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Archive for August, 2012

A military family writes openly about their move into their new mortgage-free home in Macon, GA, provided by our Homes on the Homefront program. The following includes excerpts from their blog Biddle Buzz. You can read the full version here. At Operation Homefront, we are proud to partner with Chase, Tim McGraw, American Signature Furniture and Tyson to make the American dream of owning a home come true for so many military families, like the Biddle family.

As we pulled onto our new street, camera men from CNN were at our house and filming every move from us parking, to getting out of our vehicles, to us walking through the house. The Biddles in front of their new home with Andrea Kephart from Operation Homefront.

When we pulled up, to say emotions flew everywhere would be an understatement. Our house is bigger than it looks in photos. It is GORGEOUS inside and out! We finally all have room to live and be ourselves. Our girls have their own rooms!!! That alone is AMAZING.

As soon as we pulled up to our house, I instantly felt overpowered by emotions and became very shaky as I got out of the car and walked to the yard. Of course, as soon as I was standing in front of our house I started with some tears. I actually did very well in containing myself as we walked through.

This whole experience has been above and beyond amazing. Quite honestly, it still a bit surreal and we are trying to process things and adjust. Andrea from Operation Homefront, Rusty from Chase, Joe and American Signature, Tim McGraw, our contractors and everyone else that has been involved in this amazing experience, we cannot say Thank You enough. Truthfully, saying thank you doesn’t seem sufficient enough. There is no way to repay all that we have been blessed with.

We talked outside for a few minutes then entered our house for the tour… WOW! As we entered the house, there was a plant in the foyer (yes, I have actually been watering it!).  As we walked up the stairs, Andrea grabbed my hand and told us we had to close our eyes because we would love what is at the top of the steps.

When she told us to open them, we were in awe. Our bedroom greets anyone that goes upstairs with french doors and a big room. We walked into our room and just stood there in shock.The Biddles master bedroom.

From there we looked at the kids rooms, which they had already claimed.

Some of our furniture came from American Signature in Lithonia, GA. (They) sent us a voucher to furnish some of our house. Ask for the manager, Joe Lane and tell him we sent you. No, we do not get any type of reward/incentive for sending you. We just REALLY love the store and the people in it. We could not have asked for a better company and people!

When we walked into the store, we were warmly greeted by a group of people that work there and were expecting us. Joe walked out with flowers. They led us to the office area, where there was a table set up with fruits, juice, coffee, and breakfast type pastries. Following the time in the office, we all headed out to look at the furniture. I think everyone took off in different directions during this time! Joe headed out with me and helped me find things that fit our house perfectly! We managed to find all that we need to fill our house and absolutely LOVE every piece of furniture.

Joe Lane, manager of the American Signature Furniture store in Lithonia, GA welcomes the Biddles’ son to the store.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank each and every one of you that have played a part in this journey and made dreams come true. You are bringing hope back to combat veterans and their families and giving them a “reason” again. You are enabling us and families like us to give back in ways that we couldn’t before without the stresses that many of us face. Not only can we now give back more, but this also gives us the opportunity to focus more on Kevin’s injuries and find more stability in life for him, it allows each of us to have better medical care. It allows Kevin and I to do more for and with our children that before we couldn’t. Such as taking a day and allowing them to see the ocean for the very first time just days after moving in. It allows us to find who we are now in life and for that one thing and everything else we are forever grateful for this.

For the first time I feel like a weight has been lifted off of us and that things are finally beginning to look up. For years now, we have had so many obstacles thrown our way and we have fought so many battles to overcome them, together. With this positive turn, we can now look forward to our future.

Thank you family and friends for supporting us and standing beside us before the move, during, and now as we slowly transition.

The beautiful home provided, mortgage-free, to the Biddle family as part of Operation Homefront’s Homes on the Homefront program.

We also want to thank Tyson who joined us recently and is providing a year’s supply of Tyson products to families, including the Biddles, who receive homes through our Homes on the Homefront program. In addition, Bank of America and Wells Fargo have also started providing homes and support to our program and we are deeply grateful.

As part of the giveaway experience, the Biddles got to meet Tim McGraw and hear him in concert this summer.

As part of their giveaway experience, the Biddles got to meet Tim McGraw and hear him in concert this summer.

All members of the family get comfortable in the new home.

All members of the family get comfortable in the new home.

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69 years ago today, LTG George S. Patton slapped a young private who had been hospitalized for psychoneurosis, and accused him of cowardice.

While visiting injured soldiers in Sicily, LTG Patton had been speaking to each of the visibly wounded men in the field hospital when he saw PVT Charles H.  Kuhl.  PVT Kuhl showed no outward wounds, and when asked what ailed him, his response, “It’s my nerves sir…I just can’t take it anymore” drew fury from the infamous General.  LTG Patton slapped him across the face with a pair of gloves and called him a coward.  As he exited the tent, LTG Patton heard PVT Kuhl crying, came back and struck him again, and ordered him out of the tent.

After a similar encounter a week later involving a different soldier, LTG Patton received a personal reprimand from General Dwight Eisenhower, and is widely thought to have lost command of the D-Day invasion as a consequence.

At one time, this attitude was common.  While the negative stigma associated with the invisible wounds of war still lingers today, the tide is changing.

Raymond Chandler, the Sergeant Major of the Army, openly admits to utilizing behavioral health resources at Ft. Bliss, Texas following a difficult deployment to Iraq.  He shows by example that recognizing your struggles and seeking help are acceptable, and even encouraged.

In his interview for SMA, General Casey asked if there was anything in his history that could embarrass the Army.  SMA Chandler shared his experience of seeking mental health counseling at Ft. Bliss. General Casey expressed that part of his history would not be considered a disqualifier, but an asset.

This changing attitude has been a long time coming. Many may not have received the recognition and help they needed, yet, but Operation Homefront applauds the efforts of the military to move towards education and acceptance of all wounds, both visible and invisible.

If you or someone you love is suffering, please encourage them to get help.  No one should have to fight these battles alone, or without the tools they need.

(Article by Rachel O’Hern, military spouse, a recent addition at Operation Homefront and all-around great gal!)

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