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Operation Gratitude: Support Our Military

How one woman has made it possible for all of us to thank our military men and women.

Happy recipients of Operation Gratitude

Today I’d like to share a way for each of us to support those who serve in our armed forces–Operation Gratitude. This amazing organization was born out of one woman’s drive to make a difference.

Carolyn Blashek, like so many, was impacted by the attack on September 11, 2001. Her first response was to join the military. When they turned her down because of her age, then 46, she floundered. But while she was at an airport, she realized how much our servicemen and women need our support here at home. Out of her desire to make sure our deployed troops knew how much those at home cared about them, Operation Gratitude was born.

A happy recipient of Operation GratitudeThis 501(c)3 organization mails thousands of packages to our servicemen and women around the world. It’s grown from one woman’s desire to help, to an organization that gives us all the opportunity to say thank you.

It’s easy to participate. Just visit the website and click on the Get Involved tab. Right now they are collecting left-over Halloween candy to send in care packages. They also need personal letters for those serving away from home, handmade scarves and paracord bracelets.

As a mom, I can assure you that these packages mean a great deal to our servicemen and women. When our son was deployed, he knew we cared. But a part of him also felt like we were family, we were supposed to care.

But when someone he didn’t know sent him a letter or package, that reminded him others cared about what he was doing.

Furthermore, that outreach touched our family. As much as I wanted to support our son, I also wanted him to know that his community and his country supported him and valued the sacrifice he made.

This one woman’s willingness to make a difference not only impacts those serving in our military, it gives us the opportunity to reach out in a tangible way. So as we celebrate Veterans Day this month, take time to support our men and women in uniform.

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