veteransmed

STATE CHAIRMAN:
George J.Yusko

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CO-CHAIRMAN REGION I
Bruce Totten

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CO-CHAIRMAN REGION II
Brian J. Hopkins

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ADVISORS:
Louis Possemato PSP
Robert G. Jani PSP
Richard Tabachuk PSP

 New Jersey Elks Veterans Committee Email

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A Concise History

 In 1917, the World was at war. The Order of Elks was only 44 years old. In April of that year, Grand Exalted Ruler Edward Rightor appointed a committee to study what the Order of Elks should do in this crisis. The Committee was ordered to present its findings to the Grand Lodge Session in July.

During the July Grand Lodge Session held in Boston, this Committee, headed by Past Grand Exalted Ruler John K. Tener reported to the membership and recommended, "That the Elks give first consideration to the sick and wounded on the battlefields of France and equip base hospitals for their care; that the Order create a fund for war relief work."

The membership enthusiastically and unanimously approved a resolution appropriating one million dollars for the "War Relief Fund." This money was raised by out Brothers at the subordinate Lodge level.

Grand Exalted Ruler Fred Harper who was elected Grand Exalted Ruler at the Boston convention, appointed an Elks War Relief Commission. With Past Grand Exalted Ruler John K. Tener serving as Chairman, this Commission began evolving toward the organization we now have today: the Elks National Veterans Service Commission.

During World War I, the Elks, under the auspices of the War Relief Commission, helped the nation to victory. Through the patriotism and generosity of our members, the Commission organized and equipped the first two base hospitals to reach France, Unit 41 staffed by faculty and alumni from the University of Virginia and Unit 46 with University of Oregon faculty and alumni.

In 1918, to accommodate the maimed and wounded, the Elks built a 700 bed Reconstruction Hospital in Boston and gave it to the federal government. This hospital was the forerunner of the VA Medical Centers we have today. Another facility was scheduled for construction in New Orleans when the government decided it was not needed. That same year, the Order built a 72 room Community House to take care of the families visiting the forty thousand soldiers stationed at Camp Sherman, Ohio.

During the war, the Salvation Army was severely handicapped in its great work for the servicemen by lack of funds. To make sure this work continued, the Elks War Relief Commission and the subordinate Lodges of the Order undertook campaigns to raise funds for the Salvation Army, and on many occasions assumed the entire cost of these undertakings. In addition, the Commission, at Christmas time 1918, gave the Army $60,000 to continue its work.

The Commission made forty thousand rehabilitation, vocational and educational loans to disabled veterans who were ineligible for government help or were waiting approval of their applications for assistance. This service was so effective that the federal government followed the Order’s example; they set up a revolving fund and took over this activity. The GI Bill, which makes funds available to veterans for education, had its genesis from this Elk program.

More than seventy thousand Elks served in the Armed Forces during World War I. The supreme sacrifice was paid by over one thousand Brothers.In 1940, it was becoming quite apparent to many people that war was quickly approaching our shores. At the Grand Lodge session held in Houston, Texas that year, the Elks unanimously voted to establish the Elks National Defense and Public Relations Commission

The primary focus of this Commission was to establish a patriotic program which placed the power of the Order behind the United States National Defense Program. All Elks were called upon to help preserve and defend our democratic way of life.

Right after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Grand Exalted Ruler John S. McClelland sent a telegram to President Roosevelt placing the Order of Elks at the nation’s disposal. McClelland then called a special session of the Elks National Defense and Public Relations Commission to be held in New York City, From this meeting on January 4, 1942 was born the Elks War Commission.

With an initial war chest of $35,000, the War Commission set about its work. They also appealed to the subordinate Lodges far financial aid and manpower. Once again, our Brothers, with their ladies, responded as they always have in times of crisis. Their support was overwhelming.

The United States Army asked the War Commission to help recruit 45,000 young men for the ground crews of the Army Air Corps. The Commission, with the help of the Lodges, recruited 47,000 men for the ground crews.

During its first session, the War Commission decided to set up a program in cooperation with Lodges that were close to large military camps. They wanted to provide Brother Elks with the benefits of their membership in the spare time available to them. The Commission also wanted to provide members of the Armed Forces who were not Elks some of the comforts of home while far away from their families.

Throughout the United States, 155 Elks Fraternal Centers were established. They were supported by the Elks National War Commission, and in many instances by individual Lodges.Because of their record of accomplishment, the Elks were asked to help recruit men skilled in construction for the Army Corps of Engineers and the Navy Construction Battalions. With the enthusiasm and efficiency of our Lodges, the requested numbers of Army Engineers and Navy Seabees were met three months ahead of schedule.

The President of the American Merchant Marine Library Association reported to the Commission that 600,000 books were needed to provide reading material for the seamen of the Merchant Marine Service. The Order responded by providing 650,000 books, one for (at that time) every member in our great fraternity

Aid was provided for members of Manila Lodge No. 761 and Agana, Guam Lodge No. 1281 and their families after they had been captured and devastated by the Japanese.

Thousands of gift boxes containing smokers supplies, candy and personal hygiene items were sent to our fighting military personnel, while thousands of slippers were distributed to hospitalized members of the Armed Forces.

When thousands of wounded and disabled members of the Armed Forces were returned to the States for recuperation at government hospitals, the Elks again stepped forward offering their services helping entertain these veterans. In addition to radios, phonographs, playing cards, books, magazines, games, musical instruments and craft items, they also provided comfort items for bedridden patients.

The Elk volunteers also spent hours listening to these heroes. They heard their tales of horror and heroism during battle. They listened to the hopes and dreams of these young veterans who were far from home, family, spouses and sweethearts. Most of all, the Elks were there to lend support whenever possible.

It was through the work with hospitalized veterans during World War II that we continued our evolution of SERVING OUR NATION’S VETERANS.

In July 1946 at the Grand Lodge Session in New York, the Elks National Veterans Service Commission was created to replace the Elk War Commission. The main goals of the new Commission were "to carry on the Hospital Program, the Peace Army Enlistment Campaign, and all uncompleted activities supervised by the Elks War Relief Commission. During this session, the Elks pledged that "So long as there are veterans in our hospitals, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them." Our commitment continues to this day. The Elks even provided funds and materials to build a recreational unit at the Navy Hospital in Guam.

At the Philadelphia convention in 1948 a delegate from each Lodge in California deposited a bundle of hides at the rostrum. These hides, valued at $26,000.00 were distributed to 21 veterans hospitals who had requested these items. This was the beginning of our Leather Program. We still actively promote and support occupational therapy programs with tooling leather provided from hides donated by Elks.

The Elks National Veterans Service Commission became the Elks National Service Commission in 1949 at the Grand Lodge Session in Cleveland. This new Commission was named the patriotic agency of the Order, in addition to continuing our work with veterans.

When a shooting war broke out in Korea in 1950, the Elks responded by sending gift packs as they had in World War II. The same was done in 1965 for those involved in the Vietnam Conflict.

In 1951 during the Korean War, the Secretary of Defense appealed to the Order for help in procuring blood for our wounded. Within a few months, the Elks Lodges obtained over a half million pints. During the Vietnam War, the Defense Department was concerned with the morale of our 400,000 troops fighting communist aggression because of the anti-American sentiments being reported on the home front. After much discussion, it was decided that a "Letters from Home" campaign would help counteract all the negative acts emanating from this country. When the Commission learned that wounded veterans from Vietnam were sweltering in Tripler Army Medical Center that lacked air conditioning, they provided 24 air conditioning units so that these military personnel might recover in relative comfort.

The Elks again answered the call and flooded these fine young defenders of freedom with letters expressing our gratitude for the sacrifices they were making for our country. Since 1986, the Commission has worked closely with Re-Creation, a group of young men and women who travel around the country visiting and entertaining our hospitalized veterans. This program helps brighten the days of those confined to VA Medical Centers.

As our fighting men and women were defending the sanctity of life from the sands of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to Iraq, the Elks once again mounted a letter writing campaign thanking these patriots for the dedication to duty. Gift packs were also sent as in previous conflicts.

That Elks hold veterans in high esteem is evident by their actions. During the Grand Lodge Convention held in Los Angeles in 1921 a proposal was made to establish the Elks National Headquarters in Chicago. The Committee also recommended that the Order erect a memorial building honoring those who served their country and gave their lives during the Great War. Two and one-half million dollars were raised by the Elk Lodges to pay for the new building.

The cornerstone was laid on June 7, 1924. Upon completion two years later on June 14, 1926, the edifice was formally dedicated to those who served in World War I. The National Headquarters and Memorial Building was rededicated in 1946 to those who saw service in World War II. Again, in 1976, this honor was bestowed on those who answered the call in Korea and Vietnam.

The Elks were among the first fraternal organizations to formally welcome home the returning veterans from Operation Desert Storm. Subordinate Lodges held appropriate functions recognizing the veterans’ sacrifices and thanking them for their commitment to duty.

In 1990, at their annual meeting in Las Vegas, the Elks voted to restore their National Headquarters and Memorial to America’s Veterans. They raised over $4,500,000 for this purpose. On July 3, 1994 the building was rededicated to peace and to those who served in Grenada, Panama and Operation Desert Storm.

At the National Convention held in New Orleans in 1995, the delegates voted on July 13th to change the name of the Elks National Service Commission to the Elks National Veterans Service Commission just as it was from 1946 to 1949. While our name has changed, our mission is the same — to provide aid and comfort to any veteran in need.

Our story is long; our work is humble; our history is proud. The Elks National Veterans Service Commission will continue SERVING OUR NATIONS’S VETERANS.

 

”So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them.“


printer Veterans Remembrance Report

National Veterans Service State Meeting 8/27/12

The meeting was held at Woodbridge Lodge #2116

Opening prayer by Central District Chairman George Yusko

Flag salute led by Region II Co-Chairman Brian Hopkins

Meeting called to order by State Chairman Ted Lettie at 7:30 PM

Minutes of the previous meeting on July 23rd as e-mailed were accepted.

Present On Dais

Advisors PSPs Lou Possemato and Steve Terrible,

State Chairman Ted Lettie, Region II Co-Chairman Brian Hopkins

District Chairpersons Attending

Region I - Central District – Present

Region II - East District – Present

Region II - East Central District - Excused

Region II - North District – Excused

Region II - North Central District – Excused

Region II - Northeast District – Present

Region II - Northwest District - Present

Region I - South District – Excused

Region I - South Central District – Excused

Region I - Southeast District - Excused

Region I - Southwest District - Present

Region I - West Central District – Present

VP Bob Church of Princeton Lodge #2129, Jim & Sharon Sharpe of Bordentown Lodge #2085 also present.

A Treasurer’s Report from State Treasurer John Szczomak was not given. The most recent

report indicates a balance of $5870.71 for National Service & a balance of $7014.76 for

Homeless Vets.It covers the period of 3/25/12 to 6/24/12. Our advisors have recommended

that we request a financial report from our State Treasurer in time for each meeting.

Ted Lettie

will be in touch with our State Treasurer John Szczomak.

Ted

will stay in touch with Veterans Haven North in Glen Gardner, the site of a transitional

housing program for Homeless Veterans. The facility will not be ready to admit residents for

several months. Much preparation needs to be done.

A wish list will be sent to Ted when ready and he will pass it on to you.

There will be a Standown on September 28, 2012 at Cherry Hill

http://www.standdownofsouthjersey.com/

We will be voting on a donation at our next meeting in September

There will be a Standown on October 13, 2012 at Newark

We will be voting on a donation at our next meeting in September

Ted

investigated the Standown for homeless veterans and their families in Morristown, Aug. 18, 19.

The goals of the group are admirable, but since it was not restricted to the benefit of Homeless

Veterans and their families only, our funds would be better spent at Cherry Hill & Newark.

As per Region I/Southeast District Chairperson Don Tonachio Standown

on Saturday October 27th will be rescheduled.

Christmas Appeal

letters for this year will be mailed to the Lodges in early October.

All District Chairs, VPs and DDs will be asked for their support & encouragement in the campaign.

Region I/Southeast District Chairperson Don Tonachio

suggested the sale of wrist bands.

We agreed to purchase 2000 wrist bands at a cost of $809.99. This makes for a unit cost of

40.5 cents. We agreed on a selling price of $3.00. All Districts were expected to help sell all

of them throughout the state. This will result in a profit of $5190.00 when all are sold. As of

August 20th, Don reports that he has sent $4,666.00 to our State Treasurer. If you have sold

all of the bracelets given to you by Don, please send the proceeds to him right away,

preferably by check. His address is 11 Easy Street, Lanoka Harbor NJ 08734. Do not send

the proceeds to anyone else. If you still have unsold bracelets and or money to turn in,

please contact Don and give him an update. His phone number is 732-904-2477. His email

is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

There will be a VAVS Meeting on September 17th at the East Orange Campus Bldg 1, 3rd

floor Auditorium at 10 AM. The VAVS Reps and Deputy Reps have been notified and should

be there. Ted Lettie will attend.

Some committees receive funds from National Foundation. According to the Grand Lodge

ENF web site, New Jersey Elks National Veterans Service has received $8520.00Advisor

PSP Lou Possemato suggested that we discuss it with NJ Elks Charities Chairperson PSP

James St. George

. Ted sent him an e-mail, but he has not yet responded. Advisor PSP Steve

Terrible

advised Ted to contact State Treasurer John Szczomak for information as to whether

those funds will be credited to the New Jersey Elks National Veterans Service Committee?

Future meeting dates for the coming year:

9/24/12, 10/22/12, 11/26/12, 1/28/13, 2/25/13, 3/25/13, 4/22/13

Please put them on your calendar. Our Committee, to be more effective statewide, needs to

raise more funds at the State level. In addition to our Hospitalized Vets, going forward, we will

be increasing our efforts in working with Homeless Vets. We need participation by all District

Chairs Statewide in order to be successful. As the Chair of your District or as a VAVS Rep.,

you are a member of the State Committee.

Fund raising projects for the coming year

:

Kelly Mazzocchi

has completed arrangements for a Comedy Night at Princeton Lodge on

October 19th. Kelly and I met with VP PER ER Bob Church of Princeton Lodge and his

facilities booker Kim Galatro on August 14th to work out the details. They have donated the

use of their hall and their kitchen. They will also have Members on hand to help us in making

the evening a success. Kelly’s message is as follows:

Comedy Show - I have the tickets for the show so if anyone needs them, I can mail them. I

will email letters to the District Chairs asking for baskets for the tricky tray raffle. I will also be

advertising the event and sending flyers out to other organizations. Please ask any districts

in the North if they are unable to attend the event if they would like to sponsor some

Veteran's from Menlo Park and other locations”.

Kelly Mazzocchi is going to run a Tricky Tray event. Region II Co-Chairman Brian Hopkins

is going to run a Super 50/50. Kelly could not be at the meeting due to a DD visit at her

Lodge. Brian is going to reach out to Kelly to discuss combining the Raffle drawing with the

Tricky Tray event. They will explore a venue and a date and have info for us soon.

Advisor PSP Lou Possemato suggested a cocktail party, similar to the one run by ENF.

That idea is also still under consideration.

The Southwest District is holding a Picnic for Military Families on September 23rd at New

Egypt Elks Lodgefrom 1 pm to 6 pm. RSVP by September 15th to 609-947--4559

MAJ. Anthony F. "Tony" DeStefano

USAR (Ret),of Operation Chillout asked to attend our

next meeting on September 24th. They will also be holding a Veterans Outreach Benefit

Concert at The Stanhope House 45 Main Street Stanhope, NJ on Saturday September

15, 2012 from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM EDT. For more details This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

VP PER ER Bob Church of Princeton Lodge has checked out Combat Paper and is working

on a pilot project to be run by his Lodge involving Combat Paper and their local schools. He

will keep us advised.

If you wish to propose a fundraiser, research it and put together some information.

so that it can be considered by the Committee. If we can all continue to work together to boost

the amount of our available funds, we can begin to do some significant work as a STATE Elks

Committee.

State Chairman Ted Lettie requires a MONTHLY activity report by ALL District Chairs.

It can be sent via e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. OR Region II

at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

OUR ADVISORS HAVE ALSO REQUESTED THAT THEY BE COPIED

PSP (Advisor) Lou Possemato This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PSP (Advisor) Stephen J. Terrible This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PSP (Advisor) Robert Jani This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Regular mail is also acceptable (but more expensive)

Addresses can be found in the State Directory.

Closing prayer by Central District Chairman George Yusko

Meeting closed at 9:30 PM.

Next meeting will be held on September 24th at Woodbridge Lodge.

All District chairs and VAVS Reps. must attend. All other Elks are welcome.

Respectfully submitted,

Ted Lettie PVP PDDGER NJ North

NJSEA National Veterans Service State Chairman

VAVS NJ Veterans Home at Paramus

Army of Hope Member At Large

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The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) has provided the following website for veterans to gain access to their DD-214’son line

Click here for more information

This may be particularly helpful when a veteran needs a copy of his DD-214 for employment purposes.

NPRC is working to make it easier for veterans with computers and internet access to obtain copies of documents from their military files.

Military veterans and the next of kin of deceased former members may now use online military personnel records system to request documents. Other individuals with a need for documents must still complete Standard Form 180 which can be downloaded from the online website.

Because the requester will be asked to supply all information essential for NPRC to process the request, delays that normally occur when NPRC has to ask veterans for additional information will be minimized. The new web-based application was designed to provide better service on these request by eliminating the records center mailroom and processing time.

Please pass this information on to former military personnel you may know and their dependents.

Elks to Join Vietnam Vets in Program To Raise Funds for Support of Troops

A new partnership between the Elks and the charitable affiliate of the Vietnam Veterans of America will raise funds to assist soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as all veterans of the nation's wars.

The affiliate, the Vietnam Veterans Assistance Fund, is renaming its Coin Can Donation Program, "The Michael Manning National Veterans Program," as a tribute to the long-time director of the Elks National Veterans Service Department who died July 22. Mike had worked with the organization in setting up the program, which will feature coin cans in every Elks lodge and in other locations.

Full details will be announced when the national roll-out of the program begins this fall. Money raised in this effort will aid veterans as they deal with health issues, homeless services, and transitioning programs.

Calling Mike "truly a great leader in the veterans' community," John Rowan, national president of the Vietnam Veterans of America, said: "It was with Michael's great enthusiasm for veterans that this program will exist as a partnership between the Elks and the VVA."

The number ONE request at Walter Reed hospital is phone cards.

The government doesn't pay long distance phone charges and these wounded soldiers are rationing their calls home. Many will be there throughout the holidays.

Really support our troops --Send phone cards of any amount to:

Medical Family Assistance Center
Walter Reed Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20307-5001

They say they need an "endless" supply of these -- any amount even $5 is greatly appreciated

Adopt-a-Veteran Program

If you've ever been hospitalized, you know the loneliness and depression you can experience. Think how tough it must be for hospitalized veterans, especially those who are far from home or have no family. With that thought in mind, George Schwarz of Clawson-Troy, Michigan, Lodge devised a simple yet effective solution in 1980: the Adopt-a-Veteran program.

His idea proved so successful that the National Veterans Service Commission picked it up in 1983. Last year, Lodges across the nation adopted 103,000 veterans, up 16,000 from the previous year. The Elks visited with them on their birthdays and holidays and showered them with gifts and attention. They took those who could leave the medical centers out to dinner, and brought dinner to those who couldn't. The Elks provided these men and women with comfort, companionship, cheer and understanding, and in the process--helped lift some of their loneliness.

There is no program that better illustrates our patriotism. The Adopt-a-Veteran Program is one in which every Lodge can, and should, participate. So, how can your Lodge get involved? This is how the program usually works:

  1. The VAVS Representative (or chairman at a state facility) secures the names of veterans without family or friends nearby and forwards the list to the state National Veterans Service chairman.
  2. The state chairman will divide the list among the Lodges in close proximity to the facility and forward the names to the appropriate district chairman.
  3. The district chairman will determine how many veterans each Lodge wishes to adopt. He will then provide the Lodges with a like amount of names.
  4. The Lodge should publish the names and birthdays of its adopted veterans in its bulletin each month and encourage members and their families to schedule visits. Gifts for the veteran should consist of personal-care items, reading material, games and similar items of nominal cost. Luncheons and dinners at a restaurant or the Lodge are also recommended.

The object of the Adopt-a-Veteran program is to take the place of family, to replace loneliness with hope and to let the veterans know we will never forget them. The state associations, districts and Lodges should use the means best suited to their particular situations to meet these objectives.

Veterans Comfort Care Items

The Elks National Veterans Service Commission has teamed up with Federated Wholesale, Inc., to put together comfort care kits for our hospitalized veterans at a most reasonable cost. The plastic drawstring bag will have our logo on it as well as space for the veteran's name. Body powder, shaving gel, body lotion, shampoo, alcohol-free after shave and deodorant will also contain our logo.

The items containing our logo as well as a comb, denture adhesive, emery boards, toothbrush and toothpaste will all be part of the kit.

The kits can be an integral part of your Adopt-A-Veteran Program. They can be given out when your present your Adopt-A-Veteran Certificate.

Youth, Veteran Volunteers

With the decentralization of veterans health care and the decrease in warehousing of veterans at VAMCs, the methods of care we extend to these deserving individuals is fast becoming obsolete. The days of ice cream socials and bingos are just about over.

The challenge facing the Elks National Veterans Service Commission and our volunteers is, "How do we continue Serving Our Nation's Veterans?"

One way that we can continue to enhance the level of comfort for the ailing veterans of our Armed Forces is to involve our youth. For years, the Order of Elks has run programs for our youth - ENF Most Valuable Student Scholarship - Vocational Grants - Emergency Grants for Children of Deceased Elks - Eagle Scout Scholarships - Girl Scout Scholarships - Hoop Shoot - Soccer Shootout. We have always given to our youth never expecting anything in return.

Now is the time to involve our youth - to ask them to give something back to the Community. This challenge is not as difficult to achieve as one might think.

The goals set by the April 1997 Presidential Summit held in Philadelphia were for the Elks to provide after-school programs and one on one mentoring for students.

One of the results of the Presidential Summit held in Philadelphia in Spring 1997 was that students entering high school in Fall 1998 would be expected to become involved in community service. These students would be required to have a specific amount of hours of community service before being allowed to graduate with their class.

We, as Elks, have now established a program for our youth with a new twist. Instead of giving something to them, we are asking them to give something back to the community by working with and for those who helped secure the comforts they enjoy today, our nation's veterans. We will meet the goals established at the Presidential Summit and continue to meet our commitment to serving our nation's veterans.

The Elks National Veterans Service Commission and the Grand Lodge Youth Activities Committee have formed a partnership in this endeavor, which will add a new, glorious chapter to the history of Elkdom. We just might instill in these young men and women the spirit of volunteerism that we grew up with. We might even sow the seeds that will encourage them to join the Elks when they turn twenty-one.

OperationDearAbby.net

Send a message to a member of our military.  This is a program started years ago by Abigail Van Buren.  We now have the ability to send an e-mail to our soldier, sailors, airman and marines serving overseas.  Just click on the link and away you go.

http://anyservicemember.navy.mil/

 


About Operation Dear Abby
Send a special message to our men and women in the military defending American freedom worldwide.

In 1967, Sgt. Billy Thompson wrote Abigail Van Buren asking for a Christmas present for our service members -- "Just a letter from home," American citizens have been sending their best wishes to the troops every holiday season. "Operation Dear Abby," has brought joy to hundreds of thousands of U.S. military personnel deployed away from home around the world.

Concerns about regular mail delivery have prompted the military to suspend the letter-writing campaign...

However, Dear Abby, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Department of the Navy's LifeLines2000 Services Network in association with SPAWAR SCC (National Capital Region) is providing this private and secure online resource that will allow you to send a Sailor, Marine, Soldier, Airman, or Coast Guardsman a holiday greeting or message of support.

How It Works:
Supporters send messages to our service members.

Service members with internet access may read those messages via 'OperationDearAbby.Net'.

Service members without internet access may still read messages as follows:

Company commanders that have internet access have the ability to download bulk messages to be printed and distributed according to service branch and location.

 

Show a Service Member You Care

With hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops deployed around the world, actively engaged in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the fight against terrorism, the USO is offering a way to send a reminder to the troops that they are appreciated and have not been forgotten.

Due to heightened security, individuals can no longer send letters and packages marked for delivery to 'Any Service Member'. Endorsed by the Department of Defense, the USO program "Operation USO Care Package", provides individuals with a way to touch the lives of our deployed troops around the world.

The USO is sending care packages that include requested items such as pre-paid worldwide phone cards, sunscreen, travel size toiletries, and messages from Americans who want to thank them for their service. As days turn into weeks and weeks into months, reminders from home are welcomed by the troops.

Corporations may donate items to go into the care packages, many of which may be branded with your corporate logo. These items must be sent in bulk from the manufacturer. Please call (703) 696-0994 for advance coordination of deliveries.

If you are interested in sponsoring a care package and including your personal message please click 'donate now' and select your preferred method of donation. If your company is interested in doing a corporate program, please contact us at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call (571) 261-1465, and we will let you know of the different ways corporations may rally around our troops.

Veterans Leather Program

Click here for Hunters Donate Pamphlet

Drop Off Points

South East Manahawkin Lodge #2340 Contact, Teri Payton 609-597-4310
Central South Amboy Lodge #784 Contact, Bob Toth PDD 732-727-1957
North West Lake Hopeatcong #782 Contact Richard Gathen PSP 973-398-2097


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