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M2H05.26.16We’ve almost reached our goal of filling out this map with your messages of gratitude to our military and veterans, and we could not be more honored to read the love, pride and respect our fellow Americans have for the military and veteran community. We’ve heard from Moms and Dads, spouses, sons and daughters, friends, family, and everyday Americans, all united behind the idea of supporting those who serve our country selflessly.

With just a few more days to go, we need YOUR help to complete the map by the end of Military Appreciation Month. Share with friends and families in the states we want to hear from. Anyone can submit messages here or on any social media channels using #Mission2Honor.

Here are some of our favorite #Mission2Honor messages from the last week.

Christine from New Hampshire

I am honored to be the girlfriend of a Vietnam Veteran. All of our veterans and their families made huge sacrifices so that we can live as we do today. I thank each and every one of you. God Bless!

Carol from Oklahoma

Our family appreciates the strength and sacrifice it takes to serve our country. We respect and honor those who serve, as well as those who support them at home.

Janet from South Dakota

There are not enough words to express the thanks that our military members deserve. At home or on deployment, they give their time, and sometimes their lives in service to our country.

Charlotte from Nebraska

Thank you to all the men and women who have and are serving our country. You are appreciated. God Bless you for your sacrifices, putting your life and family on hold, to protect us. Thank you again. God Bless.

Thomas from Illinois

I have stood where you now stand (US Army, ’65-’77) and have some idea of what you are going through. Words cannot express my appreciation for your actions.

Terri from Arkansas 

Words cannot express my gratitude for the many ways the men and woman of the military impact my everyday life. I work with the families at LRAFB and am extremely impressed by their commitment to the mission each and every day. I am honored to get to know these families and spend my days with their children while they complete their mission without worry. Thank you for all you do! There will never be enough ways to express my gratitude!

Roy from Minnesota

Very proud to know you.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

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Learn more about out #Mission2Honor campaign at www.operationhomefront.net/mission2honor

M2H map updated 051816We’re getting closer to filling out the map with your messages of gratitude to our military and veterans, but we still need your help. We’d like to see this map filled entirely by the end of Military Appreciation Month, and we need only 18 more states to reach all 50!  You can submit messages here or on your social media using #Mission2Honor.

Here are some of our favorite #Mission2Honor messages from the last week.

Deborah from Georgia

Our military, our heroes! Tell a military person you see “thanks for what you do for us unselfishly every day of the year

Robin from West Virginia

Saying thank you seems so insignificant in the face of all that you do! My family & I truly appreciate the sacrifice that both you & your families make every day to keep us safe and our Country free!

Colleen from Maryland

As a Veteran and a mom of military member there are not enough words or thanks that can be shared to everyone who has dedicated their lives, time, dedication to our loved ones who have served our country. The families have endured all that comes with the perils of war. The sacrifices, physical and emotional we all face give us the strength to be there for our families.  God Bless all and THANK YOU

Mary from Florida

Thank you so much for your service and the sacrifice you make each and every day to serve our great country!!!! You all give up time with your children and spouses, not to mention extended family, and for this, I thank you!!

I recently visited NYC for the first time and visited the 9/11 Memorial. They did a fantastic job with the Memorial and Museum, and visiting that place made me even more thankful for our military and the work you do!!

May God bless you and keep you safe!!!

Angela from South Carolina

Thank you for standing in the gap and fighting for our country! All that you do is appreciated and respected!

Wendi from Delaware

Our service members deserve accolades for their sacrifices. It’s not just deployments… That is a huge factor but there are a million other reasons we are thankful to our military. It takes a special group of people to show unwavering dedication as they support our nation’s objectives… Even when they personally may not agree.

When one person serves, their whole family sacrifices. Our military is the strongest in the world! The reason is the amazing people who enlist and the support they get from their families. We appreciate and salute everyone who has served, and everyone who sacrifices at home with them.

Gloria from Georgia

I’d like to thank all the Veterans (including my Grandfather, Uncle, Father) and Military families for their service and sacrifice everyone endures. To those whom were once neighbors / friends that with selfless support have become family. To all the Battle Buddies who still hold up to that oath. Thank you to everyone who hold our freedom to the highest, the support civilians (family & friends) give to keep the pride alive. Thank you. Not to mention all the programs that help get through trying times of deployment or separation, Operation Home front, USO, Local chapters of VFW. Our family truly appreciates it all. God Bless America. Home of the Free because of the Brave.

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Join us next week as we post more of our favorite #Mission2Honor messages showing support from a grateful nations. Learn more about out #Mission2Honor campaign at www.operationhomefront.net/mission2honor

M2H map updated 051116We asked you to help fill out this map with messages of thanks to our military and veterans. Shout out to all of the Colorado folks, who took the top spot of most messages from a single state. Can you help spread the word to entirely fill this map by the end of Military Appreciation Month? You can submit messages here or on your social using #Mission2Honor.

Here are some of our favorite #Mission2Honor messages from the last week.

Michael from Hawaii

Much Mahalo and Aloha from Hawaii! When we think about what Military Families stand for: sacrifice, dedication, loyalty, honor, discipline, integrity, strength, faith, love, and enduring commitment – we salute you and humbly submit our deepest gratitude for all that you do to support and protect our great nation! God bless you and God bless the United States of America!

Ashley from the United Kingdom

My husband is Active Duty Air Force so from our military family to yours, past and present, thank you for your sacrifice, your time you dedicate to protecting our freedoms and your love for our great country. Land of the free because of the brave.

Audrey from Washington

Sending love, admiration, and respect to my dad Julian M., and his group of Vietnam-era, Chamorro Veterans in Tacoma, WA! That tiny island has shed more native blood for this nation than any other state or territory. God bless you all for your sacrifice

Vickie from Indiana

From the Hoosier state I personally want to send you warm wishes and thoughts to wherever you are. You are thought and prayed for every day. From Indy Blue Star Mom

Katrina from New Mexico

As a military brat and a Gold Star Sibling, I want to say thank you for all you do to keep our families safe and happy!

Laura from Colorado

I cannot say thank you enough to all the brave men and women who are serving, have served or gave the ultimate sacrifice and died for our country. On behalf of a grateful nation, thank you for your service!!

Shiloh from Missouri

Thank you for all you have and are doing.

You are the reason for our freedoms. May God bless you and your families in all you do.

Thank you.

Angela

Thank you to all of you, for all the support you give! And to my brothers and sisters in arms, thank you for always standing beside me!

Malissa

Every day of my life, all Americans lives are affected by what you do. We are able to enjoy our lives and feel safe because of what you do. Your selfless dedication and commitment to the United States of American is appreciated more than words can ever express.

Please know that I will be forever grateful for my freedoms, because of your service.

Reverend Conger from Texas

Blessings and Peace from Texas

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Join us next week as we post more of our favorite #Mission2Honor messages showing support from a grateful nation. Learn more about out #Mission2Honor campaign at www.operationhomefront.net/mission2honor

Help us fill this map with thanks and gratitude!

As part of our #Mission2Honor campaign, we asked you to share messages of thanks to our military families. This week, it’s Thankful Thursday again, and we challenge our community to represent your state and send your message of support via the link below, or use your own social with #Mission2Honor.

 

Help us fill this map between now and Memorial Day with messages of thanks and gratitude

 

This week, we picked our favorites from one coast to another and few from states in-between:

Shon from Cali:

As a fellow military brat–in a family with several generations of us–I’m proud to be counted among you. You and your non-serving parent provide the strength for your serving parent to serve our country. Bless you all.

Taylor from Wisconsin:

Thank you veterans for all your hard work and support to all of us in America. We continue to live in a free world because of brave men and women like you!

Mindy from Iowa:

Thank you so very much for keeping us safe. Thanks for everything you do so selflessly!

I’m so thankful for each and every one of you!

God Bless and Keep You Safe!

Meg from Ohio:

Thank you for your sacrifice that keeps us free. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers. God bless and keep you.

Mari from Maine:

To Veterans and their families… For all that you do, what you have done, and probably will do… to protect us…humans, animals, and our country… the words Thank you don’t seem enough, but they are heartfelt. So Thank You…

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Join us for Military Appreciation Month and send a message of support to honor those who have served and are continuing to serve our communities across the country, using this link or via your social using #Mission2Honor. We will continue to share your messages on our blog throughout the month.

Travelling coast to coast or just down the road this summer? Fuel up and stretch your legs at a Loves Travel Stop. Loves has been a friend and supporter of our mission to build strong, stable and secure military families.

 

 

Mission2Honor-FB640x640-MONDAY-41116Operation Homefront asked and you responded! #Mission2Honor is our campaign to share your messages of encouragement and thanks for our military and veteran families. Starting today, and every Thursday through May 26, we will share those messages to and from our military and veterans families as part of our #Mission2Honor campaign. Share your own message here…and get inspired by some of the messages going out to those we serve.

 

FROM A MILITARY KID TO THE COUNTRY THEY LOVE:

As a Marine brat, I am still holding myself to high standards of accountability and faith but most of LOVE. LOVE OF GOD, COUNTRY AND FAMILY which continues to give my life purpose. Thank you all three God, Country and Family for loving me back.

FROM A PROUD WIFE TO HER HUSBAND:

I want to say THANKS TO YOU for all your effort, for your work and family dedication. Because every day is different, like every place has different experience, with best, good, and less good moments. But always you have us: your 3 kids and me your wife who always love you. Thank you for being an excellent husband, a best father an amazing soldier you are our HERO WE LOVE YOU!

FROM OUR TEAM AT OPERATION HOMEFRONT:

  • Thank you to those who serve and our military families. I’m the proud daughter of a career Air Force dad — you have given your very best, and you deserve our nation’s best in return.
  • Your journey is long, your patience deep, your constant vigilance is true. From one military family to another… thank you!

FROM A PROUD MOM TO HER SON:

I’m so proud having a son who got lots of courage & brave enough to tell his mom he wants to serve the country. I’ve been missing you so much my soldier but I know you’re happy to what you doing. Always take care & mommy loves you so much ❤️. #ArmyStrongFamilyHooah#ProudMomArmySon

FROM ONE MILITARY FAMILY TO ANOTHER:

A simple thank you is never enough appreciation or understanding for the choices and lifestyle we military families live every day. I say we because I am a spouse of a military member and have three kids who live this life, too! While we may not be in the field or on a deployment, we feel the pain of separation. It makes us stronger people in the end because we share a unique experience. We are more independent and driven to be ourselves. We face criticism from family, friends and strangers along the way do not change our resolve to be the best we choose to be. So hold onto the place in your heart that is stronger than anywhere else and stay humbly by the side of your loved one.

FROM A GRATEFUL CITIZEN TO ALL:

Thank you for your service to our country! Your sacrifice is always greatly appreciated. Godspeed!

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Mission2Honor is a national initiative to publicly acknowledge and thank our military families. Every day, the families of our nation’s active duty, wounded warriors and veterans show their unwavering commitment to support and protect our communities. During the Month of the Military Child (April) and Military Appreciation Month (May), we invite you to show your appreciation for our nation’s military and veteran families by sending in a message of thanks. SUBMIT YOUR MESSAGE OF THANKS TODAY.

VISIT WWW.OPERATIONHOMEFRONT.NET/MISSION2HONOR TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN AND HOW WE WORK TO BUILD STRONG, STABLE AND SECURE MILITARY FAMILIES.

 

As we entered the eighth year of our Military Child of the Year award, we were reminded that greatness comes in all shapes and sizes. Last week, we welcomed seven amazing military kids, our 2016 Military Child of the Year recipients and our Innovation Award winner, to Washington D.C. They ranged in age from 9 to 17 years old, and as they toured DC, they impressed us with their achievements (and polite manners), wowed their representatives on Capitol Hill, and celebrated with us at our annual Military Child of the Year gala.

If these kids are any indication, the future of our nation is in good hands.

Here is a snapshot of things seen and heard, some highly unexpected and delightful, while these extraordinary young patriots took our nation’s capital by storm.

MCOYplayfulatheart

Playful at heart, but when the need arises, this group is serious about giving back to their communities and the country they love (from left to right, Our 2016 award recipients: Lorelei McIntyre-Brewer (Army MCOY), Christian Fagala (Marine Corps MCOY), Maddy Morlino (Air Force MCOY), Trip Landon (National Guard MCOY), Elizabeth O’Brien (Innovation Award winner), Jeffrey Burds (Navy MCOY) and Keegan Fike (Coast Guard MCOY).

 

MCOYGenDunfordCJOS“The resilience of our families … and our children … is absolutely what has allowed us to do the things that we’ve asked our force to do. The strength of our U.S. Armed Forces, the strength of our nation is in … our military families.”

General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, whose presence continued a tradition of support for our military kids’ ability to prevail in spite of the challenges of military life (shown here at the pre-gala reception with 2016 Navy Military Child of the Year recipient Jeffrey Burds).

 

 

MCOY2016ChristianGoodDayDC“When I see someone in pain or that’s sad, I have this feeling that I have to help them.”

Christian Fagala, age 9, 2016 Marine Corps Military Child of the Year, appearing on the morning show, Great Day Washington, who won his own battle with cancer by age 4 and tirelessly raises money to help kids who are fighting their own battles with the disease.

 

 

MCOYGenPrayandKids

“Each one represents the spirit of selfless service that defines our great nation. They perform at a very high level, while simultaneously dealing with their own particular turbulence — parental deployments, relocations, and the variety of uncertainties that generally characterize military life.”

Brig. Gen. John I. Pray, Jr. (Ret), President and CEO of Operation Homefront (shown here with our award recipients), who greeted each family at a special welcome dinner at Champps in Pentagon City.

 

MCOYCEOawesomeness“You’re the CEO of awesome!”

Ten-year-old Lorelei McIntyre-Brewer’s response to Senator Bob Casey when he looked at her business card for the nonprofit she started (called Heart Hugs) and said, “Wow you’re the CEO? I haven’t been the CEO of anything!” She immediately responds “That’s not true! You’re the CEO of awesome!” (Shown here, left to right, Pete Stinson, Operation Homefront regional director of our northeastern field offices, Sen. Casey, Lorelei and her mother, Chelle.)

 

 

MCOYJohnHeald“What a thrill to be part of such an extraordinary evening. The children … all amazing and a bright and shining hope for the next generation.”

John Heald, Senior Cruise Director and Brand Ambassador for Carnival Cruise Line and our emcee for the evening (shown here with Trip Landon, 2016 National Guard Military Child of the Year), who joked that he thought his title was impressive until he came to our gala event which hosted the highest ranking military officials in the United States.

 

 

MCOYEOB

These past few days have been out of this world. I never imagined that I would have had such a wonderful opportunity to meet people who love volunteering as much as I do. I am forever grateful to Operation Homefront and the Booz Allen Hamilton group for the outpouring of support they have given to me. I look forward to being a future supporter of both organizations.”

Elizabeth O’Brien, recipient of our first ever 2016 Operation Homefront Innovation Award, sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton (shown here with Laurie Gallo, Executive Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton and Operation Homefront board member, and her parents Shelbi and Army Commander Sgt. Maj. Matthew O’Brien).

MCOYsponsors

Our event would not be possible without the support of many organizations that sponsored our awards program, including our presenting sponsor United Technologies. We are grateful for your investment in recognizing our military kids and their families.

 

 

Learn more about each of our award recipients.

View more photos from the event here.

Visit our #MCOY2016 tag board to see the flurry of attention given to the kids on social media.

 

 

keegan-fike-coast-guardIn the tradition of many of our Military Child of the Year recipients, Keegan Fike makes time to make a difference.

It would be easy to label Keegan, who plans to pursue a career in the field of mathematics and is a member of the National Honor Society, as a consummate scholar. But his analytical mind is equally matched by the size of his heart.

Keegan found his focus in helping others through the Boy Scouts, and it also provided the opportunity for Keegan to step up and lead. To give back with his Eagle Scout project, Keegan restored five weather-beaten and rusted cannons at Fort Phoenix, a national landmark Fort that overlooks the bay where the first naval battle of the Revolutionary War was fought.

Keegan also has a creative side. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Boston/New England honored Keegan with an excellence award for a high school media production titled “My Hero Is …,” for which he was a photographer and editor.

A young man committed to his faith, Keegan also devotes time to service at his church.

Keegan has endured 125 months of his father’s deployment and has experienced six military permanent change of station relocations. His favorite quote by Marcus Aurelius reflects a common belief that we see among many of our military children as to what sustains them: “Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” Keegan said this quote helped him to “stay positive,” adding, “All my life, I have tried to be happy and be a reassuring force for my peers. The positive state of mind I try to keep helps me stay focused and be the best I can be.”

Keegan is the son of Rebecca Fike and Coast Guard Lt. Brent Fike of Fairhaven, Massachusetts.

 

This week, we will be shining a spotlight on each of our Military Child of the Year Award recipients, as well as the first ever recipient of the Operation Homefront-Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Award. Be sure to check back daily or follow us on Twitter or Facebook for updates. In addition, throughout the months of April and May, we invite you to show your appreciation by sending a message of thanks and sharing #Mission2Honor with your friends and family. Follow this link to share your message, or post your own message on social media using #Mission2Honor.

Our heartfelt thanks to our presenting sponsor United Technologies, and all of our 2016 Military Child of the Year Award sponsors, for making this annual award one of the highlights of our year.  Your support allows us to bring the stories of our military families to the forefront, making a difference in raising awareness of the challenges they face in protecting our nation.

 

 

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