount of money donated in the past eight years really distinguishes Golden Corral’s commitment to the military. I’m proud and happy to help raise awareness for Golden Corral’s Military Appreciation Monday.”

Golden Corral will serve free dinner buffets with beverage from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Nov. 16 to any person who is or has served in a United States Military branch, including the National Guard and Reserves – identification is not required. State and local DAV representatives will be on-site at all Golden Corral locations coordinating the collection of donations from customers. While only current and former military qualify for the free meal, everyone is encouraged to come out and show support for our veterans. For more information on Military Appreciation Monday, please visit or become a fan on Facebook at

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FedEx Delivers Holiday Cheer to U.S. Armed Services Members and Their Families

(BUSINESS WIRE)--For the fifth consecutive year, FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation are teaming up for Trees for Troops, a program created to deliver support and cheer to members of the military and their families during the holiday season. Throughout this holiday season, Trees for Troops will deliver approximately 16,000 real Christmas trees to more than 50 military facilities in the United States and overseas.

“FedEx and its team members are pleased to support Trees for Troops, delivering holiday cheer to military men, women and families,” said Douglas G. Duncan, president and CEO, FedEx Freight. “Now in its fifth year, this program provides us the opportunity to say thanks to those who serve our country in the Armed Forces.”

This year’s Trees for Troops campaign will kick off Nov. 10 in Columbus, Ohio, with the pickup of approximately 200 trees to be delivered to service members stationed in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan via the FedEx Express hub in Indianapolis.

A second international shipment of nearly 100 trees will also depart from Indianapolis on Nov. 24 for service members stationed in Bahrain, aboard vessels of the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, and other locations.

“The FedEx team considers it a privilege to help coordinate Trees for Troops,” said Stan Bradford, freight flow analyst for FedEx Freight who assists with planning the tree pickup and distribution logistics for the program. “As an Army veteran, I am glad that FedEx is taking this step to support these very deserving men, women and families.”

Since 2005, the first year for the Trees for Troops program, the effort has quadrupled in size and donations. Some program milestones include:

* In the program’s first year, 4,300 trees were delivered to troops and military families at five bases in the U.S. and overseas
* More than 50,000 real Christmas trees have been distributed to families in every branch of the military at 40-plus bases in 17 countries.
* More than 750 tree growers in 29 states have donated trees
* FedEx Freight trucks have traveled an estimated 150,000 over-the-road miles to pick up and deliver the trees

Throughout November, National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) members around the country will donate trees, and FedEx will provide transportation and logistical services to the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, the NCTA's philanthropic branch. Both FedEx Express air operations and FedEx Freight’s trucking networks will play a role in the Trees for Troops program, delivering donated trees to military bases throughout the U.S.

The public will also have the opportunity to participate in Trees for Troops by purchasing trees and attaching a personal message at 40 retail locations nationally. These trees will be included in the Trees for Troops delivery schedule, which begins Nov. 30 and concludes Dec. 11. For a list of participating Trees for Troops retail locations, please visit

Trees for Troops is a part of FedEx Special Delivery, a nationwide program that supports local organizations by donating transportation services and manpower to help them fulfill their missions. For more information about FedEx Special Delivery and FedEx during the peak holiday season, please visit

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Military Heroes to Gather in Washington

/PRNewswire/ -- Many of America's most celebrated and distinguished veterans from World War II through the present day will converge on Washington, DC from November 12-14 for the American Veterans Center's 12th Annual Conference.

In the largest gathering of its kind in the nation, these men and women who have served in many of the defining moments in military history over the past 65 years will share their experiences with an audience of several hundred high school and college students, active duty military, and fellow veterans. The events will take place at the United States Navy Memorial's Burke Theater.

Headlining the event will be General David Petraeus, Commander, U.S. CENTCOM and former Commanding General, Multi-National Force - Iraq. General Petraeus will be taking questions from the audience on Friday, November 13.

Also joining the conference on the 40th anniversary of his Apollo 11 moon landing will be retired Air Force colonel Buzz Aldrin. Col. Aldrin will also take questions, and will be honored at the Center's Awards Banquet on Saturday, November 14, along with veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Others participating include:
-- The Band of Brothers -- Veterans portrayed in the acclaimed HBO
-- Bob Feller -- U.S. Navy Veteran of WWII and Hall of Fame Baseball
-- "Dutch" Van Kirk -- Navigator of Enola Gay, the B-29 that deployed the
first atomic bomb.
-- Lorenzo DuFau -- USS Mason, first Navy ship with a mainly African
American crew in WWII.
-- Edgar Whitcomb -- Former Governor of Indiana and POW of the Japanese
during WWII.
-- Shelby Westbrook -- Tuskegee Airman of WWII and pilot of 60-plus
combat missions.
-- Thomas Hudner Jr., Roger H.C. Donlon, & Alfred Rascon -- Medal of
Honor recipients.
-- Black Hawk Down -- Men portrayed in the award winning film.
-- Army Nursing Panel -- On the history and role in opening doors for
women to serve.
-- Iraq and Afghanistan -- Several of the most highly decorated veterans.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

The Home Depot Pays Tribute To Military Personnel by Offering a 10 Percent Veteran's Day Weekend Discount

/PRNewswire/ -- The Home Depot®, the world's largest home improvement retailer, today announced that the Company is continuing the tradition of honoring our military by offering all active duty personnel, reservists, retired military, veterans and their families a 10 percent discount off their purchases in honor of Veteran's Day. The offer is valid on purchases of up to $2,000 for a maximum discount of $200 between now and November 11, 2009, at all U.S. and Puerto Rico The Home Depot stores.

To qualify, individuals must present a valid military identification when checking out and discounts will be taken at the register.

The discount offer extends the Company's overall commitment to supporting the military community and is offered on Memorial Day, July 4th and Veteran's Day each year.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Free Krispy Kreme Doughnuts for Veterans and Military Personnel on Veterans Day!

/PRNewswire/ -- This year, Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation is honoring America's service men and women on Veterans Day by giving away free doughnuts to all veterans and active military personnel. Veterans and active military personnel are invited to visit any participating U.S. Krispy Kreme store on Veterans Day, November 11, and enjoy one free doughnut of any variety.

"Krispy Kreme is delighted to offer free doughnuts as a small gesture to thank the dedicated men and women who have served, or are currently serving in the armed forces," said Ron Rupocinski, corporate chef for Krispy Kreme. "It is our hope that veterans and active military will visit a participating U.S. Krispy Kreme store on Veterans Day to enjoy a free doughnut, and maybe share stories about their service to our country. We salute each and every one of them."

Veterans and active military personnel will be able to select from more than a dozen varieties - including Original Glazed®, Chocolate Iced Kreme Filled, Chocolate Cake, Pumpkin Spice and Glazed Raspberry Filled - that are available at most Krispy Kreme locations.

For updates on special promotions, exclusive offers and local events, join "Friends of Krispy Kreme" by visiting, or interact with Krispy Kreme at and

About Veterans Day

Veterans Day originated as "Armistice Day" on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and November 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. Then President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Shinseki Announces Veterans' Stories Posted on VA's Web Page

/PRNewswire/ -- Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will join with the Library of Congress to host a "Veterans History Countdown" on the VA Web site - - featuring the oral histories of Veterans from every state and U.S. territory.

"VA has partnered with the Library of Congress to honor our Veterans, preserve their histories and ensure that their service, sacrifice and heroism will never be forgotten," said Secretary Shinseki. "We want to encourage Americans to record the oral histories of Veterans for future generations."

Each day, beginning Nov. 1, VA's Web feature will introduce new personal histories, culminating on Veterans Day when a Veteran's history from each state and U.S. territory will be available simply by clicking on the U.S. map in the display.

As Veterans Day approaches, the VA Web display will urge Americans to "Honor our Veterans. Record their Histories!" The display will link to the library's Veterans History Project Web site -- -- which provides background about the program, a guide for volunteers to follow in recording and submitting Veterans' oral histories and to access the project's extensive digital archive.

VA has collaborated with the Veterans History Project since its implementing legislation was signed into law on Oct. 27, 2000. VA Voluntary Service has made oral history recording part of its program. VA offers Veterans the opportunity to record their histories at its facilities and special events. These collections of first-hand accounts are archived in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

"We hope the Veterans History Countdown will serve as a call to action for volunteers to record the first-hand stories of the Veterans they know--relatives, neighbors, friends," said Bob Patrick, director of the Veterans History Project.

The Veterans History Project collects and preserves the remembrances of American war Veterans and civilian workers who supported them.

The recordings make accessible the first-hand remembrances of American wartime Veterans from World War I through the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Approximately 65,000 individual stories comprise the collection of the Veterans History Project.

The project relies on volunteers to record Veterans' remembrances using guidelines accessible at Volunteer interviewers may request information at or the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848.

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General Colin Powell Receives American Patriot of Character Award

/PRNewswire/ -- General Colin Powell, former US Secretary of State, received the American Patriot of Character Award presented by The Character Education Partnership during their 16th annual National Forum on Character Education, in Alexandria, VA, Friday.

The American Patriot of Character Award honors one American citizen whose leadership exemplifies the very best of the nation's founding principles. The award recognizes individuals not only for great success in their chosen field, but also for upholding the highest ethical standards in service of the common good.

"General Powell is a remarkable public servant who has truly made a positive difference in our nation," CEP's executive director Joe Mazzola said. "He is a shining example of integrity for young people, and all American citizens, to emulate. We are honored to have him as the first recipient of this award."

In his acceptance remarks Powell talked about his family's emphasis on good character and achievement. He said a turning point in his life came about when he entered the ROTC program in college, and it emphasized West Point's code of ethics.

General Powell also congratulated the National Schools of Character award winners who were in attendance to receive their awards. He commended the educators for their efforts to develop students of good character.

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Military Support Organization Reaches for Christmas Miracle

/PRNewswire/ -- For the last two years, James Ward and his family have sent a bit of Christmas cheer to deployed American service members in Iraq and Afghanistan through Operation Christmas Tree, but this year that could change. Last year they sent 5,000 live Christmas trees. Now a goal of 2,000 may be out of reach, even with the efforts of fellow military support organization Soldiers' Angels, which contributed $2,000 to the cause yesterday.

In years past, the spirits of soldiers deployed during the Holidays have been buoyed by an extraordinary gift--a live Christmas tree complete with tiny ornaments and lights from Operation Christmas Tree. One soldier wrote, "I couldn't believe what I found in that little box. Wow. And it even smells a little like a Christmas tree!" Another exclaimed, "I am so moved and filled with joy. Thank you multiplied by a billion isn't enough for this simple act of kindness."

The recession has hit Operation Christmas Tree hard, with only five percent of the donations coming in that they've had in the past. "If we can't bring in more, there will be no trees going out this year," reports Ward, with a catch in his voice. "But I have faith that Americans will come though once again. Last year we got our last $10,000 needed on the day we packed the trees!"

Soldiers' Angels is calling on other organizations, companies and individuals to make sure that once again this year, deployed servicemen and women will have the experience of opening up a box in the sands of Iraq or the mountains of Afghanistan and finding a piece of Christmas inside. Says founder Patti Patton-Bader, "When our heroes are serving in dangerous places far from home on our behalf at Christmas, we owe them so much. A piece of home like this is a treasure."

Established in 2003, Soldiers' Angels is a volunteer-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing aid and comfort to the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard, veterans and military families. For more info, see or call (615) 676-0239. Tax ID# 20-0583415

Operation Christmas Tree is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a singular mission: sending live Christmas Trees to the deployed "until our troops are home." For more info, see or call 410-984-7300. Tax ID# 84-1722360.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Holiday Mail for Heroes to Deliver Greetings to U.S. Military Members and Veterans

/PRNewswire/ -- In this season of hope and giving, the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes Inc. have joined forces again to invite the public to "send a touch of home" to United States service members and veterans across the country and abroad through the Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign.

Now in its third year, the Holiday Mail for Heroes program provides Americans with the opportunity to extend holiday greetings and thanks to service members and veterans. Last year the program received more than 1.4 million cards for military men and women, their families and veterans.

The public can participate in the campaign by sending holiday cards with personal messages to a special post office box from Monday, November 2 through Monday, December 7. The Red Cross and Pitney Bowes will then screen cards for hazardous materials, sort and package the cards, and deliver them to military bases and hospitals, veteran's hospitals and other locations in the U.S. and abroad during the holidays. Pitney Bowes is providing all screening, packaging and shipping at no charge, as well as providing thousands of volunteer hours around the country. The Red Cross will utilize volunteers at over 300 participating chapters nationwide to sort and deliver greetings to military and veteran's hospitals and military bases in November and December.

Joining the campaign this year as spokesperson is contemporary music artist and American Red Cross celebrity cabinet member Amy Grant.

"I am honored and thrilled to be a part of the Holiday Mail for Heroes program," says Grant. "The service that our military men and women provide this country year-round is invaluable and I feel it is especially important to give thanks for their sacrifices during the holiday season."

Grant will celebrate the campaign's official launch with the Red Cross and Pitney Bowes at a Veteran's Day event in Washington where she will join military and public guests in signing holiday cards for the program.

"The United States currently has 1.4 million active duty members, reservists and guards serving within our borders and abroad. Additionally more than 24 million veterans have faithfully served our country in the past," notes Sherri Brown, Sr. Vice President of Service to the Armed Forces at the American Red Cross. "With increased chapter participation this year we hope to reach many more service members and veterans who may be spending this holiday season away from home or without loved ones," says Brown.

"The men and women who serve our country in uniform deserve our thanks every single day, and sending just one card is all it takes to make a difference in the life of one of our nation's heroes," said Jon Love, President of Pitney Bowes Government Solutions. "We are honored to participate in this important initiative again with the American Red Cross and look forward to helping the public say happy holidays and thank you."

Holiday cards should be addressed and sent to:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

Please be sure to affix adequate postage. Cards must be received no later than December 7. Cards received after this date will be returned to senders. For reasons of processing and safety, participants are asked to refrain from sending "care packages," monetary gifts, using glitter or including any inserts with the cards.

Additional ways to become involved with the campaign include connecting with fellow card senders through Facebook at and Twitter at and #holidaymail.

For more information and card requirements, please visit

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The Phoenix Group Launches Wish Foundation for Active Military

/PRNewswire/ -- The Phoenix Group today launched a non-profit foundation that grants wishes for active duty Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and their families. The Foundation strives to relieve the burdens of family separation, re-integration for deployed soldiers, hardship circumstances, and other means of assistance not covered by existing military charities.

The Foundation is driven by an interactive website ( allowing anyone to request a wish for active duty members of our Armed Forces. The website allows 'wish granters' to view wishes and contribute donations. Pictures and accounts of the granted wishes are posted online to allow contributors to see the impact made in the lives of our nations' heroes. The website also has apparel and merchandise available for purchase, and all sales benefit the wish program. The Phoenix Group's for-profit companies will contribute 10% of pretax earnings toward the Foundation, and will give employees the option of contributing a percentage of their paychecks to the cause. The Foundation will also rely on the generosity of other corporations and individuals to grant as many wishes as possible. Many foundations focus on assisting wounded soldiers and families of deceased soldiers, but Phoenix's foundation will focus on providing assistance and rewarding our heroes who may be experiencing other types of hardship.

"The Phoenix Group hires many former military soldiers into our various companies, and we would like to give something back to our nation's heroes who sacrifice so much to defend our great country," said Jeff Wells, President of Phoenix's Wish For Our Heroes Foundation.

The Foundation is headquartered in Greenwood, IN, with a second office in Houston, TX. It is dedicated in memory of 1SG Thomas G. Wells (1933-2009), a Marine Corps veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars, as well as all of our active duty military heroes. To learn more, volunteer, or make a donation, visit

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

America Salutes Its Heroes

(NAPSI)-The year 1944 was pivotal in the Allied prosecution of World War II. Some of the most crucial battles were engaged in the European and Pacific theaters as the Allied nations began to push back in earnest against the Axis powers.

World War II was a defining moment in time for the United States: It touched the lives of every citizen, every community and every family, and propelled a once isolationist country into a position of global leadership. There was no aspect of American life that was not affected by the war. More than 16.2 million men and women served during WW II. The war engulfed the entire globe: Nearly every continent saw significant action and men and women from every inhabited continent died in it.

Nearly 50 percent of those who wore the uniform of the United States served in the Army. World War II veterans from all services -the Army, Navy and Marine Corps-are dying at a rate of 1,135 per day.

"As our nation remembers the courage and sacrifice of those who fought on battlefields from Normandy to Bastogne, from Italy to North Africa and throughout the numerous Pacific Islands, we are presented with a unique opportunity to celebrate this legacy of duty, honor and selfless sacrifice, which now serves as the foundation for today's soldiers," said Colonel David M. Griffith, director, U.S. Army Freedom Team Salute program. "America has a responsibility to acknowledge the sacrifice of WW II veterans, to ensure they are not forgotten."

Freedom Team Salute is an official Army commendation program that recognizes the essential bond among soldiers, family and community; it celebrates the sacrifices made by all those who support our soldiers; and honors the millions of soldier veterans who have served and remain as our living connection to generations of duty, honor and patriotism. Army veterans receive a letter and certificate of appreciation signed by the Secretary of the Army and the Army Chief of Staff.

"It is appropriate that we as a society take the opportunity to pay our respects for the enormous sacrifices that were required of those who served in uniform during World War II as well as supporters on the home front who made their service possible," said Griffith. "Observances are occurring all year in the U.S., in Europe and in other places; but the service and sacrifice of our Army veterans is observed pre-eminently in the hearts of men and women around the world who remember the cost of freedom and are grateful."

Any honorably discharged Army veteran who served during World War II is eligible for Freedom Team Salute, including men and women who served in the Army Air Force, Army Air Corps, Women's Army Corps and the Army Nurse Corps.

For more information about Freedom Team Salute or to honor a U.S. Army veteran, visit

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