SportsCenter Veteran’s Day Montage

With Veteran’s Day landing on a Monday, and me stuck at work behind a bar for 11 hours, there wasn’t much celebrating, or posting I could do.  It was around noon that I switched all the TV’s to ESPN’s daily broadcast of SportsCenter.  As the topics switched on the status bar on the left, I saw a topic I knew would be hitting me hard quickly approaching.  It was entitled “Coming Home”, a video montage of everything that makes me cry; sports, dads, homecomings, and little girls.

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My first care package

I decided with Halloween just leaving us, and Thanksgiving right around the corner it’s about time I sent my Dad a care package.  I decided to mix the holidays together, with the understanding that it will probably not get to him until after Thanksgiving.

I first decided that with Halloween in mind, sending him a bag of his favorite candy was a must, even though he told me not to.  Along with candy I decided a Philadelphia favorite snack to remind him a bit of home.  I also got him a box of Cliff bars in his favorite flavor, just to even out the junk food.

Dad candy

cliff

Growing up my dad always had a stack of National Geographic magazines, although I know he prefers Business Week it’s a little hard to send a weekly magazine when you know it’ll be almost 2 months out of date by the time it gets there.  National Geographic is something I know he’ll enjoy.

natl

Lately I’ve been hearing from my dad how cold it’s gotten in Northern Afghanistan, about 50°, the same as our classic New Jersey fall.  I went to Target and picked up what I found to be a comfortable, yet sporty jacket that I know will keep him warm while away and when he comes home.  It’s a Champion jacket with a fleece inner-layer, cost around $40.00 and is great if you’re looking to send your loved one a sporty light jacket while he’s away.

jacket

I sent my dad two cards, one for Halloween and one for Thanksgiving, each describing in their own themed way how much I miss him during these times.  Fall in New Jersey is my favorite time of year, and more than ever I wish he was here to enjoy it with me.

" Wish there were a magic spell that let us travel in one simple instant poof

” Wish there were a magic spell that let us travel in one simple instant poof

halloween inside

“Then i could wish you a Happy Halloween in person. Thinking of you from across the miles..”

thanksgiving front

“Thanksgiving means..autumn skies, crisp clean air, bright leaves falling here and there, Pies are baking, meals prepared, warmth and hugs and laughter shared.”

thanksgiving inside

“But all those good things can’t replace just being with you face to face-And even though we’re far apart, please know you’re always close in heart!”
–“Dad, This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for you. I am grateful and proud of what you’re doing. I am grateful for the chance to speak to you as often as I can, and for your safe return home. Above all I’m grateful I have such a great Dad who I can call my friend. Love you, See you soon 🙂 Gina”

Last but not least, I had to include a couple of pictures.  My dad missed out on a family wedding in October, and although he saw all the pictures through Facebook, I included a few in the package.

cousins

My brother, myself, my cousins Kristen, Noelle, and Michael

nick and i

My brother Nick and I

I’m hoping my package reaches my Dad and touches his heart.  All of the things included were chosen to make him smile and look forward for his short return on December 20th.

all things

All care package items

Inside box

Items placed in box right before taping!

Government shutdown leaves fallen soldiers’ families with empty pockets

The U.S. Government shutdown has raised many questions for military families.  Along with the shutdown came the ‘Pay Our Military Act’, implemented on the first of the month, the act promises active military members on duty to still receive ‘pay and allowances’.

What the Act does not cover is the transportation of four American soldiers’ bodies back to the Dover, Delaware Air Force Base.  This, along with a $100,000 death gratuity to the soldiers’ families, is a fee that the Pentagon would normally cover, however with the shutdown still in affect, this is a fee that has been post-poned.

1st Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno, 25 Photo Credit: WSJ, U.S. Army

1st Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno, 25
Photo Credit: WSJ, U.S. Army

The families of the four soldiers’ have agreed to travel to the Dover base to meet their fallen loved ones, thanks to the Army Ranger Fund willing to pay expenses.  There has been no statement made on whether or not travel expenses will be covered for the families.  Once the government shutdown has ended, the death gratuities will be given to the families, and perhaps a reimbursement of the burial costs.

Dover Air Force Base Photo Credit: usatoday.com

Dover Air Force Base
Photo Credit: usatoday.com