Operation: Love Reunited | FREE Photography Session for Families of Deployed Soldiers


If you or someone you know is a military family, you can score FREE Photography Sessions and Photo Gifts with an offer called Operation: Love Reunited.

Operation Love Reunited is a Non-Profit that set up families dealing with deployment, with a photographer located worldwide. They capture a photography session for those who are going to be deployed, who are deployed or for those who are returning from a deployment.

  • Pre-Deployment or Deployed – 15 4×6 Prints and 2 Dog Tag Necklaces
  • Homecomings:  15 Images with Print rights up to 4×6

How it works

OpLove captures sessions for those loved ones that are in pre-deployment, and mid-deployment – they will send the prints from the session directly to your loved one overseas.

They will also coordinate with you when your loved one arrives from deployment – to capture the homecoming in a unique photo session that you will score in 15 digital images.

You can read their page for more details and share if you or someone you know is experiencing a deployment within their family.

Session Request

Head over & request a session by completing the Session Request form here; you can also check the OpLove Photographer Map to determine if there is a photographer near to you.

If you are a Photographer that would love to be part of their endeavor you can apply on their site here for a small subscription fee.

Photo Credit: Operation: Love Reunited

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FREE National Parks & Federal Recreation Lifetime Lands Pass for Disabled, U.S. Military & Volunteers


If you frequent our National Parks throughout the year with your family, you can score an Annual Pass for as low as FREE depending on what your status is.

If you are Military, or Disabled you can score a FREE National Parks & Federal Recreation Lifetime Lands Pass .. the same pass is also FREE for Disabled, and those who have Volunteered 250 + hours.

The Access Pass admits pass owner/s and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per-vehicle fee areas and pass owner + 3 adults, not to exceed 4 adults, where per-person fees are charged. (Children under 16 are always admitted free.)

Military: Obtain FREE Annual Pass – You can apply in person here to pick up a pass… read here for more.

Disabled:  Obtain FREE Lifetime Pass -  You can apply in person here to pick up a pass…. read here for more.  Access passes can be obtained through postal mail for a fee of $10.

Volunteers: Obtain FREE Annual Pass with 250 hours of Volunteer service with an agency that is part of the Program… read here for more.

For any pass, you can apply in person here.. and bringing the required documentation along with you to request.

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Supporting Wounded Warriors & Medical Heroes through Operation Healing Angel

6-1113tm-vector2-3978Over the last few months, I have shared many ways you can help support the Soldiers who serve, and their families who support them.

From Donating your Expired Coupons, to Writing Letters (which is great for Classrooms!), linking your Fry’s VIP card to Packages from Home, to using your Stockpile to send Care Packages to those who serve overseas, there are many ways you can show your support.

You can also help to support the Wounded Soldiers who are seeking treatment both stateside AND those being treated overseas in our medical hospitals.


Operation Healing Angel is a program that helps to serve wounded heroes and their medical staff in the war zone, and also those treated stateside.

Not only do they collect care packages for those wounded, and their medical caretakers, they also encourage the public to offer comfort through cards and letters.

Although Walter Reed may not accept cards & letters, many hospitals and wounded being cared for at home are open to receiving them – and it would be a great activity for your children, or even for your classroom (if you are a teacher).

In addition to cards and letters, the following items are also appreciated:

  • Flameless Candles for staff and Wounded Heroes
  • Humorous & Spiritual Books to boost morale while they are healing
  • Body Lotion and/or Hand Cream for the nurses and tech personnel
  • Chapstick and/or Lip Gloss for Medical Staff and Patients (which happens due to medication and also cold winter weather)
  • And angel pins for Wounded Heroes & their Staff
  • Pens or Lanyards
  • Drawings, or Banners from Students, or Children
  • Dry Erase Boards and Pens for Communication
  • iTunes Gift Cards
  • Soft Slippers or Socks

Writing a letter or sending a card is more than just signing and sending it off – it’s about giving thanks to those who are suffering from both the Physical and Emotional Toll the War has led them through. Many of them suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, some are battling Physical Wounds as well.

You can send cards, letters and packages to:

Homefront Hugs, USA
Operation Healing Angel (OHA)
1850 Brookfield Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Operation Healing Angel is a 100% Volunteer Organization and although they are not tax deductible, they do work tirelessly to send packages to the troops from what is sent to them – 100% of your monetary donations goes to shipping those boxes to troops (and you can donate here).

Picture Credit: Homefront Hugs

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Military | FREE 5×7 Softcover Photo Book


Many of us did this last year  – and the offer is still available…what a great way to show your love for a Soldier!

You can head on over here to create a 20-page personal photo book and ship it to any APO, FPO, or MPO address for free.

These full-color, 5×7 softcover books fit perfectly in a soldier’s cargo pocket, yet hold over 60 photos. RocketLife prints the books for free, and the USO pays for shipping.

1. Fill out the form to get your promo code and a link to launch the RocketLife software.
2. Load your pictures and see them transformed into amazing layouts.

Please, if you have friends and family who are military feel free to share this post/offer with them – I know firsthand how difficult it is to have a loved one stationed abroad (whether deployed or on a regular duty station) – something like this can mean the world to that person.

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Support our Deployed Troops | Reminder to Link your Fry’s VIP Card to Packages from Home


I posted this last month – but if you missed it, please take a minute to link your Fry’s card today and help out this local Organization based in Arizona.

Over the last few months, I have shared many ways you can help support the Soldiers who serve, and their families who support them.

From Donating your Expired Coupons, to Writing Letters (which is great for Classrooms!), to using your Stockpile to send Care Packages to those who serve overseas, there are many ways you can show your support.

You can also show your support by linking your Fry’s VIP Card to Packages from Home. Packages from Home is a Non-Profit that is dedicated to Service Men & Women overseas.  I worked with them when I was in Army Recruiting and they really are some special folks – because Dave & I both served, these opportunities to give back are very special to both of us.

By following the instructions to link your card here, you can connect your card with their organization – and they, in turn, will receive a percentage of your total shopping bill. You will need to have an email address to link your card, and you can see the instructions by heading to their page.


Packages from Home was a grassroots effort to support who serve troops who are deployed – at no cost to them. They collect donated items from generous people willing to donate – you can see a list of items requested here… and a list of Drop Off Locations HERE as well.

Monetary donations and the small portion they receive from your grocery spending goes to mailing costs to send items to the troops.

More Military Related Posts:

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Supporting the Military Through Expired Coupons

CaptureThose of you who are new to my site may be curious as to what you should do with any coupons that you might not be able to use, that expire – and the great news is that we can use them to support the troops.

For military families who relocate overseas to various locations…the transition can be very difficult.  Enlisted soldiers and their families may find stretching their dollars a real challenge, even more so then those who are based in this country.

We can send those families our expired coupons or….sending them to cooperatives (co-ops) around the nation who can pass them along.

There are several military family support centers overseas who offer coupon exchanges. The military commissaries (grocery stores) overseas accept manufacturer’s cents-off coupons for up to six months past their printed expiration dates.

Some tips for gathering those coupons:

  • Cut and trim the sides of the coupons.
  • Separate the coupons into two major categories - Food (for humans) and Non-Food (pet food would be non-food). Place them in large sealed freezer bags and label.
  • Attach a dollar total of the coupons onto the bag.
  • Prior to sending your coupons, you may want to touch base with whom you are sending them to, to make certain that they do not have any other preferences for you to follow.

I would highly suggest heading over to the Facebook Page “Expired Coupons for Overseas Military” – the page is run by Celeste and Jaime – they work hard to match you up with a military member overseas so that you can send that family your coupons.

You can also join us on our Facebook Community where several of our readers do participate in our couponing adventures all the way from overseas in Japan- who would be happy to be the receiving end of your expired coupons as well.

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Operation Gratitude: Write Letters to Support the Troops (Great for Classrooms)


If you are a teacher, or you know of a teacher who could use this information please feel free to share.

I’m a big supporter of showing our gratitude to the troops – not only did I used to serve, but Dave is still serving……. and many of our friends are still in uniform serving as well.

I have posted several ways you can show your thanks to the troops, from donating to Operation Gratitude, to sending their family expired coupons – this post today is one that you help our children support the Military.

Operation Gratitude encourages classrooms to write letters to those who are serving – teachers can engage the students as a part of a classroom project in Civics, History, Social Studies, Writing Skills, Art and Grammar.

You can read more about doing so here on their page – have students (both younger and those in high school) show their thanks for their selfless service – not only to those deployed, but also to Wounded Warriors, and Veterans.

You can include first names only, the school name, address, and classroom/grade, and send in a large envelope or box to:

Operation Gratitude
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91406

Operation Gratitude sends thousands of care packages each year to troops, Wounded Warriors & Veterans – letters are probably the most meaningful way you can show your support. Read more about their project here.

I don’t currently teach …… but I did send this information with Wendy to school this past month (March) to pass onto her teacher  – am hopeful that her teacher incorporates this into the classroom curriculum in some fashion prior to the end of the year… she hasn’t yet, so I’m hopeful.

We (as a family) wrote letters this week at home and are putting into our Gratitude Boxes that we are sending out this coming week with Chapstick, Candy, Gummies, and random oddities.


Support the Troops | Sending your 6″ Plush Webkinz, Beanie Babies + More

Beanie Babies for the Troops

Photo Credit: Operation Gratitude

If you have Beanie Babies at your house or perhaps your kiddos do, a great way to teach your kids about helping others would be to gather those beanie babies up and donate to the troops… this is something I had my kids do today – I had  my 2 older kiddos (7 and 4) go through their bedrooms to find any little stuffed animals 6″ or less.

Operation Gratitude sends over 100,000 care packages annually to Soldiers serving on deployment. In every care package that goes out, they include Beanie Babies and Webkinz – and many other smaller toys 6” or less in size.

Many of the service members enjoy the Beanie Babies as a symbol of support – for some it provides them something special they can share with children in the villages where they patrol.

They welcome donations of small, stuffed toys (Beanie Babies, Webkinz and more – all 6” and smaller) – you can ship them to Operation Gratitude along with a Donation Form with your package; we’re sending ours with a bunch of Starkist, Carmex, Haribo Gummies + Snickers Bars.

Operation Gratitude
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91406

Tip- head to your post office for a flat rate box – rates vary but are $11 – $14 for one large or large plus box.  You can read more on their site HERE for more information and how to be involved in other areas.

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