And The Total Is…

It’s the end of the month and like every other 3.5 year old on the planet, Josie has bookkeeping to do to prepare for the next month. And since she can’t afford to pay for an accountant, that means she has to count her earnings all by herself….

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Well done Josie!  You earned $18.50 for Operation Gratitude, despite your mother’s mismanagement of the chore program and your propensity for tantrums.  🙂

The flags flying at the Vietnam War Memorial

The flags flying at the Vietnam War Memorial

In all seriousness, we are so excited to give this money in support of care packages for members of the armed forces and their families.  Did you know that May is Military Appreciation Month?  It is the perfect time for you to show your appreciation for the folks that keep us safe and their families who stand strong at home when their loved ones are deployed.  If you are reading this and you have not checked out Operation Gratitude yet, leave this blog and go there NOW!  You can help them achieve their March to a Million goal by donating money or products or even your time.   Show your support for our military – they deserve it.   Oh, and just another reminder, click HERE to visit their blog and click HERE to visit their website.

We will be adding a few dollars to Josie’s earnings so that she can send The Corpsman care package. And, since Beanie Babies are in high demand, we will be culling through our small stuffed animals to find some to send along too!

Please join us in supporting our troops!


Chores For Charity April Beneficiary: Operation Gratitude!

My family visited Washington, DC last weekend and, like every other time I have been there, I left feeling inspired and grateful to be a citizen of our great country.  Of course, this time I also left feeling utterly exhausted and vowing never to travel with my little monsters girls again.  But, that is another story…

Returning to my original train of thought, there is something magical about Washington, DC.  Maybe it is the history that surrounds you, envelops you really, wherever you go.  Perhaps it is the grandiose structures and larger than life monuments.  It may just be that it is the centerpiece of our nation – things happen there.  Deals get made for better or for worse.  Change is inspired there.  As I looked out on the Reflecting Pool from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, with a view of the towering Washington Monument, I could hear Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. proclaiming “I have a dream…”  Being in our nation’s capital empowers me and energizes my civic mind.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It also takes my breath away.  It makes my heart ache and then swell with pride.  Each time I visit the war memorials, I am overwhelmed.  Allow me to tell you about the number 500,193.  There are three memorials that form a triangle in the area of the National Mall between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.   These memorials were erected in honor of veterans who served during World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam.  Each is moving on its own, but collectively they are awe-inspiring.  The number I referenced above is the total number of military personnel who died during these wars.  Half a million Americans gave their lives in service of their country.    Over 1 million were wounded and upwards of 30 million served in the military during these wars alone.  Serving in the armed forces is the ultimate form of service to the country – the willingness to risk one’s life in defense of our nation is both brave and honorable.  And each time I visit these monuments, I am reminded of how many brave individuals have served since the birth of our country and how many have died in defense of it.  Each time I think of my little brother, who currently serves in the Army, I am so proud of him and so very grateful that he returned from Afghanistan alive and well.

The flags flying at the Vietnam War Memorial

The flags flying at the Vietnam War Memorial

Names of Vietnam veterans at Vietnam Veterans ...

Names of Vietnam veterans at Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Korean War Memorial

Korean War Memorial (Photo credit: inge87)

World War II Memorial

World War II Memorial (Photo credit: rob the tog)

It is so important to continue to recognize and thank members of the United States Armed Forces for their service, both while actively serving and as veterans.  This month, I talked to Josie about her Chores For Charity beneficiary and asked her if she’d like to raise money to send care packages to soldiers like her Uncle M.    Her understated response was, “Sure.”  And so, for the month of April, Josie will donate her allowance and probably some of her beanie babies to Operation Gratitude!

Operation Gratitude has so many ways that you can help fulfill their mission of lifting morale “in the Military Community by sending care packages addressed to individual Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed overseas, to their children left behind, and to Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors and their Care Givers.”  Please visit their site and learn about how you can help this fantastic organization!  You can also follow their blog to get updates on their cause.

And for those of you looking for a gratuitous shot of the girls, here is one of them showing their patriotism!