The story in today’s post is very personal to me, and I am sharing it with you because it illustrates so clearly what many young men and women experience when they are deployed — many of them separated from their families for the very first time.
OPERATION GRATITUDE BLOG: SAYING “THANK YOU” TO ALL WHO SERVE
Every Care Package delivery will include our signature paracord “survival” bracelets, because we have learned over the past decade that it is not just a paracord bracelet… it is a symbol of appreciation and the strong bonds that Operation Gratitude forges between Americans and their military and first responder heroes.
I’ve heard it hundreds, if not thousands, of times since I started as the CEO of Operation Gratitude three years ago — handwritten letters are the most cherished items in our Care Packages. As a Marine who deployed to more than 50 countries — from the first Gulf War in 1990 -1991 to my time in the Middle East during 2008 — I can tell you nothing boosts morale while you are deployed more than receiving handwritten letters.
When the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the nation in early 2020, we at CSX turned to our trusted partner, Operation Gratitude, to determine how our Jacksonville-based transportation company could join forces with theirs to meaningfully connect with the country’s new frontline responders.
September 9 is National Teddy Bear Day, and I wanted to share a few stories that demonstrate Operation Gratitude’s Battalion Buddies are much more than just stuffed bears — and give you an opportunity to bring smiles to thousands of military children whose parents will be deployed this September 11th.