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Archive for December, 2013

“I grew up with bugle calls and artillery salutes and the knowledge that home is where the heart is and the family–with no dependence on the dwelling.”  (from I Am A Military Brat)

December brings so much excitement for our little ones. As you enter the season of giving, don’t forget to nominate an amazing military child for our 2014 Military Child of the Year award. Five winners will be chosen, representing each branch of service, and each will receive $5,000, a laptop and a trip to Washington D.C. for a special awards gala in their honor. All nominees will be sent a special certificate of recognition. Deadline to nominate is Dec. 14.

We think the term “military brat” is a badge of honor that represents a resilient and tenacious group of young Americans who sacrifice so much on behalf of all of America’s kids. In honor of our youngest patriots, enjoy the following article, used with permission from the Military Brats Registry:

“I am an Army Brat. My hometown is nowhere, my friends are everywhere, and if I haven’t been someplace yesterday, I am sure to go there tomorrow. I grew up with bugle calls and artillery salutes and the knowledge that home is where the heart is and the family–with no dependence on the dwelling.

Mobility is my way of life. I have found security and happiness in motels and guest houses, in duplexes and apartments around the world. Some would wonder about my roots, yet they are as deep and strong as the mighty oaks. I sink them quickly, absorbing all an area offers and hopefully giving enrichment in return.

mcoy-blog-pic4Like all Army dependents, I can say “Hello,” “Good-bye,” and count to 20 in five languages. I can tell of the shores of Maine, the marketplaces of Mexico, the Buddhas of Japan; and my knickknack shelves look like those of an import shop, for my memories span the globe.

Travel has taught me to be open. By age nine I had seen more of the world than most people do in a lifetime; I had touched many and allowed their cultures to touch me. Shaking hands with the universe, I found a brotherhood in all men.

mcoy-pic2Just as there is joy in meeting, so is there pain in parting; and although practice makes perfect, there is no way to perfect “Good-bye.” Farewells are never easy. Yet, even in sorrow comes strength and an ability to face tomorrow with anticipation. And if when I leave one place I feel that half my world has been left behind, I also know that the other half is still waiting to be met.

As an Army Brat, I go out to others extending hand and heart. Friendships are formed in hours and kept for decades. I will never grow up with someone, but I will mature with many, and the help that I offer today will be returned farther down the road. Be it inevitable that paths part, there is constant hope that they will meet again.

I feel fortunate to live in a society of tradition drawing from the past to enhance the present – where silver baby cups announce life, horse-drawn caissons pronounce death and the living in between is dedicated to the service of God, man and our nation.

mcoy-blog-pic3Love of country, respect and pride fill my being when Old Glory passes in review. As I stand to honor that flag, so also do I stand to honor all soldiers, most especially to the man whose life created mine — my father. Because of him I have shared in the rich heritage of Army life.

Now, as Army wife and mother, I have passed on that legacy to my children. I wish for them a wealth of experiences and knowledge and love, so that their lives will be blessed as mine, and I pray that one day they will join me in boasting, “I am an Army Brat!”

Make sure your branch is represented well among the nominees – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard – let’s hear from you! To nominate an amazing military child of your life, go to www.militarychildoftheyear.org by Dec. 14.

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givingtuesday-2“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

― Mother Teresa

Hang around the non- profit community long enough and you are sure to see a quote like this posted to a desk or on a social media page. Themes of Love, Service, Purpose. Quotes from famous people, scripture, letters from those touched by and had lives changed by the mission.

It’s easy to dismiss them as simple motivational tools, especially when it seems that needs are overwhelming and resources always scarce.  But there is a deeper reason why these phrases are common and enduring.

They are true.

There is a joy in giving, in lifting another up, in showing someone the goodness in others and themselves, at times when they can’t see a way through.

Today, on #GivingTuesday, charities, families, businesses, community centers, students and more will come together with one focus. Join in and be a part of a national movement of generosity. Whether it’s our mission or community food programs or clean water or curing disease, you can make a difference.  Here are some easy ways you can get involved on #GivingTuesday and throughout the year in Operation Homefront’s mission to support our nation’s military, veterans and wounded warrior families.

Make Some Noise. Tweet tweet! Our wonderful partners at the Home Depot Foundation are donating a dollar a tweet using #TeamDepot to @HomeDepotFdn  from Dec 3 until Dec. 31.  You’ll not only raise much needed funds (up to $100,000!), but also awareness of the challenges of our military families and wounded warriors. Follow us on Twitter at @Op_Homefront.

Click and Give.  Once again, Operation Homefront is honored to have been selected as one of 10 charities to receive a portion of a $200,000 gift from the CDW Corporation.  For a mouse click, you can help raise funds for our mission. Voting is open from now until Jan. 3,2014, and you can vote daily.

Don an Elf Hat and Donate a Toy for a Military Family: Between now and Dec. 6, you can donate a toy for our Holiday Toy Drive.  Toys will be distributed nationwide in the coming weeks at bases and towns across the country.

Encourage A Child: We all know them…the youngest patriots who didn’t choose to serve but make sacrifices of their own as part of a military family. They endure multiple moves, separations from loved ones and so much more on behalf of all of America’s kids. Take a moment and nominate a military kid to be considered for our Military Child of the Year award.  Just by being nominated, they will receive a certificate of appreciation from us.

Volunteer: Many of our events, such as Holiday Meals for Military and our Toy Drives, along with Back to School Brigade and other programs throughout the year rely on our community of volunteers to make it happen.  Connect up with your local Field Office to see how you can get involved in supporting military families in your community and other ways to get involved in our mission.

Support One of Our Current Needs: Emergency assistance requests have hit an all-time high this year, and it is only through the generous support of individuals, businesses and organizations that we are able to provide a measure of comfort and hope to those who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms.  We regularly post ongoing and current needs on our website.

Raise Awareness: Learn more about How We Help and our areas of focus: Relief, Recovery and Recognition.  Getting the word out that help is available and where to go will ensure that our military families and wounded warriors can focus on their missions and challenges.

Are you taking part in a #GivingTuesday event in your area?  Share in the comments.

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