Category Archives: For The Troops

What can we do for our troops? 2015

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Are you wondering, “What can I do for the troops?”

Problem solved…

Soldiers’ Angels – Sign up and “adopt” a service member and send socks, baby powder, lip balm, flip flops, sleep pants, shaving cream, toothbrushes and toothpaste, books, and more.

Operation Paperback – This organization “collects gently used books nationwide and sends them to American troops overseas as well as veterans and military families here at home.”

Ebooks for Troops – Provides e-books to military personnel deployed overseas. You can also donate a used Kindle.

Books for Soldiers – You can donate books, DVDs, and games.

Send a cuppa joe to a Joe (or Jane)

Green Beans Coffee is so easy – it takes only a couple minutes – you can spend just $2 ($2!) and send a great cup of coffee to a service member overseas. Connect with Green Beans Coffee on Facebook.

Just send a note – zero dollars

The USO has a page that allows you to send a note, and it won’t cost you a cent.

Or you can Act Now to help with a monetary contribution.

Wounded Warriors

What a worthy cause. Helping our Wounded Warriors live a better life.

Copied from their site – “To raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members. To help injured service members aid and assist each other. To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.”

Make a one-time donation to Wounded Warriors.

Remember what our warriors have done for you. What will you do for our troops this holiday season?

Stock and Roberts, Iraq, 2009-2010

 

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Filed under For The Troops, Special Events

Honoring our military, past and present

Yaronczyk photoThis holiday season

Every year I post a series of blogs around the holidays to honor our armed forces – both past and present.

Instead of a series of blogs, I decided to provide resources early on – before Thanksgiving – so y’all can find and choose a military-related way to support our troops this holiday season.

I’m always near an Air Force Base

While I lived in Albuquerque, NM, I often visited the Starbuck’s a couple blocks away from the AFB. If I found myself in line ahead of a service member, I would offer to buy his/her cup of coffee. Such a teensy sacrifice for me – but a small price to pay for all their sacrifices.

I find myself in Minot, ND, home to Minot Air Force Base. And again, I’m often in line ahead of a service member. I have bought a cuppa, a bag a chips and a soda, a sandwich, a breakfast treat…for whatever service member is near me when I’m checking out.

Try it – it feels good.R. LAIRD, USAF

Support military family businesses

I support family businesses of military wives, husbands, and active military.

Last year, I had my computer scrubbed by Geoffrey VanDyck, now in Colorado Springs. If you need great, reasonably-priced computer service, contact Geoffrey.

Nelly Hernandez Photography – In Minot, ND – fabulous family and kid photos!

The English Rose – Beautiful custom-made pens and pencils. Idea – a great give-a-way for writers!

Not near a military base?

No problem! There are loads of organizations that send books and scads of other needed items to our troops.

KristiSoldiers’ Angels – Sign up and “adopt” a service member and send socks, baby powder, lip balm, flip flops, sleep pants, shaving cream, toothbrushes and toothpaste, books, and more.

Operation Paperback – This organization “collects gently used books nationwide and sends them to American troops overseas as well as veterans and military families here at home.”

Ebooks for Troops – Provides e-books to military personnel deployed overseas. You can also donate a used Kindle.

Books for Soldiers – You can donate books, DVDs, and games.

Send a cuppa joe to a Joe (or Jane)

Green Beans Coffee is so easy – it takes only a couple minutes – you can spend just $2 ($2!) and send a great cup of coffee to a service member overseas. Connect with Green Beans Coffee on Facebook.

Just send a note – zero dollars Kenton Iraq 1

The USO has a page that allows you to send a note, and it won’t cost you a cent.

Or you can Act Now to help with a monetary contribution.

Holiday mail for heroes

Try the Red Cross – Holiday Mail for Heroes.

You can mail cards or letters to –

Holiday Mail for Heroes

P.O. Box 5456

Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

Wounded Warriors

What a worthy cause. Helping our Wounded Warriors live a better life.

Copied from their site – “To raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members. To help injured service members aid and assist each other. To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.”

Make a one-time donation to Wounded Warriors.

Remember what our warriors have done for you. What will you do for our troops this holiday season?

***

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Filed under For The Troops, Personal Articles, Special Events

For Memorial Day, “The Trade,” by Karen S. Elliott

Kristi

The Trade

By Karen S. Elliott

Inspired by Kristi P-L, USAF, Iraq 2009-2010

***

She packed up her comfy jeans and laying-around T-shirts

She shrugs into a heavy canvas uniform, now her second skin

Boxed up her peep-toe high heels and sandals and stacked them away

Now all she’s got are dusty high-top boots with heavy tread

No delicate black eyeliner around lovely hazel eyes

Just smudges of purple, her badges of fatigue

No long showers here, nope

Just unshaved legs so she looks like the rest of the troops

Forget salon haircuts with mousse or gel

In marches a permanent helmet-head hairdo

She strains to remember how lovely that last manicure felt

Handling weapons with broken, scraggy fingernails, unpolished and blunt

Velvety cosmetic powder abandoned at home

She wears the Iraqi desert upon her face

Late night chat-fest nights with friends of her choosing, no more

Now, it’s early morning wake-up and drill

No delicate sparkling pendants around her neck

Just a dull metal chain with tags that identify her blood type

While mother’s comforting shoulder and soothing touch wait at home

She learns combat strategies and how to react to roadside bombs

Instead of cradling a tiny baby

She shrugs into a burdened flak jacket that hides her girlish figure

She rolls out with a loaded M4 and a 9mm Beretta.

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Filed under For The Troops, Prose & Poetry, Special Events

A very military Christmas

Iraq, December, 2009 (Kenton is bottom left)

Iraq, December, 2009 (Kenton is bottom left)

All Air Force!

While gathering Holiday Week guests and posts, I saw a pattern emerge – all military, all Air Force people! My son is Air Force, so I’ll add my own Christmas story at the end of this Holiday theme week.

What can I do?

If you are wondering what you can do for our military members this holiday and beyond, it’s never too late.

www.soldiersangels.org

www.operationpaperback.org

www.booksforsoldiers.com

www.ebooksfortroops.org

Adam and Kenton in Iraq

Adam and Kenton in Iraq

Green Beans Coffee

And this one is so easy – it takes only a couple minutes – you can spend just $2 ($2!) and send a great cup of coffee to a service member overseas.

Connect with Green Beans Coffee on Facebook.

Photo by David Yaronczyk

Photo by David Yaronczyk

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Filed under For The Troops, Special Events

God Bless Our Troops – Links to Help

Photo by Yaronczyk “Y2K”

USO

Military.com – Support Our Troops

Wounded Warrior Project

How to get books and other needed items to our troops

www.soldiersangels.org 

www.operationpaperback.org

www.booksforsoldiers.com

www.ebooksfortroops.org

Learn more, read  

Books I have read and can recommend –

House to House: An Epic Memoir of War, by David Bellavia with John R. Bruning

The Last True Story I’ll Ever Tell: An Accidental Soldier’s Account of the War in Iraq, by John Crawford

Jarhead: A Marine’s Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles by Anthony Swofford

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Filed under For The Troops, Personal Articles, Special Events

God Bless Our Troops – A Poem for Kristi

The Trade

Inspired by A1C Kristi P-L, USAF

By Karen S. Elliott, 2009

She packed up her comfy jeans and lying-around T-shirts,

She shrugs into a heavy canvas uniform, now her second skin.

Boxed up her peep-toe high heels and sandals and stacked them away,

Now all she’s got are dusty high-top boots with heavy tread.

No delicate black eyeliner around lovely hazel eyes,

Just smudges of purple, her badges of fatigue.

No long showers here, nope,

Just unshaved legs so she looks like the rest of the troop.

Forget salon haircuts with mousse or gel,

In marches a permanent helmet-head hairdo.

She strains to remember how lovely that last manicure felt,

Handling weapons with broken, scraggy fingernails, unpolished and blunt.

Velvety cosmetic powder abandoned at home,

She wears the Iraqi desert upon her face.

Late night chat-fest nights with friends of her choosing, no more,

Now, it’s early morning wake-up and drill.

No delicate sparkling pendants around her neck,

Just a dull metal chain with tags that identify her blood type.

While mother’s comforting shoulder and soothing touch wait at home,

She learns combat strategies and how to react to roadside bombs.

Instead of cradling a tiny baby,

She shrugs into a burdened flak jacket that hides her girlish figure.

She rolls out with a loaded M4 and a 9mm Beretta.

Kristi, front (kneeling)

11 Comments

Filed under For The Troops, Personal Articles, Special Events

God Bless Our Troops – Thank the Lairds

Friends Ashley, Rick, Rebecca, and Maria

***

Fun Video!

Fun, inspirational video of “Call Me Maybe” (Carly Rae Jepsen) performed by U.S. Army Infantry Soldiers in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. Directed, filmed, and edited by the troops as a morale boost for our soldiers.

Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8EjLbVmXIqg

7 Comments

Filed under For The Troops, Personal Articles, Special Events