A grateful nation that serves together is united.
I know it’s difficult to envision — Americans of all ages, in and out of uniform, from every walk of life, standing side by side in service to their country, their communities, and one another.
I understand. You may not believe it unless you see it with your own eyes. Let me help you picture it and imagine what it will be like, not only to see it but also to be a part of it in your own community.
Last week I saw it firsthand when I joined our dedicated team and volunteers. Over five days in four cities — from Orlando to Atlanta and Augusta to Fort Stewart, we were all part of it. We helped bridge the civilian-service divide. Operation Gratitude showed time and again that it is possible to create understanding, empathy, and meaningful connections between those who serve and the citizens they protect.
In each and every community we profoundly impacted hundreds of service members, veterans, first responders, and their families — more than 4,000 in total. From a 98-year-old WWII Veteran named Max to a 9-month-old military child whose father is deployed, we demonstrated that the best way to say thank you and build bridges with those who serve our nation and our neighborhoods is through our actions.
You can see it with your own eyes in these photos — civilian, military, veteran, and first responder families serving together, appreciating one another, and making their communities stronger — a grateful nation, united.
You can see it with your own eyes not only in the photos above, but also in the words of a police officer’s spouse who reached out to say thank you for giving her husband and his fellow officers the opportunity to volunteer alongside civilians, Airmen, and military families from Fort Gordon, and for lifting their spirits with our care packages during a very challenging time.
I hope you can better envision the true potential of Operation Gratitude now. In the coming months when states across the country open back up, unrestricted by COVID, we will be coming to a city near you. When we do, I hope you will come see it with your own eyes and be a part of it, too — a nation united through service and gratitude.
In the meantime, you can help us continue to make a difference for our men and women in uniform serving around the world and here at home during Military Appreciation Month. Here is an opportunity for YOU to make an impact today! Write a digital letter using this online platform created by Veterans United Home Loans. We will print it off and deliver it to National Guardsmen currently deployed to vaccination sites around the country!