Happy Veterans Day to All Those Who Served

Thank you to all those who have served our country, past and present. Your sacrifices are not forgotten and are appreciated everyday, not just on Veterans Day. These are just a few of my friends and family that have taken an oath to serve and protect our great nation. Thank you veterans!

Military Family Collage

Pictured left to right:

Dennis Patrick Reidy – United States Marine Corps, James W. Beck – United States Navy, Kathy Murphy – United States Navy, Erin (Reidy) Reardon – United States Navy, Salvatore Fink – United States Navy, Albert Fink – United States Army, Michael Patrick Murphy – United Sates Navy, Jonathan Chevalier – United States Army, Joshua Catalano – United States Army, Benjamin Laskowski – United States Navy

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Green Light A Vet This Veterans Day

Surviving the Military Life: A Guide for Family

I am sure everyone has heard about lighting up gold for childhood cancer lighting up blue for Autism. Well this year I hope that you will also green light a vet.

Greenlight a Vet LogoWhat does it mean to green light a vet? According to the official website “America’s veterans are some of our nation’s bravest, hardest-working men and women. However, it’s hard to show them the appreciation they deserve when, back home and out of uniform, they’re more camouflaged than ever. Greenlight A Vet is a campaign to establish visible national support for our veterans by changing one light to green.” We all know who to thank when they are wearing their uniforms, but can you identify a vet when they are in their suit, on the morning train going to work. Probably not. I have met Josh out on his way home from drill to get dinner, which he usually fights me on…

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Donate Your Extra Halloween Candy To A Soldier This Year

Halloween Candy

Whether your kids are being visited by the “switch witch” this year or you overestimated the amount of trick-or-treaters, you may be looking for a way out of the candy overload that’s about to rain down on your house.

Every year I collect people’s extra candy and send it off to my adopted soldiers. There are plenty of men and women overseas that would kill for the Snickers that our waistline really doesn’t even need. Last year I sent about 10 lbs of Halloween candy to my adopted sailor and her shipmates. While it is incredibly difficult to peel candy from Josh’s hands, we both know he can at least give some of it up to his brothers in arms. Here are a couple of questions I have gotten from donors in the past:

Won’t the chocolate melt?
I send chocolate year round to places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, sometimes it melts, but individually wrapped snack sized chocolates are fine. I’m sure you’ve had candy melt in its wrapper and when you open it up it’s just ugly looking. Tastes the same, just not pretty. Usually in the cooler months, like now, the chocolate fairs just fine. Although you would think the desert is blazing hot year round that’s not true. Afghanistan gets surprisingly cold, especially at night. Blankets and hand warmers are actually common requests around now. Moral of the story is the chocolate makes it just fine and even if it’s a little melted, for people who don’t have any luxuries, they are still incredibly grateful.

What will a soldier do with that much candy?
I may be sending it to one person but overseas they all share with one another. Every soldier I’ve ever had that I got a chance to speak with either asks for multiples to share or they mention that they handout what they get so everyone gets some love from back home. I promise I won’t be sending my soldier into a diabetic coma on 10 lbs of Halloween candy. His entire platoon will be enjoying it together.

What about soldiers with allergies?
You know what you can and cannot eat right? Well my soldiers are smart enough to avoid the things they can’t have too. If someone would like me to send allergen friendly candy in a separate box I can absolutely do that, but I have never felt there was a need to do so. Candy being individually wrapped is usually enough for most people.

Can I send it myself?
To protect my soldier and his unit I am unable to give out his address information. Yes, I know I know most of you reading this, but it is a promise I make. I have to go through a verification and validation process to be given access to a military member’s personal information and I do not want to jeopardize my clearance with my organization or the safety of my adoptees.

If anyone would like to donate their extra candy please let me know and I would be happy to come pick it up and get it out to them on your behalf. You are also welcome to write a letter or note to them, I know they love to hear from other people too. They appreciate the support that extends beyond their adopting angel. If anyone is interested in making a different donation please let me know, I send out at least one package a month.

-AB