A Message from Operation Gratitude Founder, Carolyn Blashek:
I am often asked: “Now that the wars are over and all the troops are coming home, are you going to shut down Operation Gratitude?”
The answer to that question is a very resounding “NO!”
In addition, the premise of the question is wrong: We still have tens of thousands of men and women serving in combat zones. In fact, just last week, 11 Americans were killed in Afghanistan; several more severely wounded.
Further, even if U.S. troops are not in a defined combat zone, they are putting themselves in harm’s way when they swear an oath to defend the nation, don their uniform, train at home or in foreign countries, or advise the military of other nations. All are deserving of our thanks.
So…the answer to the question “Are we still relevant?” is: “Absolutely YES!”
The letters, emails and comments we receive daily from the Military and their families, prove to us that our work is vital, meaningful and must continue:
I would like to say thank you very much for what you all do. It is Christmas morning over here in Kuwait, and your box is the only present I got to open today. Let me tell you, I was all smiles the whole time, and I teared up a couple times with what those wonderful, beautiful kids wrote. It is hard being away from my wife and two daughters but your words and gifts and support make it a little easier. Please keep doing what you’re doing. It means the world to all of us over here on this side of the world! And the individual label made it really heartfelt, and special! P.F.C. A.M.
With fewer troops in active combat zones, we can now expand our efforts to say “Thank You” to more and more of those who serve and have served our nation, including:
1. Tens of thousands of active duty personnel continue to be separated from home and loved ones on “hardship tours,” deployments at sea or training exercises. They still need to know we care. We will continue to send our personally addressed Deployed Troop packages to them wherever they are.
2. Every year, more than 100,000 brave young Americans step forward to protect and defend our nation by joining the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard or Marines. They endure the rigors of “Boot Camp” and their first experience away from home, in order to serve America for the next four or more years of their lives.
These young troopers need to know right out of the gate that we recognize and honor the commitment they have made to us, so we have started a “Recruit Care Package” Program to say “Thank You” with packages to Recruits upon graduation from Boot Camp!
3. And we will never forget the 23 Million Veterans from all generations, and the 750,000 physically and emotionally injured Wounded Warriors from the past twelve years. Under our banner of “It is never too late to say “Thank You,” we will provide care packages to as many of these heroes as we can reach. Veterans such as Sgt. P, C Company, 2d Airborne BN:
I was Honorably Discharged from the US ARMY, in 1969. My Combat service was in Vietnam & Cambodia, as a “Light-weapons Infantryman” during 1968 & part of ’69. When I came home, wounded in action and alone because my entire squad had been killed-in-action during the war, I was shouted at, and called bad names by the American people at the airport. The FIRST time that I have ever felt “Welcome home” was yesterday, at one of your sponsored events when I received an Operation Gratitude package. Thank you from the bottom of my Heart. You REALLY “Made my Day” yesterday.
As we look to the future, our work is cut out for us, and it is work we cannot do alone. We need your support and hands-on volunteer efforts TODAY!
Individuals, small businesses, service groups and corporations throughout the country can participate in a myriad of ways.
From organizing local Care Kit Assemblies, to making Survival Bracelets, to handing out care packages and more, VOLUNTEERISM is the key to our success in supporting our Military community.
Will you join us as we March to our Second Million Care Packages?
To learn how you can help, please visit these links:
Corporate and Business Support
Individuals, Scouts, Schools, Groups
We look forward to working with you in 2014 and beyond to continue our mission of saying “Thank You” to our courageous Military!