Card Writer Spotlight:
Mary, the sister of one of our great card event creators, Judi, sent a batch of cards and included this note.
"I'm really glad to be a part of helping support all the great Marines. I am a bus driver and new to OperationPAL but hope to get some teachers interested - and have 8 grandchildren so they can make more cards."
Thank you, Mary and Judi for never forgetting our wounded warriors.
Address for Cards
Marine's Name & Co.
P.O. Box 1115
Operation PAL™ provides support - through prayers and letters from the general public - to Marines and Corpsmen who have been injured or become ill while serving in combat zones.
Operation PAL encourages support of our wounded warriors in communities throughout the United States.
We're so glad you joined us for this issue of Operation PAL News, and we're grateful for your involvement in this important outreach program.
One of the Marines on our wounded list PAL Captain Blake and his fiancee Meredith appeared on Live with Regis and Kelly on Valentine's Day...what an exciting opportunity! Click here
to view a video clip!
Capt. Blake & Fiancee Meredith
We received thousands of cards and letters to send to our wounded warriors over the holidays and we are constantly amazed by your creativity and wonderful words. Many of our Marines were granted leave for home visits and we know your cards and letters were read by extended family members and friends brought together for the holidays. They received comfort knowing how many of you care about their loved one. The sheer volume of support overwhelms many of them and they feel blessed.
As a reminder, we ask that you limit your submissions to cards and letters because our agreement with the hospitals is that we will not send packages. It's a safety and space issue for the patients, and a cost issue for us. Keep your submissions as flat as possible because we operate on donations, and bulky or heavy items cost more for us to send. Thanks for your understanding. The love and thoughts you express in your cards are plenty to keep these Marines on the road to recovery.
We had so many lovely Valentines submitted that we thought we'd share just a few with you. Kudos to many Marine families, the folks living in the area around Port Angeles, Washington, many Girl Scout troops, schools and scrapbookers for the lovely work sent to our wounded.
Valentine's Day Cards/Letters
Thanks to all who sent Valentines to our recovering Marines!
In January 2010 we featured HM2 Anthony and his family in our newsletter. You can read that story here
. This year we'd like to give you an update. The photo of Anthony, Ivonne and AJ was taken in front of their very own Christmas tree, in their very own home, on the first of many holidays they hope to enjoy together with family and friends.
The organization 'Homes for Our Troops' built them a custom home, and since Anthony is still minimally conscious, he has 24-hour home nursing care so their family can still be together and do things that other families do. Ivonne says that although things are busy and "wicked crazy," she loves having her family together in a space of their own.
LCpl. Kevin MAG12
Lance Corporal Kevin's life changed in early 2009 and he has been on OperationPAL a little over a year. Mom gave us a few updates and we thought we'd share them with you along with his 2009 and 2010 pictures.
Kevin has been home since December 19, 2009, and he has improved significantly. You'll notice in the "before" picture, which was taken right after his third brain surgery, he is very thin and needs a cane and very thick glasses. Over the past year he has been walking a lot better and he is now talking more. There are still many words he can't remember or say, but he gives it his best effort. His main problem is his memory. He can't remember past two or three minutes, but he is happy being home and he has regained all the weight he lost while in the hospital.
Mom says Kevin loves getting your cards and really perks up when the mail comes from OperationPAL. She also says that with his impaired brain functionality he can't remember reading them, so he reads them again and again and enjoys them each time!
The family got him a Wii for Christmas last year and he enjoys playing that. Last month they got the Wii "Just Dance" game
and Kevin loves it! He beats everybody in the house and Mom says, "We are NOT letting him win"!
Speaking of dancing, the second picture is of Kevin with the General at the Marine Corps Ball during Wounded Warrior Week last year. Kevin had a blast dancing with so many people. He danced for an hour and they had to pull him off the dance floor to get a glass of water and cool down. Then he got right back out there and danced until the last song ended! He is showing a huge improvement over last year - he never made it into the ballroom because he became too tired before he even went in. What a difference a year makes!
Former PALs Arron and Sam Say Thanks
Your Cards and Letters Did Wonders for Their Recoveries!
Thanks from Arron and Sam come from our volunteer Lori....Here are several pictures of former OpPAL™ LCpl. Arron of 3/7 Lima Co. who was on our list while he underwent grueling cancer treatments. The great news is that he is still in remission and able to send us some pictures. He's shown with his wife Michelle at last November's Marine Corps Ball and at an amusement park where the warriors had a great field trip. The huge smile on his face in the picture below indicates he is doing very well!
We were told that Arron and Michelle opened their home on Thanksgiving to some Marines that weren't able to go home for the holiday. They're so thoughtful and we wish them both well!
We are no longer sending cards to Arron, but you can click here
to read about Arron's recovery.
Former OpPAL™ Cpl. Sam, 2nd CEB, requested to come off the list last month when one of our volunteers ran into him and asked for an update. He's in therapy at the hospital for a little while longer, but he is doing very well. Sam plays any sport he can, drives, has fully adapted to his prosthetic leg and is now assigned to a unit that is expected to deploy sometime late next year. He said he has really appreciated the support he's received from you during his recovery. Now he's ready to get back to doing his job. Thanks for all that you continue to do Sam!
We are no longer sending cards to Sam, but you can click here
to read about his recovery.
Thank you for the letters and cards that have helped these Marines get to where they are now. We wish both of them continued health and safety!
Thank you so very much for remembering our wounded and ill warriors when you write and pray. Your kindness is most appreciated.