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By Catherine McCarthy (We’d link to her FB page, but it’s DOWN.)

1. PANIC!!!
2. Told everyone on Twitter that Facebook was down
3. Posited several conspiracy theories about it
4. Swore off Facebook
5. Cried
6. Actually went outside…hurt my eyes
7. Went back to talking about Pepsi Refresh

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The big story last week was the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. The Today Show ran a lengthy package entitled “American Forces Withdraw from Iraq” — misleading if not outright inaccurate. Folks took exception to that vein of reporting on our Facebook page.

In reality, our troops are not gone from Iraq. The New York Times has a much more in-depth look at the future of Iraq and what kind of military presence we’ll need there over the long term.

So while it’s encouraging that the country appears to be more stable over all, our service members will continue to deploy to that region. They’ll continue to face the dangers of a war zone. They’ll continue to leave their families for long periods of time. They’ll continue to do their jobs.

That means despite what you may have heard or read this week, we still have service members in Iraq. And the ones who are coming home aren’t exactly done with the war either. The Washington Post points out these service members are bringing the war home with them. With an estimated one in five service members affected by PTSD, the families will share that burden as they welcome their loved ones home.

That means we’re not done with this war. We may never be. But we continue to hope and work toward better lives and resources for our military families.

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Here's Amy fearfully cradling her head in her hands on a roller coaster surrounded by teenage girls having a great time.

What would you pay to get your boss to jump out of an airplane?

$5? $50? $500? Would you give her a good push her for free? Have you already done it and hope you don’t get caught?

If you haven’t and you want to, try to contain your jealousy. I was very excited to learn that my boss, Amy Palmer, COO and co-founder of Operation Homefront, will be jumping out of an airplane June 26. I was somewhat less excited to learn she will be wearing a parachute. But then I got excited again when she agreed to let us do a fund drive to raise money for military families in need, and that she’s taking a flip cam to record her fears and probable pants-wetting for posterity and our YouTube peanut gallery.

Amy has promised that if she chickens out, she’ll personally match money pledged in our Jump, Amy, Jump! “fun raiser.” She freely admits she is utterly terrified. Parachuting is on her bucket list, but she once became so petrified on a Ferris wheel that she burst into tears, grounded all three teenagers who had trapped her on it and took away their cars to boot.

Only one was actually her child.

Gotta say, I admire the woman for facing her fears. It would take eight figures, Rohypnol and a Timothy Olyphant/Tom Welling tandem sandwich to get me out that door.

So I hope you’ll join in the fun of getting Amy out of the plane and safely back to solid ground. Every dollar we raise will help push her out; I’m putting up $100 to feed the kitty.

As we say so often throughout this organization: Every penny counts. Click here to make a difference. Click here to share words of encouragement or mockery for Amy on our Facebook page.

This is gonna be fun.

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I love Fridays — don’t we all? But today is a really good one. It leads into Memorial Day, a holiday where we pay tribute to those who’ve lost their lives in service to our country.

It’s a sober occasion, but one where the nation briefly turns it attention to the sacrifices of our military families.

To recognize our brave men and women, we want you to give them a ShoutOut on Twitter. Tweet your loved one in uniform’s name and ran with the hashtag #OperationShoutOut. You’ll also be entered into a chance to win one of 10 Lexmark printers between today and June 5.

But it gets even better.

Throughout this hashtag compaign, Lexmark printers and Office Depot have promised to donate a printer to Operation Homefront for every Lexmark printer Office Depot sells, either online or at your local store. Their goal is to donate 4,000 printers. We’ll use the printers to keep military families connected through our Communications Devices program.

But we’ll also use those printers for fun giveaways on our OH Online Facebook page. Pop on over there and see how you can pick up a free printer. As always with our contests, you must be enrolled in DEERS or a recently transitioned wounded warrior/spouse. We reserve the right to award prizes as we choose.

Good luck, and have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.

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