photo © 2010 Jerry | more info (via: Wylio)
The whine of turbine motors and the Whup..Whupp.. Whuppp of the rotor blades from a UH-60 Black-Hawk helicopter swooping over the top of my CHU(Container-Housing-Unit) on this cool pre-dawn morning, mark the beginning of just another day here in Baghdad, Iraq.
It’s most likely the same for troops fighting in Afghanistan, many without the luxury of a CHU, sleeping in tents or wherever they can lie down or find some small bit of concealment and respite from the weather and the enemy.
Today is Thanksgiving Day 2010 and I am reminded by my surroundings that each day, courageous men and women who serve overseas face extreme hardships.
Currently over 250 thousand military members are deployed overseas.
Many troops are deployed in far off reaches of the globe. Some on ships a few on submarines and many in other far off places on foreign lands. Over 130 thousand in Afghanistan, 50 thousand in Iraq and close to 30 thousand in South Korea. The remainder in other far off reaches of the World in support of US Interest’s, protecting our Country and Way of life.
While living conditions are one hardship, the one that is the most difficult is the separation from family. This is not a one way event, as the dependents of our military members suffer from the long separations too.
As a veteran I believe, that everyone that serves their country in time of need is a Hero. Unfortunately, oftentimes overlooked in the process is the littlest Hero’s. These are the children of deployed service members who are missing their mom or dad right now.
Around this time of the year, as many of us begin to celebrate our blessings, often our thoughts turn towards our families and those in need. I think it’s time to remind all and to reemphasize the needs that children of deployed service members have.
Two key reports this year, one from the New England Journal of Medicine and the other by the Rand Corporation clearly show the pain from separation and the need.
The NEJM report along with the RAND report signify that children of military parents are adversely impacted emotionally with a parent who is deployed away from home for significant amount of time. This is the main reason that Operation Hug-A-Hero was created. We can and have made huge positive psychological impacts to the children that are recipients of our FREE Hug-A-Hero® dolls.
Our troops have made the sacrifice. Their commitment to serve their country and the American people is unwavering. We at home have so much to be thankful for even in these troubled times.
May your thoughts be with our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guard and Civilians stationed throughout the world, as is ours.
As today starts the major celebration period for our nation my hope is that from today on and all through the Holidays, you will think of them and help us to bring a little Homeland Security to their little Heroes left behind.
There are many ways that you can help us to meet our mission.
- One simple way is to pass this message along to others; family, friends or co-workers. ( Share Save)
- Email, Tweet or re-Tweet this article,
- join our cause on Face Book
- Subscribe to our News Letter
- Comment on this article.
Fortunately, these days, it’s easier than ever to help others. You don’t have do any heavy lifting, or even make any trips With just a couple minutes and a few mouse clicks, you can donate and save money while you’re doing your Holiday Shopping. Please remember us on Black Friday and Cyber Monday by visiting igive.com
Our Holiday Hugs event for 2010 will launch within the next week – Hug-A-Hero is inviting retailers, businesses, schools, churches and other interested organizations to adorn a holiday tree with OHAH Holiday Hug “ornaments.” Each ornament represents a Hug-A-Hero doll for a child, for a small donation.
If you are into Social Media and want to help with Fund Raising you can also start your own campaign to support OHAH via Crowd rise.
Whatever avenue you choose to assist us in getting our message out, we will all be eternally grateful for your kind gesture and assistance in helping to support our troops and the little Heroes.
Sincerely,Thomas Townsend CTO Operation Hug-A-Hero Baghdad, Iraq
This holiday season, buy a gift that includes an automatic donation to OPERATION Hug-A-Hero at not cost to you when you shop at any of over 700 participating online stores (including Amazon, eBay, Toys-R-Us, and many more) through iGive. A portion of each purchase comes back to support our cause in the form of a donation check when you register OPERATION Hug-A-Hero as your charity of choice! It is that easy!
It’s free for you, free for us, and you pay the same (or less!) than you would by going directly to the online stores you usually shop at. Plus, there is a $5 donation bonus for your first purchase (within 45 days of registering).
To all you smart shoppers: don’t miss iGive’s treasure-trove of coupons, sales, and free shipping. Save money, save time, and send gifts that give twice. What could be better than that? You can use iGive anytime for any purchase- it doesn’t have to be gifts for someone else, and you can get a tax deduction receipt for the portion iGive donates on your behalf.
If you download the iGive Toolbar, you will donate a penny for every search you make too! Plus, the automatic tracking feature means you don’t have to remember to start at iGive.com when you shop most stores. Check out the 700+ online stores after you register, and watch for special rate donations. For example, right now if you join eBay through the iGive link and place a bid or Buy-It-Now in the next 30 days, an $11 donation will be sent on your behalf to Operation Hug-A-Hero.
Want to get a headstart on planning your online shopping? Check out Blackfriday.info’s Black Friday Deals for all of the online specials from major stores that could be yours. Then, click on over to iGive.com to make your purchase count for our littlest heroes! Just don’t forget to search “Operation Hug-A-Hero” to select our cause and bookmark it before you start shopping!
As always, we thank you for your support!
“It’s not easy hearing the challenges that other military families are facing. I’ve talked to families struggling with the loss of their loved one, children having a hard time sleeping while daddy or mommy is deployed, kids staring out of the window each night waiting for daddy and not understanding why he doesn’t come home from work, and so many other heart-wrenching stories.”
Operation Hug-A-Hero’s Executive Director, Lisa Berg was recently asked to write an article for publication in the Christian Military Fellowship November Newsletter. Lisa does a great job discussing the difficulties that parents of deployed service members often encounter and how her own power of prayer gets her through the difficult moments and which led her to a rewarding association with Operation Hug-A-Hero. Here is Lisa’s introduction and a few snippets from the article. To read the entire Newsletter please click on the link above to the Christian Military Fellowship website (CMF).
Greetings Operation Hug-A-Hero supporters! I was asked by Christian Military Fellowship to write an article for their newsletter about my personal journey as a Christian and why I chose Operation Hug-A-Hero as a non-profit organization to be involved with. I thought you might be interested in reading it. After doing so, I also encourage you to add your comments and thoughts on this Blog post. Thanks!
“Many military parents worry that their kids won’t remember them when they get back from a deployment (which is often 6 to 12 months or longer). Seeing photos of their kids interacting with their Hug-A-Hero doll and including them in family events such as Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas, and so on, shows these parents that they are not forgotten.”
On November 11th we celebrate Veterans Day—a day to recognize the sacrifices that our military, past and present, have made in defense of our great country. We are still at war, and we still have tens of thousands of active duty military deployed overseas. On a day like this it is also important to remember the families left behind on the homefront—particularly the children. It is no coincidence that November is also the “Month of the Military Family”.
Operation Hug-A-Hero is proud to support these families year-round, but we are especially pleased to acknowledge the businesses across the country that are providing specials deals and offers to honor our Veterans on November 11. Two great sources to find the deals around the country are Miltary.com and Monterey Officer Spouses’Club (MBOSC). We encourage you to keep our Veterans in your thoughts this week and hope you will reflect upon what they and their families sacrifice for our country each and every day.
Local Tampa Area Business provides Fundraising Opportunity for Operation Hug-A-Hero for the entire month of November 2010.
John & Jennifer Ferraiolo, owners of Inflate World located at 2552 Merchant Ave in Odessa, FL 33556 have graciously offered to sponsor Operation Hug-A-Hero for the entire month of November. What that means is for every admission, which is $10, they will donate $2 to our cause! This applies every Friday night at their Open Play (excluding the Friday after Thanksgiving, as they will be closed).
With all the holiday breaks from school this month kids are going to build up a lot of extra energy, especially if they stay indoors due to the cooler weather. If you’re looking for a fun place to take your kids or perhaps you have a birthday party to plan, then Inflate World is the place to go. It’s fun for adults too!
Inflate World is a clean, safe, and fun Indoor Inflatable Party Center offering thrilling private parties and events for children.
What a great donation this company is giving to us. 20% of every ticket to help support our littlest heroes!
Local Merchants – Are you looking for a way to bring in customers this Holiday Season? Please contact us so that we can show you a way to do just that and at the same time provide a Charitable contribution that supports a great service to our active duty military families. Please check out our Planning a Fund Raiser page and then contact our Executive Director, Lisa Berg for more information or submit a request via our Contact Page.