Thursday, March 02, 2006

America Supports You 3/02/2006

SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 23, 2006 - When the 2006 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo pulled up stakes Feb. 19, it left the wounded warriors recovering at Brooke Army Medical Center here and hospital staff with fond memories of Texas and cowboy hospitality.

Texas legend Willie Nelson and his family band treated the hospital to a concert in the Medical Mall Feb. 17, playing to a packed audience of staff and patients. Opening with his hit, "Whiskey River," he sang signature ballads like "On the Road Again," "Crazy" and "Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys." [continue reading]

Fresh off the success of their Valentine's Day project, ASY partner SI Yellow Ribbon Campaign has already begun their third annual Easter drive "Operation: Jellybeans To Heroes Unseen." Project organizers are asking for all donations to be turned in by March 20th to make sure the care packages will arrive in time for the holiday. SI Yellow Ribbon is specifically asking for:

cartons of marshmallow eggs
boxes of Peeps
bags of jellybeans
chocolate bunnies and
Easter candy and cards.

According to the organization, "Easter is a prime time to boost morale and let our soldiers know that 'some bunny' loves and supports them!" For more information or to donate, please visit SI Yellow Ribbon.com.

Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton recently became the 13th Cabinet official to sign the Five Star Statement of Support for the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). The Five Star Statement confirms that the U.S. Department of the Interior: publicly demonstrates its support for employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve, promises to safeguard job positions and continue benefits for family members during employees' military service, ensures equal opportunity for employment and advancement for Guard and Reserve members, and advocates employee service in the National Guard and Reserve. ESGR's Federal Outreach program aims to obtain the same commitment of support from all 16 Cabinet departments and 81 government agencies. To date, 76 agencies in addition to the 13 Cabinet offices have signed on.

The National Military Family Association has announced the sites for its 2006 Operation Purple summer camp. Operation Purple is a free camp program, sponsored by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and the TriWest Healthcare Alliance, open to military children of any service, including the National Guard and Reserve, whose parents are or will soon be deployed. This year, the camp will host more than 2,500 children at 26 locations in 22 states. Applications for the camp are only available at Operation Purple.org, and registration will be open from March 15 through May 1, 2006.

America Supports You partner Operation First Response was recently awarded a $15,000 grant from the Ralph and Eileen Swett Foundation for their mission of serving the needs of wounded soldiers and their families. The Foundation has also extended an additional challenge grant of $15,000 if OFR can raise matching funds in the next six months. To learn more, visit Operation First Response.org.

Please continue your support, whether you or not you like President Bush. This is not about him. It is about the finest men and women we have protecting our precious lives, let alone our rights. Without life, rights don't really carry that much weight, now do they?
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