Valentines for Troops

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Published: 01/24/2013

(submitted via email) 

I am organizing a 'Valentine for Soldiers' collection on behalf of an organization called Operation Interdependence.

Operation Interdependence is a nationwide non-profit organization that provides a means for community

members to support troops serving on the front lines, military families and veterans. Their long term goal is to ensure that every Solider, Sailor, Airman and Marine is served from the time they don the uniform to the day they are honorably laid to rest.

Your Valentine will be sent to our troops overseas, and can be a word of encouragement, a word of thanks, a poem, a card, or even a picture. 
Here are the details:
The Valentines can be handmade, store bought, created in Word/Powerpoint, etc.
You can donate more than one.
Do not include any contact information.  Just your name if you'd like.
No glitter(it sticks to the uniform and glows in the dark)

Mail To:
5797 Websters Way Manassas Va 20112 by February 2nd, 2013

Disney on Ice: Best and Bravest

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Published: 10/11/2012
In preparation for the upcoming arrival of Disney on Ice at the Patriot Center October 17-21 The Feld Group asked local bloggers to think about their "Best and Bravest" moments in honor of Princess Merida making her skating debut.  

I love the new Princesses.  Tiana from The Princess and the Frog works her booty off to open her own business, Rapunzel from Tangled knocks boys over the head with a frying pan, and Merida from Brave fights to be in control of her own destiny. These are not the type of girls that take a nap and wait for Prince Charming.

Before my daughter was born, I prayed that she would be strong and self-sufficient (just like the new princesses), even though I hoped she'd be a girly-girl, too. God definitely granted my wish granted on that one.  My four year old is the one in pink sparkles attacking the tackling dummy when it's not being used at football practice.  She's feisty and fiery and is brave about a number of things in her everyday life- from trying new foods to leaping after her brothers with the reckless abandon of a kid who doesn't realize that she's a foot and a half shorter and thirty pounds lighter than her brothers.
This is my girl. She has to wear tennis shoes with fancy dresses so she can run fast.
But, in all honesty, we haven't had that much that she's had to be really and truly brave about.  We've been incredibly blessed with a lack of major medical issues, natural disasters, or death in our family. Probably the hardest thing she's had to deal with has been being a civilian kid in a highly military area.  Letting go of your friends is never easy, even when you're tiny.

That made me think, though, that when it comes to real-life bravery, there's nobody I know that does it better than military spouses and kids.  When our BFFs had to leave this past summer, I pitched a fit. My daughter still cries when we pass the Quantico exit on 95 south wanting to know when she gets to see her friend Mia.  We were not, and are not, the epitome of bravery.  However, as a lifer here in Woodbridge, I've had my fair share of "military brat" friends, and while I know they don't want to leave, they always seem to "buck up and go" with a  level of Bravery that rivals even the pluckiest of the new princesses.

While she might not realize it yet, Mia is part of the bravest group of people I know.
Best Buds enjoying cupcakes tailgate-style
Mia, and other military kids like her, gets handed orders, just like their parents. They didn't sign up for military life, but they head out to new houses, new friends, new schools, and even new languages.  Military kids send their daddies and mommies off with a kiss to scary places that most of us only hear about on the news.  They deal with mommies and daddies who were left behind to manage a family alone and are sometimes just a little bit on edge.  

Mia, and all the military kids in our lives, are so awesome in their continued bravery. Just like Merida, they explore new places with gusto, head out on new adventures with a gleam in their eye, and while they might be frightened initially, they always seem to succeed in making the best of any situation they land in.  In my book, they're definitely the Best and Bravest, just like Merida.

For Those Who Serve- Memorial Day 2012

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Published: 05/23/2012
A few freebies for our moms and dads in uniform:

Prince William County Historic Sites are part of the Blue Star Program for Museums, which offers Military Families free admission to over 1,500 museums nationwide from Memorial Day (May 28) through Labor Day (September 3). Any holder of a CAC, DD Form 1173 ID, or DD Form 1173-1 ID, National Guard and Reserve members PLUS up to five family members.

The Virginia Renaissance Faire honors "past and present members of the Armed Forces" this weekend (Memorial Day) by providing a free admission with Military ID.  Dependents and friends are asked to pay the regularly low $9 ticket price.

Manassas Park Community Center will be offering 15% off ANY membership (single, dual, family) to active, inactive and retired military who sign up this weekend. These memberships include Signal Bay Waterpark.

(Not sure how family-friendly this is, but...) All active duty military and veterans can get 10 free wings (boneless or traditional) at Hooters all day on Monday, May 28th with a drink purchase.

Kings Dominion offers free admission to active, inactive, or retired US Military service men and women with valid ID on May 26/27 and July 3/4.

Shenandoah Caverns provides a free Adult Combination ticket to active or retired service members with valid ID.  Their admission is already buy one adult ticket get one child free.

Colonial Williamsburg will be offering a "Honoring Service to America Ticket", which is free admission for the entire historic area.  These tickets are valid for active cut, reserve, retirees, veterans and their families.  The service member need not be present (if you are the family of a deployed service member) but valid ID is required.  A Memorial Day Commemorative Program begins at 10am on May 28th.

NOT on Memorial Day- but the Potomac Nationals do a Military Appreciation Night on June 22nd.  Ticket distribution is via the USO.
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