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Latest Activity

Carla joined Donna's group
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Cameron'smom commented on ellen0502's group 'PIR 05/30/2014 TG 29 - 7 Divisions (183-188 and 929)'
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deb replied to ellen0502's discussion 'Ship 02 (USS Reuben James) Division 930' in the group PIR 06/06/2014 TG 30 - 9 Divisions (189-196 and 930)
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attentions those who have SR going to graduate end of december and january

Well its that time again. CHRISTMAS TIME!!!!! I know some of you are not going to have your SR with you. As a Navy mom and retired navywife, I certainly know how that feels. This being said, each year Great Lakes allow different organization to host SRs for Christmas. We are a part of that. Now is the time to start telling your SRs to remember where they go on Christmas, if they are lucky enough to go anywhere. As in years past we DO NOT know in advance who we host. We only know as they come off the buses. It is generally those who are going to graduate the next week and graduate in January. As they pile off the buses we ask what divisions they are in. So if you have one that fits that graduation date, stay tuned. We are a part of a Church in Indiana, we have hosted on average anywhere from 200 to 600 SRs. We pick them up early in the morning, they arrive around 10 11 am to open arms, smiles and very grateful hearts. They will be feed a traditional spread of Christmas fixings. Baked goods that they church members have made. The preparation has been weeks in advance. And I must say from personal experience that everything is made from scratch. Many many potatoes peeled for mashed potatoes. I have my peeler ready to go! They will have time to phone home, play basket ball, play video games, pool and movie. And get many hugs!! Many of the volunteers bring their own personal cell phones so they are able to make more than one phone call. Now if they take mine, I do attach the stipulation that they call MOM FIRST :) After all has settled they get back in line for more food. They eat again, they watch a skit and they sing Christmas songs. It is a time of love. Our goal is for them to feel as loved as they would if they where home. This is ran by ALL volunteers. Everything is paid for by donations. PLEASE know this great amount of love in this program. The economy has been hard hit and getting donations is harder than ever. But you ask anyone to brighten a Military members Christmas by a donation, it makes your soul shine to see how fast they open and dig deep into their wallet. They have a professional photographer taking pictures and a video is put together. We also go around and take lots and lots of pictures. As soon as we get home my daughter fields many emails for pictures and tries to post as many as she can. Again, please know that this is all volunteers. After long days of preparation, and long day Christmas Day we try to post as many as we can. So for right now please tell your SR to know where he/she is going and mention it on that day. Chicago area host a lot of SRs. We seem to have the ones graduating in the end of december and january time frame. Look for phone calls in the 219 area code. if that is YOU, please keep close contact with me. Pictures of that day will be coming. I will post what divisions we hosted. We have a blast every Christmas and this has become our tradition. It is one way we can give back. And what better way then to make sure your SR feels love on the most loved day of the year. I want to THANK YOU in advance for raising Heros that want to serve. We do not take it lightly the dangers that lay out there and that they do this for us. One thing we encounter every year, is how grateful the SRs are and the family members. PLEASE know, it is US that are grateful to YOU!!! I know the hard aches that come with service and going on 6 years I know the heart aches of being a mom to a service member. I know that the best gift at Christmas is having your family with you. But as a mom, second best is a phone call and know that some strange who does not know you loved you enough to spend Christmas with someone who is important to you. If we host your SRs I only ask that the kindness shown to your SR you remember and pass it forward. Say thank you, buy a cup of coffee, give them a hug. They need to know that we care!! God Bless!

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Comment by B'sNukeMoM⚓️(Prototype 1401S8G) on December 9, 2013 at 1:00pm

What a beautiful gesture - thank you to all the volunteers!  Our son had PIR on 12/21/12 and we were lucky that his school was on stand down for Christmas so he was able to come home.  And we are blessed in that our son will have leave for Christmas this year, but I know there are many who don't get to be with their families.  Thank you!

Comment by bikerbabe55 on December 9, 2013 at 1:03pm
I had no idea! This is all new to me and our PIR IS 1/17/14! Oh I hope our little SR qualifies to come with you for a Christmas celebration! We are from central Indiana and there's nothing like Hoosier Hospitality! HAPPY TEARS at the moment...just heard her voice yesterday and now to find your post-I can't tell you how thankful I am! Is there any way I could contribute to your effort??
Comment by BunkerQB on December 9, 2013 at 2:39pm

Wendy & Friends have been doing this for a number of years now. Many moms/dads have not idea what it takes to provide the "home cooked" meals to our recruits. To Wendy & all the volunteers, thank you thank you.

Comment by Ginger Matt's Mom on December 10, 2013 at 4:41pm

Wendy, This post made my heart much lighter. My son's PIR is on Jan 10, although we did not receive a letter saying he would be part of this program. For now I will keep the picture of your event in my mind and heart, praying for all that plan it and praying that my son can participate in it. Thanks for loving these young men and women, when we can't be there for them.

Comment by Nate's Mom (Wendy) ;P on December 10, 2013 at 7:02pm
Biker, there is really nothing we need. They start asking for donations at Church in November. So all that is already done. But what you can do, and i am sure you will, pay it forward. Im so glad you got to hear from your SR it does a mom good!! Keep a watch on the blog, I post the day of Christmas what division we have.

B Nukes mom...no thanks..its our privilege!!

Ginger, i can not say this enough, we do not know what divisions they let us have until they are on the bus. I have heard they didnt know till last minute too. It has NEVER been what was public knowledge on divisions. It has taken us more time to hunt moms down to let them know we have Christmas pics. The only thing that is consistent is they are just about to graduate in month of december and january. So fingers crossed and stay tuned :) No thanks, it is all our pleasure!

Bunker!!! I hope all is doing well!! I got to see Nate re enlist in October. So bitter sweet but he enjoys it and loving life and wife :) God is good!! THANK YOU for still helping with this site. The new moms need the encouragement. Hugs to you and yours and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Comment by lifeisanadventure on December 13, 2013 at 12:15pm

I am so touched by the generous, heartfelt actions by so many of you who volunteer on behalf of our loved ones. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. The thought of my son not surrounded by the people who love him is no longer a worry. And I am grateful.

Comment by Lisa Lynn on December 14, 2013 at 11:46pm

My son doesn't graduate until the end of January.  Will he be allowed to go to someone's home for Christmas? I sure wish I lived closer.  How do they decide who gets to go?  So many questions, sorry!  If my son does get to go to one of your homes, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I miss him so, and especially this time of year.  Christmas has always been my favorite, and spending it with family is the only gift I want.  Bless you! 

Comment by jmom on December 15, 2013 at 1:59am
My son will be graduating, January 3rd, Div 048; thank you; this is so encouraging to know that he may not be stuck inside the boot camp walls for such a joyous occasion; it gives me hope that I may hear from him on such a joyous day, a day ghat we celebrate the Savior if our world; thank you from the bottoms of my heart to all the volunteers for sharing love with our loved ones that we are unable to be with.
Comment by charnavymom on December 15, 2013 at 12:53pm

My son's PIR date is 1/31 and when he called yesterday - he was a little homesick so I reallllly appreciate people taking the time to take care of our loved ones!!  Thank you so much!

Comment by Nate's Mom (Wendy) ;P on December 16, 2013 at 9:18am
Thank you lifespan adventure, anywhere they send him on Christmas he will deffiantely be loved!!

Smiling, that I don't know. We do not even know who we get till that day and as buses are ready to leave, they have room, they add divisions.

No thanks needed for us. We definitely enjoy bring a touch of home to them. Personally I have made some wonderful friends and many memories. We captured on young Sr playing piano, it was her mom and dads best Christmas gift. This kind of prepares you for many holidays not spent together. We had many of Christmas in July before a deployment.

Please know that this effort could not be done without the love and support of many many families!! And some come to help on Christmas Day that have no ties to military just gratitude for them. Just please remember the efforts of all volunteers that day and pay it forward. Well this is the second favorite week, cooking. So I will not be back on till Christmas Eve. Please have cell phone charged and look at number they are calling from. If its a 219 number or they mention a church in Indiana, thats us. We will have pics up as soon as humanly possible. Hoping you help get you your Christmas wish!

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