Do you have a soldier currently serving, or know of a veteran or a recovering soldier? If so, then learn more about how the Connecticut Cookie Platoon can put smiles on our soldiers’ faces by sending a taste of home to the protectors of home! This is an awesome organization and YOU can be part of their mission too!
Who is the Cookie Platoon?
The Connecticut Cookie Platoon is a growing group of volunteers dedicated to the proposition that soldiers presently serving, those who are recovering, and military veterans need never be without reminders of home and the people who love them and respect the job they do. And what better way to show our appreciation and provide a few moments of familiar comfort than to send fresh-baked cookies?
In each shipment, every soldier receives five containers of cookies. Each container holds approximately a dozen assorted cookies.
All boxes are shipped through the United States Postal Service. Each box costs $10.00 to ship.
It can take anywhere from one to three weeks for each soldier to receive the cookies, depending on deployment location.
The mission of the Connecticut Cookie Platoon is to get America baking homemade cookies once a month for our troops, veterans, or recovering soldiers.
You can help them accomplish their mission in four ways. Find out more at: http://www.cookieplatoon.com
The YMCA Military Outreach Initiative offers respite child care services for children whose parent or guardian needs temporary respite from their role as primary caregiver in the absence of a deployed spouse. The care is intended for children who are infants (or youngest age permitted at the participating YMCA) up to 12 years of age (or oldest age permitted at the participating YMCA).
Eligible military families and personnel include:
- Families of joint deployed Army National Guard and Reservists of all military branches
- Families of Active Duty Independent Duty personnel
- Relocated spouses and family members of deployed Active Duty personnel
- Families of deployed Active Duty personnel, who are geographically dispersed outside a 30-mile radius from a military installation.
Note: Eligibility is for Title 10 personnel only.
To receive respite child care benefits from the YMCA Military Outreach Initiative, eligible military families and personnel should follow these steps:
- Contact Military OneSource at www.militaryonesource.com or 800-342-9647 to confirm eligibility and receive an eligibility form.
- Find a participating YMCA in your area using the search tool below.
- Fill out and bring your eligibility form, Military ID and any other required documentation to a participating YMCA for verification (please do not leave copies of these documents at the YMCA).
KABUL — Eight American troops were killed in multiple bomb attacks Tuesday in southern Afghanistan, making October the deadliest month of the war for U.S. forces since it began in 2001.
The eight deaths occurred during “multiple, complex” bomb strikes that also killed one Afghan civilian, the U.S. military said in a statement.
Several troops were wounded and evacuated to a nearby medical facility, the military said. No other details were immediately available.
The deaths bring to 55 the total number of American troops killed in October in Afghanistan. The previous high occurred in August, when 51 U.S. soldiers died and the troubled nation held the first round of its presidential elections amid a wave of Taliban insurgent attacks.
The deadliest month of the Iraq conflict for U.S. forces was November 2004, when 137 Americans were killed during the assault to clear insurgents from the city of Fallujah.
“A loss like this is extremely difficult for the families as well as for those who served alongside these brave service members,” said Navy Capt. Jane Campbell, a military spokeswoman. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends who mourn their loss.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and, as always, are with our soldiers.
Just one day after 4 troops lost their lives in an Afghanistan helicopter crash, I was shocked to learn that we lost 10 more Americans in yet another helicopter crash. My heart was sobbing when I read the news and I cried all the way to work today, this loss was heavy on my mind and heart.
At my workplace, not one person mentioned this tragedy. Not one person even acknowledged what had happened. I called my son and told him how disappointed I was in people – where is the patriotism that our great country used to hold with pride? I don’t know where it went. I know that it is here in my heart, my family, and everyone that is connected to the Military in some way.
KABUL — Helicopter crashes killed 14 Americans on Monday in the deadliest day for the U.S. mission in Afghanistan in more than four years. The deaths came as President Barack Obama prepared to meet his national security team for a sixth full-scale conference on the future of the troubled war.
In the deadliest crash, a helicopter went down in the west of the country after leaving the scene of a firefight, killing 10 Americans — seven service members and three Drug Enforcement Administration agents. Eleven American service members, one U.S. civilian and 14 Afghans were also injured.
It was the heaviest single-day loss of life since June 28, 2005, when 16 U.S. troops on a special forces helicopter died when their MH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down by insurgents.
Here at Army Mom Strong, we grieve the loss of all US Service members and our thoughts and prayers go out to every family that was touched by this terrible tragedy.
Source: NYDailynews.com KABUL – Four American troops were killed and two injured Monday when two helicopters collided in southern Afghanistan.
Hostile fire has been ruled out in the crash, a military statement said. U.S. military spokesman Col. Wayne Shanks said he did not have other details yet about the cause of the collision.
Shanks said the injured had been evacuated to hospitals inside Afghanistan.
n an unrelated incident, another helicopter went down Monday during an operation by international forces against insurgents in western Afghanistan in which a dozen militants were killed.
The U.S. said military casualties were reported and a recovery operation is under way. Casualties could refer to either dead or injured.
This has been the deadliest year for international and U.S. forces since the 2001 invasion to oust the Taliban. Fighting spiked around the presidential vote in August, and 51 U.S. soldiers died that month – the deadliest for American forces in the eight-year war.
So far in October, more than 30 American troops have died.
Read more: NYDailynews.com
Our deepest sympathy to the families. Thoughts and prayers go out to the families of these brave soldiers.
Welcome home your deployed son or daughter in style with a 2 x 4 or 3 x 6 banner! You can also choose a jumbo card to celebrate your Military child’s safe return and show them how much you appreciate their service.
“In honor of Veteran’s Day, BuildASign.com™ is re-launching its banner giveaway to help 20,000 more Americans show their support for the US armed forces. With this donation, BuildASign.com™ will provide military families all over the country with personalized banners for their homecoming and holiday celebrations while encouraging businesses to create banners that show their support for our troops.
BuildASign.com™ is also giving away jumbo holiday cards to families whose service members won’t be home in time for the holidays. These families can send personalized jumbo holiday cards to loved ones overseas for less than the cost of shipping a banner. Both free banners and free jumbo cards are available to everyone at www.BuildASign.com/Troops.”
All products offered at www.BuildASign.com/Troops are 100% customizable. Users can simply choose from one of the 12 designs on the page, personalize their banner or jumbo card using BuildASign.com™’s proprietary online designer, and checkout securely.
Through the landing page, military families and friends can also enjoy heavy discounts on many of BuildASign.com™’s popular holiday gift products like magnetic bumper stickers, custom parking signs and personalized license plates.
My heart is heavy as I read messages from Mom’s of deployed soldiers, and I offer support, thoughts, and prayers. I get weepy eyed knowing that in just a few short weeks, that will be me on the other end. I will be the Mom of a deployed soldier, wondering every minute of every day if my boy is safe from the violence that is rampant in a place so far away. These thoughts paralyze me at times and tears flow like a fountain that I can’t turn off.
My son is stationed 2,500 miles away from me and we don’t yet know the exact date of his deployment. My mind endlessly plays out the scenario – what if we don’t get enough notice of his departure and I can’t get there in time to say goodbye and give him a hug that needs to last at least a year – maybe a lifetime? What will happen then?
Thankfully, I visited my son recently and we had such a nice visit. It was great to hang out with him and the family. He is such a good Dad to his young children and seeing them together just melted my heart. He is silly, funny, and smart. He is also knows how to shoot a gun, drop bombs from a helicopter, and fight for our freedom.
I am a proud Mother of a strong, brave soldier. Although he and his fellow service men and women are doing the really hard work, it’s hard for the Moms, spouses, and kids they leave behind.
We all need to support each other so our soldiers can go do their job without worrying about home. We need to look out for one another and catch each other when we fall.
Stay Strong. Army Mom Strong.
We are all in this together.
KidsLink Downrange is a project where MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups all around the world help military kids connect to their deployed parents by creating KidsLink Card Kits that kids can use to keep in touch with their mom or dad. This project is being carried out with Cadence International and its children’s ministry arm: Military Children’s Ministry.
Get more information about KidsLink Downrange:
A tribute to your soldiers all over the world. MJ and his band made this video as a tribute and fundraiser to support our Military veterans and their families. You can show your support by helping us get the word out.
MJ Nelson’s “Soldier Song” is available for download. Purchase the song today and support our vets and their families. All proceeds go to support Military veterans and their families:
Forward this video to the people you that that are in our service.
There are many ways to stay in touch with your deployed son or daughter. Much depends on their deployment location and what is available to them.
If possible, attempt to get information from your child before they deploy so you can be prepared to communicate!
United States Postal Service (USPS):
The easiest way to stay in touch with your deployed loved one is via the United States mail. Be sure you get your child’s Military address – this is an APO AE address. Military APO (Army Post Office) and FPO (Fleet Post Office) service offers mail delivery at hundreds of Military Post Offices overseas.
You can order priority mail boxes and supplies from the United States Postal Service – it’s free! Be sure to get the Priority Mail APO/FPO flat rate box, which features a predetermined rates regardless of weight (domestically) or destination. The cost is $11.95. You can fit a lot in the box!
Be sure to use the proper Customs Form. This is a must! All mail going to Afghanistan and Iraq is x-ray scanned. Keep these rules in mind:
- Letters and cards less than 16 ounces – no form needed
- Packages less than 16 ounces and less than $400 value – Form 2976
- All mail greater than 16 ounces – Form 2976-A with 2976-E mailer envelope
Under-report the value on the Customs Form. To discourage theft. Always check “Gift” on the Customs Form. Potential duty import taxes can be avoided.
Get more information about USPS shipping. (addressing tips, packaging tips, ordering USPS supplies, mailing restrictions).
Your son or daughter may or may not have Internet access while deployed. Again, try to get this information during pre-deployment so you can be prepared. You will need to know your soldier’s email AKO address (Army Knowledge Online – @us.army.mil) or, if they have a personal address you should already have that.
Many soldiers brings their own laptops while deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. Keep in mind that Internet access, if available, is NOT secure. The cost can be high. My son is deploying to Afghanistan and they will have a whopping Internet bill of $1000 per month! I know, it’s outrageous that our loved ones put their lives on the line and still have to foot the bill to stay in touch!
You will need to use the instant messaging feature in AKO, which means you need to have a soldier sponsor you and get a guest account. This is usually reserved for family. Soldiers used to be able to use Yahoo, AOL and MSN IM programs to communicate with families back home but that is being restricted in more locations now due to security concerns.
There may be DSN (Defense Switched Network) phone centers and AT&T phone tents located at U.S. bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. Your soldier may be allowed free 15-minute “morale calls” to call family back home. You can also help your Soldiers by providing low-cost prepaid phone calling cards to call back home.
Your soldiers may also be allowed to use a personal GSM cell phone or satellite phone to call you! The cell phone charges can be very expensive. If this is the case, have your soldier call you and then you can use a cheap international prepaid phone card to call your child back on the cell. Often there is no charge for incoming calls if using a local cell carrier such as IraqNA.
Webcam & Video Instant Messaging
Soldiers used to be able to use Yahoo, AOL and MSN IM programs to setup video chat sessions with webcams on either end to communicate with families back home but that is being restricted in more locations now due to security concerns. Check with your child to see if they are able to use such services. Many Army Moms I spoke with chat frequently with their sons and daughters via instant messenger.
How do you communicate with your deployed son or daughter? We welcome all advice on the topic