Each year as the page on the calendar turns from October to November, I find myself spending more time reflecting on all the things I’m thankful for in my life.
And I think it’s fitting that November is the same month we honor our veterans, those who have bravely served, and in many cases given their lives, so that we may enjoy the freedoms we have in this country. Having just completed an election, whether your candidates of choice won or not, we owe a debt of gratitude to those who fought and continue to fight valiantly to allow us each the ability to fill out that ballot and wear that “I Voted!” sticker on our chest.
If you are looking for some ways to thank those who have served and are currently serving our country, the Anaheim Ducks are offering some ways that fans can partner with them to honor these members of our United States Armed Forces this month.
The Ducks and Wild Wing got things kicked off last week by making a visit to Veterans First in Santa Ana with a delivery of nonperishable food items and toiletries as collected by the Anaheim Ducks staff and Honda Center staff. Veterans First provides services such as housing, meals, counseling and job training to our community’s homeless and at-risk veterans.
A great way to get your kids involved in honoring our military members during the month of November is through letter writing. Ducks fans and their families have the opportunity to send personal letters to members of the U.S. Armed Forces and with the help of Operation Gratitude, these letters will be sent to those currently deployed and serving our country around the world. Here are some tips for lettering writing as suggested by the Anaheim Ducks website:
• Start your letter with a salutation, such as “Dear Service Member” or “Dear Hero”.
• Express your thanks for their selfless service.
• Avoid politics completely and religion in excess; however, saying you pray for them, is wonderful.
• Share a little about yourself.
• Talk about life back home, including Sports, Weather, Pets, Family, Hobbies, Music, and Movies.
• Adults: If interested, include your contact information (mail or email) so the letter/package recipient may reply. Children: FIRST NAMES ONLY and no addresses please.
• Consider drawing or painting a picture instead. (Please avoid glitter!)
The Ducks will be collecting the letters until November 30. They can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in the mail to Anaheim Ducks Community Relations, 2695 East Katella Avenue, CA 92806. Operation Gratitude sends thousands of care packages each year containing such things as snacks, entertainment items and personal letters to individually named U.S. Armed Forces members in hostile regions, to their children left behind and to other military support organizations such as Wounded Warriors.
If you’d like to bid on a limited-edition camouflage Ducks jersey and other military-themed items, visit AnaheimDucks.com beginning November 26. The winning bidder of the jersey will be able to have it personalized through the Anaheim Ducks Team Store. All funds raised from the auction will benefit Defending the Blue Line, an organization that makes it possible for children of military members to play the game of hockey by providing equipment, hockey camps, and financial assistance.
So as we approach Thanksgiving, take some time out to recognize, honor and thank these heroes who have done so much for us and this great country of ours.
I don’t think we can ever thank them enough.
**Photos courtesy of the Anaheim Ducks