Amidst the heat of the summer, an image of logs crackling in the fireplace and casting a glow on stockings hung above is probably the last thing to come to mind for most people. But for Operation Gratitude and our growing army of volunteers nationwide, the holiday spirit is always in our thoughts.
OPERATION GRATITUDE BLOG: SAYING “THANK YOU” TO ALL WHO SERVE
When I look back at my journey over the past 3 years and 8 months as the CEO of Operation Gratitude, the one thing that sticks out the most are the hugs.
They are etched in my memory forever — literally thousands of hugs at hundreds of service projects and community-building events — on too many trips, and in too many cities to count, from sea to shining sea.
For Operation Gratitude and our growing army of volunteers nationwide, the holiday spirit is in full swing this month as we celebrate Christmas in July! With the help of one million volunteers, our organization will continue to deliver care packages year-round as a physical representation of appreciation for our troops’ service and sacrifice.
We are one, indivisible. Today we fight together as part of the greatest fighting force the world has ever known. Today we fight for freedom. I am sharing those words with you, our growing army of volunteers nationwide because you are the stars and stripes of Operation Gratitude.
I know the civilian-military divide may be unthinkable to some, but it is real. And while I’ve heard from a few volunteers that they were upset to learn an overwhelming majority of our troops and their families feel misunderstood, we must ask “what more can we DO about it?”
As we approach 9/11’s 20th anniversary, Operation Gratitude is redoubling our efforts to address this issue and taking steps to measure the impact of what we are DOING to solve it.