I want to thank your lodge, along with Mr. Boal and Mr. Leiter, for the calling cards you have recently sent me.
I'm glad my service is appreciated by you and the members of the lodge - which is exactly why I serve - because of individuals such as your members.
Again, I want to thank you. The cards will be put to good use.
271st Combat Communications
Dear Grand Master Thomas Sturgeon,
Thank you for your support and token of appreciation. I received the pre-paid phone cards and shared them with 2 fellow members of my unit that have small children at home. It is always nice to know that there are many supporters back in the states that recognize the service we are doing for our country. The support at home means the world to the people serving here. The job we are doing here is making a huge difference in the lives of the Iraqi people. It makes being apart from our loved ones worthwhile. Thank you once again.
Sincerely and fraternally,
Brother Michael Alan McConaughey
SGT RES USAR FORSCOM
Your donations to Help for Our Heroes continues to provide pre-paid calling cards to our brave men and women serving overseas. According to Bro. and Col. Harris H. Brooks, fewer troops are being deployed from Pennsylvania through McGuire Air Force Base, so instead of sending 150 cards there each month, we are only sending them as requested. However, Bro. Brooks said, "The war is not over." The cards previously provided to troops deploying to the war zone are now being sent to those who are wounded and being cared for at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. "While we're sending less troops from our state into the war zone, unfortunately those who are there are still subject to injuries," Bro. Brooks said. "They need and deserve our continued support."
This fall, the Grand Lodge partnered with Americans 4R Marines, a not-for-profit, all-volunteer organization that supports both the Marines and the Navy Hospital Corpsmen assigned to the Marines in the field. Founded in 2006, Americans 4R Marines works directly with the Generals and Sgt. Majors deployed to send products ranging from those of basic humanity needs to products to lift morale of entire units/battalions in the most remote and hostile areas of the Middle East.
The Marines and Corpsmen they support are usually hundreds of miles from a main military base; they live in caves, tents or make-shift outposts with concrete barriers. Many have no source of electric and/or plumbing. They live for months on MREs and sleep on the rocky, graveled ground holding tight to their weapons. Their version of a "shower" consists of two minutes beneath a five-gallon bag of water.
Americans 4R Marine's largest one-time shipment is their annual "Merry Christmas Marines and Sailors," which in 2010 provided 5,300 stockings, filled with small tactical gear and other useful products, valued at over $100 each.
On Oct. 25, 2010, R.W. Grand Master Thomas K. Sturgeon and Bro. and Col. Brooks, on behalf of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, presented Patricia Lewis, Founder/President of Americans 4R Marines, with $5,000 worth of pre-oiled rifle/pistol cleaning cloths that are more effective in the desert than those provided by the Department of Defense. In a show of appreciation, Ms. Lewis presented Grand Master Sturgeon a certificate thanking the Grand Lodge for its generous contribution.
Americans 4R Marines also provides support to wounded heroes, builds memorials to honor fallen heroes and supports spouses and children of deployed Marines and Sailors during each of the holiday seasons.
Help for Our Heroes also provided $1,000 to Ohio Rainbow for Girls' service project, raising funds for the Honor Flight Network. This not-for-profit organization honors our veterans by flying them to see their memorials in Washington, D.C., at no cost to them. It takes $10,000 to fund one flight of 40 veterans.
Please, keep those donations coming! While we currently have fewer troops abroad, those who are there still need our support. Let's show them that not only are they not forgotten, but they are appreciated and honored by those of us who benefit from their sacrifice!