Calling All “Elfs” – “Holiday Cheer at Walter Reed 2016”










(pssst… Can you believe this is our 10th year of “Elfie-ness”?! 😯 )

It’s that time of year!

Marine Moms-Bethesda is gearing up for “Holiday Cheer at Walter Reed”!

“Holiday Cheer” has been one of the events over the years that really touches the heart.  Seeing support come in during the holidays from all over the country for the men and women we serve when they are so far from home is very humbling. They really appreciate your efforts. Thank you for your consideration.

This year’s “Holiday Cheer” is two parts:

  1. We are collecting hand-written Holiday cards to give to wounded, injured and ill in-patients and out-patients, and
  2. Adopting two single Marines and a Marine and his family through the Wounded Warrior Battalion at Walter Reed.

We’ll deliver the cards (screened and bundled) and gifts for the Marines (bought from a “wish list”) in December to our contact at Walter Reed and they’ll take it from there.

Would you like to be a Marine Moms-Bethesda Elf?  If so, here’s how!

Ho Ho Ho!
A card from one of our “Elfs from Our Lady of Victory school in Baltimore, 2013.

“Holiday Cheer Cards”



Final postmark deadline for the “Holiday Cheer” cards is Saturday, November 19th.  (The address is below.)


  • Card bundles will be given to combat wounded, injured and ill out-patients and in-patients (all service branches) at Walter Reed.
  • We would like to make up a minimum of 50 packets.  If we have enough cards, we’ll make up more.
  • Any card packets leftover after the initial delivery  at Walter Reed will be distributed at other military and VA hospitals in the DC area.




Please follow our Guidelines for sending cards:

  • Flat-faced cards are best. Please, no glitter or anything that can fall off and get into open wounds.  They can cause secondary infections.  Cards with glitter, flocking, or glue that dries and cracks and falls off, or little beads, etc., cannot be used.
  • All cards are screened.
  • No need to put the cards in individual envelopes.
Marine Moms-Bethesda Holiday Cheer cards
This is what the bundles look like before we tie them up with ribbon.





  • Please use your first name only inside the card.  For security reasons we do not pass on names and addresses to either the recipient or the sender.
  • No enclosures, please.
  • Please rubber band individual signatures together to help making sorting easier for us.  Example: 6 different people wrote their own cards with just their own signature on it, and all of the cards are sent in one box or envelope.  Please bundle each persons’ cards separately.  Our “Elfs” will love you for this!
  • If you wish acknowledgement your cards were received please include an email address. (We won’t spam you, promise!)

hollybunchMailing address:

Marine Moms-Bethesda

P.O. Box 22

Cordova, MD 21625

Remember! The final postmark date is Saturday, November 19, 2016.


“Marine Elfiness”

This year we are again adopting a Marine and his family, and two single Marines at Walter Reed.  It’s difficult to pin a Marine down for a “wish list” but we’ll do our best by working though our contact at the hospital!  When the date is closer we’ll have a list for Santa and will shop accordingly to bring some “Holiday Cheer” to them.

If you’d like, you can read about last year’s Holiday Cheer here:

Holiday Cheer 2015

Questions?  Please contact Jane:



August 21, 2016 – 4th Floor: Thank You, “Elfs”!

Luncheon room, ready to serve

Sunday’s luncheon was really nice.  Dina and Dina were a pleasure to work with.  Yes, who would have thought there would be two        Dinas?  With help from HM2 C. from the WIFLO we were ready to serve a half hour early.  Thank you, Ladies. Job well done!

Dina, Dina, and the Patriotic Afghan from Andria__Aug21_2016
Dina, Dina, and Andria’s Patriotic Afghan








Brother Dave popped in to say hello, always nice to see him.  He’s so dedicated to the patients at Walter Reed.

Our “Elfs”, along with our volunteers, are dedicated, too.  They are what makes the luncheons so special for the people we serve.

August 21, 2016 niftie-gifties

Quilts and pillowcases from Bayside Quilters of the Eastern Shore in Easton, and Olde Kent Quilters in Chestertown, MD keeps giving LOVE to the patients and their families. Continue reading August 21, 2016 – 4th Floor: Thank You, “Elfs”!

Third Annual American Heroes Dinner

7/26/2016 update :

Table 19, Honoring the Sacrifice 3rd Annual "American Heroes Dinner" July 15, 2016. Photo courtesy of Mr. John Shackleford.
Table 19, Honoring the Sacrifice 3rd Annual “American Heroes Dinner” July 15, 2016. Photo courtesy of Mr. John Shackleford.








By all accounts, we’ve heard the “3rd Annual American Heroes Dinner” hosted by Honoring The Sacrifice Foundation was very enjoyable!

It was an honor to be involved as a sponsor for three VIP tables through the generosity of an anonymous donor.  Thank you for supporting this organization that is helping to better the lives of those who have sacrificed so much on our Nation’s behalf.

“Elfs” in the Chattanooga area helped us get the word out and fill the seats.  Thank you!

Special thanks to Mr. John Shackleford for sharing his personal photographs from the dinner with us.  It was nice being able to place the names on our guest list with pictures of our guests.

To view the official pictures from the event please visit Honoring the Sacrifice’s American Heroes Dinner photo gallery by clicking HERE.

=================================================== Continue reading Third Annual American Heroes Dinner

Have you taken the “American Legion Women Veterans Survey”?

Women Veterans:

The American Legion’s women veterans survey ends on Monday, July 18, 2016.

The survey will be used to make specific recommendations for congressional appropriations, Veterans Affairs programs and facilities, and increase public awareness of issues facing women veterans.

All information from the survey is confidential and submitted anonymously.

And yeah, this nosy mom checked it out before posting the link. Go for it, ladies!

Learn more about the American Legion HERE.

Love and Hugs,


Liberty 5 Memorial Ride, honoring SPC “Mikey” Yates, Aug. 28, 2016 in East New Market, MD


Army Gold Star Mom Shawna is organizing a bike show, ride, and silent auction in honor and memory of her son,  SPC “Mikey” Yates and his “Brothers”,  SPC Jacob Barton, Sgt. Christian Bueno, MAJ Matthew Houseal, and CMDR Charles Springle.

SPC Yates and his fellow Soldiers were killed in Iraq 11 May 2009 at a Camp Liberty stress clinic when another soldier opened fire on them.

Let’s come on out, Delmarva, and show our support, help two good causes, and have a great time!

Date: August 28, 2016 

Place: Johnny’s Tavern, East New Market, MD

Registration begins at 9:00 AM; KSU at 11:00 AM

$15.00 per bike

Proceeds to benefit Hogs and Heroes MD Chapter 8 and Heroes Haven, Inc. in Sharpetown, Maryland.

For more information please contact Shawna: 410-310-2552 or visit Liberty 5 Memorial Ride’s Facebook page for updates by clicking HERE.

It’s shaping up to be an awesome event, hope you can join us!

Liberty % Memorial Ride

List of Organizations Supported by Mr. Trump’s Veteran Fundraiser

Curiosity got the best of this Marine mom…

Here they be:

Donald J. Trump Veteran Fundraiser


Achilles International Inc.

American Hero Adventures

Americans for Equal Living

America’s Vetdogs – The Veterans K9 Corps Inc.
$75,000 Continue reading List of Organizations Supported by Mr. Trump’s Veteran Fundraiser

Memorial Day 2016

Never forget their names.

USS Arizona Memorial 50th anniversary commemoration ceremony
Memorial Moment
Retired Army Command Sgt. Maj. Sterling R. Cale, a 90-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor, takes a moment in the shrine room of the USS Arizona Memorial at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, May 27, 2012, during a ceremony to honor the 1,177 service members who lost their lives during the attack on the USS Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Holzworth










Never forget the sacrifice.

Chad Warner – “If You’re Reading This”

Never forget the families.

Carter Welcomes TAPS to Pentagon
Equine Interaction
Children pet a horse belonging to the Army during an event for members of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, or TAPS, at the Pentagon, May 27, 2016. TAPS supports people who have lost a family member serving in the military. DoD photo by EJ Hersom









Many Thanks to Vince, Third Battalion, First Marine Regiment dad and now an Army dad, “Keeper of the List” of our sons’ Brothers, our “sons by another mother”, who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the three deployments our 3/1 sons were active duty.

Never Forgotten
May God rest their souls and comfort their families. Some gave all…thank God for our Veterans.   ~Vince

3/1 Fallen 2004-2007

Fallujah Apr 04- Jan 05

L/Cpl.Joshua S. Dickinson 12/12/04
L/Cpl. Joseph T. Welke 11/20/04
L/Cpl. Phillip West 11/19/04
Cpl. Bradley T. Arms 11/19/04
L/Cpl. Luis Figueroa 11/18/04
L/Cpl. Michael W. Hanks 11/17/04
Sgt. Christopher T. Heflin 11/16/04
L/Cpl Louis W. Qualls 11/16/04
L/Cpl Jeramy A. Ailes 11/15/04
L/Cpl. James E. Swain 11/15/04
Cpl. Dale A. Burger 11/14/04
Cpl. Andres H. Perez 11/14/04
L/Cpl Benjamin S. Bryan 11/14/04
L/Cpl Justin D. McLeese 11/13/04
Sgt. Byron W. Norwood 11/13/04
Sgt. Morgan W. Strader 11/12/04
Cpl. Theodore A Bowling 11/11/04
L/Cpl. Nicholas D. Larson 11/09/04
L/Cpl. Juan E. Segura 11/09/04
L/Cpl. Abraham Simpson 11/09/04
L/Cpl. Nathan R. Wood 11/09/04
S/Sgt. Russell L. Slay 11/09/04
Cpl. William C. James 11/09/04
Cpl. Brian Oliveira 10/25/04
Cpl. Steven A. Rintamaki 09/16/04
Cpl. Nicanor Alvarez08/21/04
Pfc. Fernando B. Hannon 08/15/04
Pfc. Geofery Perez 08/15/04
Sgt. Juan Calderon Jr. 08’02/04
Cpl.Terry Holmes 07/10/04
Sgt. Krisna Nachampassak 07/10/04
Pfc. Christopher J. Reed 07/10/04
S/Sgt. Trevor Spink 07/10/04

Haditha Sep.05- Apr.06

Sgt. Jeremy E. Murray 10/16/05
L/Cpl. Miguel Terrazas 10/29/05
Cpl. Justin Watts 01/14/06
L/Cpl Brandon Dewey 01/20/06
Cpl. Carlos Arrelanopandura 01/20/06

AO ANEHIEM TQ Apr. 07- Nov. 07

L/Cpl. Steven A. Stacy 07/05/07
L/Cpl. Shawn V. Starkovich 07/16/07
Cpl. Sean A,Stokes 07/30/07
Cpl. Travis M. Woods 09/12/07

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:13

Never Forgotten.

May 22, 2016 – 4th Floor: Armed Forces Day Luncheon

Reserved parking sign in front of the hospital.
OH we were so happy to see this sign in front of Walter Reed! It meant we didn’t have to find a place in the parking garage. Thank you, IWFLO, for your thoughtfulness!


What did you do for Armed Forces Day?

After a short break, we’re back at Walter Reed!






Armed Forces Day weekend, our first luncheon of the year.

Thank you to those who serve – our Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen, who sacrifice everyday and keep our country safe!

Armed Forces Day poster, May 26, 2016
President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.
On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days.
The single day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense. (Credit:

















The Team:

Suzan and Jane.  Guy had to pass at the last minute.  Please send good thoughts and energy to him, he’s still recovering from bronchitis.

SSG from the IWFLO was a tremendous help to us setting up and then later, packing up.  You are so appreciated by us! Thank you!

It’s always an adventure with Suzan, a seasoned veteran Marine Mom whose son was with the Airwing when the Osprey was first being tested.

We first met in March 2006 at the Patriot Guard Mission for LCpl. Matthew Snyder.  Matt’s mom, Julie, came on board MM-B a few years later, does the snack bags for us and helps at luncheons when she’s able.  Small world, isn’t it…

Setting up the luncheon room.

There wasn’t time to take many pictures.  Once we got everything upstairs things were pretty busy setting up, and then the folks began coming in.  Continue reading May 22, 2016 – 4th Floor: Armed Forces Day Luncheon

#ExploreVA Facebook Chat: VA Serves Women Veterans

Passing on for Women Veterans from the VA site.  For the direct link, click here.


Explore  VA  Facebook Chat: VA Serves Women Veterans
  • March 22, 2–3 p.m. Eastern time

If you’re one of an estimated 2.2 million women Veterans, we want you to know that VA is continually enhancing facilities, training staff and improving access to services to meet your needs.

If you served in any branch of the U.S. military, you may have earned VA health care benefits and be eligible for other VA benefits that can help you buy a home, earn a degree, advance your career, and do more in life after the military.

Join VA, representatives from Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and others in the Veteran community for a #ExploreVA Facebook Chat to learn more about VA health care and benefits for women Veterans.

Participating is easy: Visit the VFW Facebook page on March 22 at 2 p.m. EST. The discussion will begin at 2 p.m. in the comment section of the post announcing the Facebook Chat. Register here or click the button to the right to receive an e-mail reminder the day of the event. You will need a Facebook account to view the discussion and ask questions.

During the chat, you can:

  • Learn why more than 500,000 women have enrolled in VA health care, and why many are choosing VA over private health care providers.
  • Get answers to your questions from VA and VFW experts.
  • Hear how VA continues to change to better serve women Veterans.

Event starts in 6 days


Learn how VA benefits help millions of Veterans and their family members adjust to post-military life during our online events!

VA and LinkedIn partner to provide resources for service members and Veterans

Are you active duty or a Veteran looking for ways to expand your skills? Are you transitioning or planning your transition into the civilian world?

Passing on info a Marine Veteran sent me…

“Back on Veterans’ Day LinkedIn ran a promotional about this and I signed up.  There aren’t a lot of courses applicable to me but are some that would for others.”

The VA and LinkedIn are partnering to offer service members and Veterans one year of access to LinkedIn’s professional development site,, at no cost. offers online video tutorials and training in the following areas: developer, design, web, photography, business, education, 3D + Animation, Video, and Audio + Music

Additionally, LinkedIn offers service members and Veterans job-search resources and a one-year premium job seeker account on its own site at no cost. Interested? Start here to set up your account:

You can read the VA’s blog post for more details here.

Or just jump in at the links above. also offers a 10 day free trial for those who aren’t Veterans or in the military and would like to check it out before committing to it, as well as monthly plans.  Looks interesting!

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”  ~Anthony J. D’Angelo

Stay Young!

‘Til next time,


Bringing "Comforts of Home" to Bethesda (now Walter Reed NMMC) since 2005.