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When you were a child, it was all about the gift. Counting off the days until Christmas with your Advent Calendar. Lighting the Menorah from left to right during Hanukkah, a new gift for each new candle.
What could be better than opening the perfect gift? Well, there are better things. As great as it is to receive, the Holidays remind us of even greater gifts. Namely, the act of giving itself. And what a great gift it is to live in a country where freedom of speech, religion, and press are not simply ideas, but a living, breathing reality. The Holiday Season is a time to remember those gifts and those who sacrifice the most so we can enjoy unparalleled liberties.
It is the perfect time to remember that our military service-members, and all those that serve in our Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard are volunteers in one of the largest and greatest service organizations in world history.A service organization that liberated and rebuilt Western Europe after World War II, that airlifted supplies and raised the spirits of West Berliners during the Cold War, and that sent thousands of peacekeepers to Kosovo, restoring peace and prosperity to Southeastern Europe.
We owe them a lot, since they built nearly everything we enjoy today. They, the veterans, built the great interstate highway system stretching from Maine to California, Minnesota to Louisiana. They built many of those skyscrapers tall enough to touch the stars.
Yes, stars. They taught us too, about those stars and those stripes. That they are not merely symbols, shapes, and colors on a flag but something far greater and more meaningful. Something more to do with the heart than the mind. Veterans are the greatest teachers about all matters of the American heart.
Everyday and all over the world, they teach us about true volunteerism and selfless sacrifice. They remind us that we give so much not because we have to but because we choose too. In that spirit, the Holidays are the best time to give. It is the time when families gather, and servicemen and women, serving all over the planet, return home.
This holiday time is an opportunity to think about all of those who so bravely serve the stars and stripes of our American family. Like you, we at Mobile Illumination know that the Holidays are the time to share our hearts and generous hands with U.S. Servicemen and women.We invite you to help us give back to our greatest national treasure, our veterans.
There are countless ways you can help us serve them in the coming months. Help us give more to inspiring charities, like Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization that matched 133 warriors with career and peer mentors, that put 1,000 warriors back to work, and that donated sixteen million dollars to veterans and their families last year alone.
Sixteen million is impressive, but Wounded Warrior Project does a lot more than give money; it prepares veterans for cutting edge careers through its Transition Training Academy.
It helps heal the hearts, minds, and bodies of our brave warriors and their families through terrific programs like Project Odyssey.
Wounded Warrior Project is much more than an organization, it is a volunteer army of 38,000 people determined never to forget our veterans. Yes, 38,000 people. Yes, that is a big number but we can do even better for our veterans.
So join us in doing even better for the best of us. Join us by spreading the word about the Wounded Warrior Project and its long-term mission this Holiday Season. Join us in remembering them and what our parents and families once gave us under all the Christmas Trees and around all the Menorah’s of our childhood. It was not just a brilliant bicycle, the flashiest video game, or the perfect dollhouse in those wrapped boxes. Those were boxes filled with joy, hopeful anticipation and loving consideration.
We didn’t know this then, but our parents, the gift-givers, were the lucky ones, watching us open those presents on all those Christmas mornings and Hanukkah evenings. So knowing this now, let us return again to those trees, those candles and those ceremonies, and let us imagine that brave American warrior returning home to their own family. Yes, imagine a brave Marine, Sailor, Airman, or Soldier under the glow of those Holiday lights. Imagine them stronger, healthier, more loved, embraced, and supported than ever, because you did not forget them, their family, and their great gift to all of us.