Valentine Cards at Basic Training

Valentine message“Does a red envelope mean extra push-ups for my boyfriend or girlfriend at boot camp?”

 “I just sent a Valentine in a red envelope to my daughter/son at basic training, will they get in trouble?”

 “I just decorated my envelope with hearts and stickers, will my husband/boyfriend get my card or will the Drill Instructor or Training Instructor confiscate it”? Continue reading

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More Bible Verses for Military Trainees and Cadets during Basic Training and Boot Camp.

We are blessed at Project Write2Them to have wonderful volunteers. One of our volunteers has found some new versions of Bible verses to support and lift up your loved one while they are at basic training, boot camp or deployed!

Please let Lenore know how much you enjoyed having these verses to share with your loved one in your emails, letters and cards. Be sure to share this blog with your family and friends and leave a thank you for comment for Lenore; you know it will make her day!

For your loved one in the military

Psalm 31:14-16

“But I trust in You, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in Your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me. Let Your face shine on Your servant; save me in Your unfailing love.”

 Psalm 56:3-4  “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.  In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid.  What can mere mortals do to me?”

Psalm 73:23-26

“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Joshua 1:9  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Psalm 116:5-6  “Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is compassionate.  The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.”

Psalm 46:1  “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

Psalm 91:14  “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.”

Deuteronomy 31:6  “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

2 Samuel 22:30, 33, 47

“With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. It is God Who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God, the Rock, my Savior!”

Isaiah 41:10  “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

2 Corinthians 9:8  “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

Isaiah 26:3-4  “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.   Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord Himself, is the Rock eternal.”

John 14:27  “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Psalm 139: 1- 24

Lord, You have examined me. You know all about me. You know when I sit down and when I get up. You know my thoughts before I think them. You know where I go and where I lie down. You know well everything I do. Lord, even before I say a word, You already know what I am going to say.
You are all around me—in front and in back. You have put Your hand on me. Your knowledge is amazing to me. It is more than I can understand.

Where can I go to get away from Your Spirit? Where can I run from You? If I go up to the skies, You are there. If I lie down where the dead are, You are there.  If I rise with the sun in the east, and settle in the west beyond the sea,  even there You would guide me. With Your right hand You would hold me.

 I could say, “The darkness will hide me. The light around me will turn into night.” But even the darkness is not dark to You. The night is as light as the day. Darkness and light are the same to You.

You made my whole being. You formed me in my mother’s body.   I praise You because You made me in an amazing and wonderful way. What You have done is wonderful. I know this very well.
You saw my bones being formed as I took shape in my mother’s body. When I was put together there, You saw my body as it was formed. All the days planned for me were written in Your book before I was one day old.

God, Your thoughts are precious to me. They are so many! If I could count them, they would be more than all the grains of sand. When I wake up, I am still with You.

God, examine me and know my heart. Test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any bad thing in me. Lead me in the way You set long ago.


Thanks again, Lenore for some great inspirational and motivational Bible verses!

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West Point, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine Parents Clubs – Gift Certificates Available for New Appointee Events

All Naval Academy Parents Clubs, West Point Parents Club, Air Force Parents Clubs, Coast Guard Academy Parent Clubs and Merchant Marine Academies are offered a free subscription to Write2Them service for their new appointee events for the Class of 2019!

All official parent clubs should request a gift certificate as soon as possible. The gift subscription may be used as a fundraiser or as a door prize.

Air Force BCT

Project Write2Them provides service to the families and friends the incoming class of 2019 at the U.S. Air Force Academy, West Point – U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy,  U.S. Coast Guard Academy and all the Merchant Marine Academies. Service is also available at all military basic training and boot camp locations.

“Mail Call is simply the best part of a cadet’s, plebe’s or midshipman’s day”, says Helen Simmons, Executive Director, “we make it easier for parents and friends to write daily letters.”  In addition to parents, other family members and friends can use the account,  so their loved ones can receive lots of positive support during this very difficult training period.

Parent Club Presidents should contact hsimmons@write2them.net for more information and to request a gift certificate.

Project Write2Them is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization.

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USPS and Project Write2Them – You Tube podcast

I had a lot of fun working with the USPS (United States Postal Service) to create this podcast.  We added some images and turned it into a video podcast.

This link will take you to the You Tube video http://youtu.be/o1dEZiVhLTc .

Let us know what you think!

usps_logo_Small

helen and agnes small

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First African-American Marine Officer – Frederick C. Branch

As we come to the close of Black History month, it is fitting to recognize a pioneer in the integration of our U.S. military with the story of the first African-American Marine Corps Officer, Frederick C. Branch. Branch’s story is an important part of our nation’s history and the history of the U.S. Marine Corps.  Written by Collin Hoeferlin, Communications Specialist for MarineParents.com and recently published in their newsletter, this article caught my eye because my Dad was a rifle range instructor at Parris Island during this time and mentioned training the Montford Marines while he was there, perhaps he even trained Recruit Branch!

If you are a Marine, part of the Marine Corps family, a history buff or currently have a ‘Poolie’ (new recruit) in boot camp at either Parris Island MRD or at San Diego MRD , you will want to read and share this inspirational story.

Remember to join other Marine Parents at http://www.marineparents.com and their site for those at boot camp at http://www.recruitparents.com. MarineParents.com is a support organization for parents of Marines and Marine Recruits (Poolies) and is a 501 (c) 3 public charity.

Frederick C. Branch

The Marine Corps, more so than any other branch of America’s military, values and embraces its history. Beginning in boot camp, every Marine is educated on the Corps’ proud and storied past as they learn what it means to be part of such a prestigious organization. In the spirit of the value the Marine Corps places on its history, we wanted to give you, Marine families and supporters, an opportunity to embrace and learn about this part of Marine Corps legacy as well. In this piece, we take a further look at the first African-American officer in the United States Marine Corps – Frederick C. Branch.

Background

Frederick Clinton Branch was born in Hamlet, North Carolina, in 1922, the son of an African Methodist Episcopal Zion minister. After graduating high school in New York, Branch enrolled at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC, before transferring to Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While enrolled at Temple, Branch received his draft notice from the US Army in 1943 and reported to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, for basic training.

Frederick C. Branch

Frederick C. Branch being pinned with his 2nd Lt. bars by his wife, Camilla “Peggy” Branch. (USMC photo)

Marine Corps Career

After reporting to Fort Bragg for induction into the Army, Branch was chosen to become a Marine and was sent to the nearby Camp Montford Point for Recruit Training, becoming one of the more than 20,000 Montford Point Marines (African-American Marines who underwent separate, segregated Recruit Training at Camp Montford Point between 1942 and 1949.) After Recruit Training, Branch applied for Officer Candidate School (OCS), but was denied due to his race and was sent to serve with a supply unit supporting operations against the Japanese in the Pacific instead.

While serving in the Pacific, Branch’s performance earned him a recommendation for OCS from his commanding officer. He was then sent to Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, to receive his officer’s training in the Navy’s V-12 program, the only African-American candidate in a class of 250. At Purdue, Branch made the dean’s list and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant on November 10, 1945. As World War II had already concluded, 2nd Lt. Branch went into the Marine Corps Reserve.

During the Korean War, Branch was re-activated, commanding an antiaircraft training platoon at Camp Pendleton, California. Branch was discharged from active duty in 1952 and returned to the Reserve. Three years later, in 1955, having reached the rank of Captain, Branch retired from the Corps due to ongoing discrimination and promises for advanced training were not kept.

Post-Marine Corps Life

In 1947, Branch had received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Temple University. After retiring from the Marine Corps, he taught at Dobbins High School in Philadelphia for more than three decades, retiring in 1988. In 1999, Branch’s wife of 55 years passed away. Six years later, in 2005, Captain Frederick C. Branch passed away after a short illness and was buried at Quantico National Cemetery in Quantico, Virginia. He was 82 years old.

Legacy

Frederick C. Branch’s legacy is not to be understated. While the eventual integration of the Corps was inevitable, brave, determined, pioneering men such as Frederick Branch were crucial in speeding that process along. In the years since Branch became the first African-American Officer in the Marine Corps in 1945, a number of other African-American milestones have been reached in the Corps. In 1948, John E. Rudder became the first African-American officer in the regular Marine Corps (Branch was an officer in the Reserve. In 1968, 1st Lt. Vernice Armour became the first African-American female combat pilot in any branch of the American armed forces. And, perhaps most visibly, three of the last four Sergeant Majors of the Marine Corps (14th Sgt. Maj. Alford L. McMichael, 15th Sgt. Maj. John L. Estrada, and 16th Sgt. Maj. Carlton W. Kent, respectively), as well as current Sgt. Maj. Ronald L. Green, have all been African-American Marines.

Thank you, Collin for this insight into Marine Corps history and the impact of Frederick C. Branch on the Corps today.

Semper Fi!

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How to Survive When Your Boyfriend goes to Boot Camp?

If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend heading off to basic training or boot camp, you will find this blog helpful and interesting.

Written by a young woman whose boyfriend went to Parris Island for Marine Corps Boot Camp this past Fall, she offers some great ideas for surviving his time away. https://morelacethanace.wordpress.com

Remember to make sure that lots of letters of support get to your loved one during boot camp and basic training and check out Project Write2Them to make it easier!

Semper Fedelis,

Helen

Semper Fedelis is the Marine Corps motto and means always faithful or always loyal.

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13 Fun and Interesting Facts About July 4th

Here are some fun and interesting facts about the 4th of July holiday that you might want to share with your family and your loved ones who are at basic training or boot camp today.

As we celebrate with backyard cookouts and fireworks, it is appropriate to reflect on our Founding Fathers and their heroism and to be thankful for our loved ones who are currently serving in our military or who are at basic training or boot camp.

1. Why do we celebrate July 4th as a holiday? On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, setting up the original 13 colonies.

2. What is 2.5 million? The estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation in July 1776.

3. What is 318.6 million? The current estimated number of people living in the USA.

4. What is 56? The number of signers to the Declaration of Independence.

5. Who was the first signer of the Declaration of Independence? John Hancock, President of the Second Continental Congress, was the first signer. This merchant by trade did so in an entirely blank space making it the largest and most famous signature — hence the term John Hancock, which is still used today as a synonym for signature.

6. Who were the oldest and youngest signers? Benjamin Franklin (age 70), who represented Pennsylvania, was the oldest of the signers. Edward Rutledge (age 26), of South Carolina, was the youngest.

7. Two future presidents signed the Declaration of Independence, John Adams (second President) and Thomas Jefferson (third President). Both died on the 50th anniversary of signing the Declaration (July 4, 1826) within hours of each other. President James Monroe also died on July 4, 1831.

8. One of the United States’ patriotic songs, “Yankee Doodle” was originally sung by British military officers prior to the Revolution as a means to mock the disorganized American colonists who fought alongside them during the French and Indian Wars.

9. Americans consume about 155 million hot dogs on Independence Day alone; it is the biggest hot dog holiday of the year.

10. The oldest, continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States is the 4th of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island; it began in 1785.

11. The Fourth of July was not declared a national holiday until 1941.

12. Both the Philippines and Rwanda celebrate July 4th as a day of liberation. In Southeast Asia, it is known as “Republic Day” and Rwandans celebrate “Liberation Day.”

13. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson are responsible for the bald eagle as the national bird; Benjamin Franklin wanted it to be the turkey.

These fun and interesting facts are from the U.S. Census Bureau www.census.gov and www.cleveland.com .

 

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Service Academy Parent Clubs eligible for Write2Them Gift Certificate

Project Write2Them is pleased to announce that they will offer to each Service Academy parents club a gift certificate for a free subscription for service during the 2014 summer basic training at the U.S. Military Service Academies and all U.S. Merchant Marine Academies. All official parent clubs should request a gift certificate, which they may use as a fundraiser or as a door prize at their Class of 2018 New Appointee events.

Project Write2Them provides service to the families and friends the incoming class of 2018 at the U.S. Air Force Academy, West Point – U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy,  U.S. Coast Guard Academy and all the Merchant Marine Academies. Service is available at all military basic training and boot camp locations.

“Mail Call is simply the best part of a cadet’s, plebe’s or midshipman’s day”, says Helen Simmons, Executive Director, “we make it easier for parents and friends to write daily letters.”  In addition to parents, other family members and friends can use the account,  so their loved ones can receive lots of positive support during this very difficult training period.

Parent Club Presidents should contact hsimmons@write2them.net for more information and to request a gift certificate.

 

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Bible verses for Your Recruit at Basic Training

During basic training, military recruits are able to attend worship services. This is the one hour during the week that these young men and women are able to relax, sit and not have to worry about the DI (Drill Instructor) or MTI (Military Training Instructor) bothering them. I suspect that many of these recruits nod off to sleep not because the sermon is boring or that they are not interested, but simply because they are exhausted.

No matter what domination, religious services at the training locations are supportive and welcoming places of refuge from the intensity of training. It is truly a mission to minister to these recruits, when they are under so much stress, homesick and tired.

While your recruit doesn’t have much time to read, you may choose to add some Bible passages to your letters.

New Additions:

“The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)

 

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews, 11:1)

“You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2 Tim:2:3)

“With my God, I can scale a wall” (Psalms 18:29B)

“What can mortal man do to me?” (Psalms 56:11)

“Be still and know I am God” (Psalms 46:10)
“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” (Psalm 91:11-12)

“Do whatever is in your heart, for the Lord is always with you.”
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. “(Proverbs 29:18)

“Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people.” (Colossians 3:23)

“For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.” (Deuteronomy 20:4)

“The things that are impossible with men are possible with God”.(Luke 18:27)

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

“And we pray this order that you may life a life worthy of the life worthy of the Lord and my please him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.” (Colossians 1:10-12)

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grew tired and weary, and young men stumbled and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40)

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

“I thank Jesus Christ my Lord, who has given me strength, that He considered my faithful, appointing me to His service.” (1 Timothy 1:12)

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

“3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” 1 Philippians 3-6)

“12 Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal;[a] but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Beloved,[b] I do not consider that I have made it my own;[c] but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly[d] call of God in Christ Jesus.” (3 Philippians 12-14)

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

I hope you find your favorite passage in the collection above. If not please, add your favorite and help us grow this resource for other parents and spouses with a loved one at basic training.

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Incoming Class of 2017 at the U.S. Military Service Academies

Project Write2Them is gearing up for another great summer of providing service to the families of the incoming class of 2017 at the U.S. Air Force Academy, West Point – U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

During cadet and midshipmen basic training, these young men and women will forgo the use of cell phones and computers for 6-8 weeks and start their journey to become officers in our armed forces. “Mail Call is simply the best part of their day and we make it easier for the families to stay in touch by turning their emails into letters from home,” says Helen Simmons, Executive Director. Families can add friends to their account, so their loved ones can receive lots of positive support during this very difficult training.

Project Write2Them is pleased to announce that they will offer to each Service Academy parents club a gift certificate for a free subscription for service during the 2013 summer basic training at the US Military Service Academies. All official parent clubs are welcome to request a gift certificate, which they may choose to raffle off as a fundraiser or simply use as a door prize. Club Presidents should contact hsimmons@write2them.net for more information and to request a gift certificate.

The Class of 2017 begins basic training at the service academies on the following dates:
Cadet Basic Training at the US Air Force Academy (USAFA) – June 27th
Plebe Summer at the US Naval Academy (USNA) – June 27th
“BEAST” Cadet Basic Training at West Point (USMA) – July 1st
Swab Summer at the Coast Guard Academy – July 1st.

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