A New Program is Born!

Operation Gratitude had the distinct honor of inaugurating its “New Recruit Care Package photo 5Program” at the United States Naval Academy on May 16, 2014.  The OpGrat team of Marty & Rick Martin (CA) and Brigid and Dan O’Neill (NY) greeted and presented “New Recruit” Care Packages to each of the more than 1,000 members of the Class of 2014, our country’s newest Naval and Marine Corps Officers. 

The following is Marty Martin’s recap of the day:

We all respect the rigorous academic and physical regiment that each Midshipman endures, but what is most profound is their patriotic commitment to our country.  They are so humble, polite, appreciative…and adorable! It was an honor to be with them and to represent Operation Gratitude at this photo 1event. CDR Dave Shaffer, (pictured with Marty at left) Director of Special Events, enthusiastically supported our involvement at the Academy. He and his team of Lieutenants staged the Care Packages for distribution and were incredibly warm and hospitable the entire day.  Truly a bonus for the Martins and the O’Neills! 

 The Care Packages included a letter of introduction assuring the new officers that we will support them from Day 1 throughout their careers and beyond, and that we will be with them during each deployment, sending Care Packages (prepared with love from the American people) to each Sailor or Marine under their command.

We were treated to a tour of the Naval Academy with all its tradition and beauty. It was an all-around wonderful experience and we are thrilled to have had the honor of launching the New Recruit program. We can all be so proud, as Americans, that we truly have the most remarkable military in the world! 20140518_124555B

On the other side of the country during the same weekend, local Operation Gratitude volunteers at LAX welcomed home our most senior and honored Military members: World War II Veterans returning from Washington DC, where they visited the WWII Memorial and other monuments as part of an Honor Flight trip.

Inspired by our motto, “It is Never Too Late to say Thank You,” the volunteers handed out care packages and hugs 20140518_122055Bto thirty very brave and humble heroes, including two Tuskegee Airmen. (See more photos here: Cheers, Hugs & Operation Gratitude.)

The weekend was a beautiful illustration of Operation Gratitude’s commitment to our Military community–from the day they step forward in service, and throughout their lives.

Please join Operation Gratitude as we express our thanks and support to our heroes.

About Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude annually sends 200,000+ care packages to Veterans, First Responders, New Recruits, Wounded Heroes, their Care Givers, and to individually named U.S. service members deployed overseas and their families waiting at home. Each package is filled with food, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, as well as personal letters of support. Our mission is to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of the Military and First Responder communities, and provide volunteer opportunities for civilians anywhere in America to express their appreciation to all who serve our nation. Each package contains donated product valued between $45 and $100 and costs our organization $15 to assemble and ship. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 1.6 Million Care Packages.
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2 Responses to A New Program is Born!

  1. That’s phenomenal!
    Spreading the word…

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