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I’ll Be Home For Christmas

soldiers-christmasWhat do Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como and Kelly Clarkson all have in common?  They, as well as a slew of other singers, all recorded the Christmas favorite, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”.  Bing Crosby recorded the first, and undeniably the most famous, rendition on October 4th, 1943.  This well known, and loved Christmas song was first written and recorded as a tribute to our soldiers overseas during WWII.

The BBC in Britain banned the song as they felt it might lower the morale of troops on assignment who wouldn’t be home for Christmas.  But our Americans troops loved it.  It earned Bing Crosby his 5th Gold record and was the most requested song at Christmas at USO shows.  One publication stated that Bing Crosby had “accomplished more for military morale than anyone else of that era”.

All over the world today there are brave men and women who are sacrificing on our behalf.  They won’t be home for Christmas this year, or if they are it will be  “only in their dreams”.  It would be a lovely thing if, being apart from their families this holiday season, they were to be reminded that their sacrifice was recognized and appreciated.  It is not too late to contribute to their feeling a little bit of home and a Christmas spirit.

If you haven’t yet made a charitable donation this holiday season (or even if you have) think about going online today and donating whatever you can to one of these fine organizations that serves the men and women who are serving our country.

The USO  – Since 1941, the United Service Organizations has stood by our troops through every step of their service. Regardless of whether service members belong to the Navy, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, or Marines, from the day of their deployment through the process of rehabilitation from an operation or invisible wounds, all the way through to reintegration, we’re there for soldiers and their families.  Because we are not a government agency, we rely on generous support from donors like you to fund programs and services that best fit the needs of our brave troops.

Wounded Warrior Project – Your generous, tax-deductible donation to Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) enables us to help thousands of injured warriors returning from the battlefield and helps provide assistance to their families.

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society – For over a century, this organization has provided financial assistance and educationto members of the United States Navy and Marine Corps and eligible family members, widows, and survivors. The group operates nearly 250 offices ashore and afloat at Navy and Marine Corps bases throughout the world and has provided more than $48 million in interest-free loans and grants to over 100,000 sailors, marines and their families around the world.

Homes For Our Troops – Helping severely injured veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan is the mission of Homes for Our Troops. Started in 2004, the organization builds mortgage-free and specially adapted houses for multiple amputees and veterans with traumatic brain injuries. It also adapts existing homes for handicap accessibility. Home for Our Troops has built nearly 170 homes since its founding, with another 50 currently underway.

Puppies Behind Bars – Puppies Behind Bars (PBB) trains prison inmates to raise service dogs for wounded war veterans and explosive detection canines for law enforcement. Puppies enter prison at the age of eight weeks and live with their inmate puppy-raisers for approximately 24 months. As the puppies mature into well-loved, well-behaved dogs, their raisers learn what it means to contribute to society rather than take from it. PBB programs bring the love and healing of dogs to hundreds of individuals every year. The dogs bring hope and pride to their raisers, and independence and security to those they serve.

Maybe one of these organizations speaks to your heart and is calling you to give.  Or maybe you know a family whose loved one is serving in our military and won’t be home for Christmas this year.  Drop off some gifts for their children, or take them a turkey, or a basket full of some Christmas treats.  Better still, invite them to spend Christmas with you and your family and love on them.

However you do it, think about reaching out and showing love to a soldier and his/her family.  They may only be home for Christmas in their dreams this year, but you can help make it a warm and special one where ever they are.

Giving back, showing appreciation and remembering those who serve our country, can only be a blessing to you too and spread love, joy and some very abundant living this holiday season.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah everyone!

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