December 25, 2015

Thank You America for Helping America’s #1 Cause This Christmas!

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We dedicated our 2014 Christmas  Drive to Mrs. Beverly Smiley USAR. She loved her Soldiers, their families and all of our Nations military and their families with all her heart and she showed it everyday. She and her husband SFC Smiley Ret. was always there day and night helping the Soldiers and their families and anyone from any branch of the military in need… You were the first USAR volunteer FRG person Yellow Ribbon America met and ten years later we can say without any doubt you were the best! We miss your great selfless heart, your great sense of humor and we know God has proudly welcomed you home.

Orange County, California recognizes Yellow Ribbon America & Operation Christmas For Our Troops & Their Families…

December 12, 2015

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December 12, 2015

MEDIA ADVISORY

Orange County, California: Known for its beautiful Beaches, Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm and unique cutting edge surfing style Orange County, California recognizes its local grassroots community outreach effort “Yellow Ribbon America”. Led by Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors Todd Spitzer the OC Board in a 5-0 unanimous vote once again Recognizes and passes a Special Christmas Resolution for Orange County’s, California home based Yellow Ribbon America & “Operation Christmas For Our Troops & Their Families”…

Yellow Ribbon America

By the Authority of Chairman of the Orange County Board Supervisors the following Proclamation is hereby issued:

WHEREAS, thousands of American men and women are stationed at locations around the world in service to our country, and whether it be as operational support or in facing combat, each of them is fighting for and defending our freedom; and

WHEREAS, it is very difficult for military families when their loved one is deployed as these family members must manage the daily routine that continues in the absence of their loved ones while they also cope with their concern for their well-being and anxiously await their safe return; and

WHEREAS, Now in it’s 11 Year Anniversary; Yellow Ribbon America’s “Operation Christmas For Our Troops & Their Families” has mobilized its annual grassroots effort  to help deliver Christmas support to America’s local military Units and their families; and

WHEREAS, The effort, which supports the National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty deployed and at home military Units and their families, began in November 2004 and has grown every year since is now the largest community based Christmas Holiday support effort for both our Nation’s military Units and their families; and

WHEREAS, The growth of Operation Christmas for Our Troops & Their Families has expanded operations which now includes special Christmas Parties for Americas Military and military families at Knotts Berry Farm located in Buena Park, California; and

WHEREAS, Yellow Ribbon America remains dedicated to serving our Nation’s Military and now hosts dozens of Christmas drive drop off locations around Orange County and even more around California and the rest of the United States for continual support for our Military and their families;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED, THAT THE ORANGE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS do hereby congratulate and thank Yellow Ribbon America for its service to the residents of Orange County and the efforts they make to improve the lives of United States Military Men and Women and their Families.

Dated this 8th day in December, 2015

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Give back to America’s Best this Christmas!

December 10, 2015

Santa Clause preparingHelp me and my good Elves with Operation Christmas For Our Troops & Their Families help American’s Military & their Families this Christmas Season! And make sure to support Your local Military Unit’s and their families! 

If you don’t know how, contact my Elves at Yellow Ribbon America their website is http://www.YellowRibbonAmerica.org. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

December 3, 2015

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A brief History of the Christmas holiday

The first time the birth of Jesus Christ was attributed to the date December 25 was in the 4th century, according to early Roman history. Early celebrations of Christmas are thought to have derived from Roman and other European festivals that marked the end of the harvest, and the winter solstice.

Some customs from those celebrations that have endured include decorating homes with greenery, giving gifts, singing songs, and eating special foods.

The holiday developed further with the legend of St. Nicholas. Although much of his history is unconfirmed, the man who became St. Nicholas lived in the 4th century and is believed to have been a bishop in Asia Minor.

Many miracles attributed to him are dubious at best. Nevertheless, some countries named him their patron saint. He also is considered the patron saint of, among others, children (for protecting them), sailors (whom he reputedly saved at sea), and the poor (to whom he generously gave gifts).

In his honor, the Feast of St. Nicholas was marked on December 6 and gifts given the night before. The tradition was well established in many European countries by the 12th century. Eventually, because St. Nicholas’ Day and Christmas Day are so close together, their traditions generally were combined.

St. Nicholas took on different personas in different countries. For example, The Netherlands have Sinter Klaas; Father Christmas gives gifts in Great Britain; Père Noël does the same in France; and in Germany St. Nicholas has had many names including Klaasbuur, Burklaas, Rauklas, Bullerklaas, and Sunnercla, although Father Christmas is becoming more popular. In the United States, the Dutch settlers’ Sinter Klaas evolved into Santa Claus.

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Other Christmas facts:

  • The story of Jesus Christ’s birth is told in New Testament’s gospel of Saint Luke and Saint Matthew.
  • Some Christians celebrate Jesus Christ’s coming on January 6, the Epiphany, when they believe he was baptized.
  • The song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” refers to the 12 days between Christmas and the Epiphany.
  • The word Christmas comes from the Old English Cristes maesse, which means Christ’s mass.
  • The word X-mas is sometimes used instead of Christmas. In Greek, X-is the first letter of Christ’s name.
  • The German word Christkindl, which means Christ child, eventually turned into Kriss Kringle.
  • Santa Claus generally was depicted as an elf until 1931, when Coca-Cola ads portrayed him as human-sized.
  • Rudolph didn’t become Santa’s ninth reindeer until 1939 when an advertising writer for the department store Montgomery Ward created him.

Sources: Encarta 96 Encyclopedia, World Book, Encyclopedia Brittanica

 

Support For US Military At Record Lows…

December 1, 2015

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YRA Breaking News!

Support for America’s Military “Still in Uniform” and thier families are at all time record lows!! While the Pentagon reports that there are more than 40,000 private organizations supporting America’s Veterans, US Military and US Military families alone… Over 95% of the 40,000 private organizations are Veteran support organizations and NOT Military and Military family support organizations!

We here at Yellow Ribbon America believe it is important to support our Veterans. But when our Country is Still at War against  Islamic Terrorism our fellow America’s that are still wearing the Uniform of the United States Marine Corps, United States Army, United States Navy, United States Air Force and United States Coast Guard and their families in our Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard Components; they must also come first!

America our STILL in Uniform US Military and their families Need your help and support this 2015 Christmas!

Make a Difference Today!

The vital Community relationships that Yellow Ribbon America helps bring together during the Christmas Holiday Season help America’s Military Units and their families get Vital Community Support Year Round! This is the whole reason the Yellow Ribbon America Campaign for America’s Military & their Families and Operation Christmas For Our Troops & Their Families was created!

The BEST Support is Local Community Based Support!

Merry Christmas!

Preperations Are Now Underway!

November 27, 2015

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Preparations Are Now Underway for the 11th Annual “Operation Christmas For Our Troops & Their Families”.

Our annual Christmas Holiday effort to give community based support for America’s deployed and at home military members and their families. The primary goal of Operation Christmas For Our Troops & Their Families is to uplift the morale of America’s military and their families during the Thanksgiving & Christmas Holidays through local community based help and support.

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Over the last 11 years many of our fellow American’s have helped us collect toys, bicycles, gift cards, DVD’s, clothes, calling cards, Christmas cards, food and care packages for America’s military Unit’s and their families, their loved ones deployed overseas and food for various Unit Christmas Parties.

Now this year you too have the opportunity to help and support your local military Units and their families this Christmas Season!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26, 2015

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1863 President Lincoln’s Proclamation of Thanksgiving

Celebrated shortly after Lincoln committed his life to Christ, and celebrated while America was still in the midst of its Civil War. It was this proclamation which eventually led to the establishment the U.S. national Thanksgiving holiday.

This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America’s national day of Thanksgiving. During his administration, President Lincoln issued many orders similar to this. For example, on November 28, 1861, he ordered government departments closed for a local day of thanksgiving.

Sarah Josepha Hale, a 74-year-old magazine editor, wrote a letter to Lincoln on September 28, 1863, urging him to have the “day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival.” She explained, “You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition and authoritive fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution.”

Prior to this, each state scheduled its own Thanksgiving holiday at different times, mainly in New England and other Northern states. President Lincoln responded to Mrs. Hale’s request immediately, unlike several of his predecessors, who ignored her petitions altogether. In her letter to Lincoln she mentioned that she had been advocating a national thanksgiving date for 15 years as the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book. George Washington was the first president to proclaim a day of thanksgiving, issuing his request on October 3, 1789, exactly 74 years before Lincoln’s.

The document below sets apart the last Thursday of November “as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise.” According to an April 1, 1864, letter from John Nicolay, one of President Lincoln’s secretaries, this document was written by Secretary of State William Seward, and the original was in his handwriting. On October 3, 1863, fellow Cabinet member Gideon Welles recorded in his diary how he complimented Seward on his work. A year later the manuscript was sold to benefit Union troops.

By the President of the United States of America.

Washington, D.C. October 3, 1863

A Proclamation of Thanksgiving and Praise.

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful years and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the Source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the field of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than theretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward, Secretary of State

Source: Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler et al.

November 16, 2015

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We are with you and we morn your great loss…

November 13, 2015

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120 Dead in Paris attacks, Worst since WWII

By LORI HINNANT and GREG KELLER

PARIS (AP) — A series of attacks targeting young concert-goers, soccer fans and Parisians enjoying a Friday night out at popular nightspots killed at least 120 people in the deadliest violence to strike France since World War II. President Francois Hollande condemned it as terrorism and pledged that France would stand firm against its foes.

The worst carnage was at a concert hall hosting an American rock band, where scores of people were held hostage and attackers ended the standoff by detonating explosive belts. Police who stormed the building encountered a bloody scene of horror inside.

Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said as many as five attackers were killed, though it was not clear how many there were altogether and how many, if any, were still at large. Other officials said seven attackers had been killed and that police were searching for other possible accomplices.

Authorities said the death toll could exceed 120 for at least six sites, including the national stadium and a tight circle of popular nightspots.

Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced that he was closing the country’s borders, although officials later said they were just re-imposing border checks that had been removed after Europe created its free-travel zone in the 1980s.

Metro lines shut down and streets emptied on the mild fall evening as fear spread through the city, still aching from the horrors of the Charlie Hebdo attack just 10 months ago.

The attack unfolded with two suicide bombings and an explosion outside the national stadium during a soccer match between the French and German national teams. Within minutes, according to Paris police chief Michel Cadot, another group of attackers sprayed cafes outside the concert hall with machine gunfire, then stormed inside and opened fire on the panicked audience. As police closed in, they detonated explosive belts, killing themselves.

Hollande, who had to be evacuated from the stadium when the bombs went off outside, later vowed that the nation would stand firm and united: “A determined France, a united France, a France that joins together and a France that will not allow itself to be staggered even if today, there is infinite emotion faced with this disaster, this tragedy, which is an abomination, because it is barbarism.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, although jihadists on Twitter immediately praised them and criticized France’s military operations against Islamic State extremists.

In addition to the deaths at the concert hall, dozens were killed in an attack on a restaurant in the 10th arrondissement and several other establishments crowded on a Friday night, police said. Authorities said at least three people died when the bombs went off outside the soccer stadium.

All of the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be publicly named in the quickly moving investigation.

“This is a terrible ordeal that again assails us,” Hollande said in a nationally televised address. “We know where it comes from, who these criminals are, who these terrorists are.”

U.S. President Barack Obama, speaking to reporters in Washington, decried an “attack on all humanity,” calling the Paris violence an “outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians” and vowing to do whatever it takes to help bring the perpetrators to justice.

Two explosions were heard outside the Stade de France stadium north of Paris during a France-Germany exhibition soccer game. A police union official, Gregory Goupil of the Alliance Police Nationale, whose region includes the area of the stadium, said there were two suicide attacks and a bombing that killed at least three people near two entrances and a McDonalds.

The blasts penetrated the sounds of cheering fans, according to an Associated Press reporter in the stadium. Sirens were immediately heard, and a helicopter was circling overhead.

France has heightened security measures ahead of a major global climate conference that starts in two weeks, out of fear of violent protests and potential terrorist attacks. Hollande canceled a planned trip to this weekend’s G-20 summit in Turkey, which was to focus in large part on growing fears of terrorism carried out by Islamic extremists.

Emilio Macchio, from Ravenna, Italy, was at Le Carillon restaurant, one of the restaurants targeted, having a beer on the sidewalk, when the shooting started. He said he didn’t see any gunmen or victims, but hid behind a corner, then ran away.

“It sounded like fireworks,” he said.

France has been on edge since January, when Islamic extremists attacked the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had run cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, and a kosher grocery. Twenty people died, including the three attackers. The Charlie Hebdo attackers claimed links to extremists in Yemen, while the kosher market attacker claimed ties to the Islamic State group.

This time, they targeted young people enjoying a rock concert and ordinary city residents enjoying a Friday night out.

One of the targeted restaurants, Le Carillon, is in the same general neighborhood as the Charlie Hebdo offices, as is the Bataclan, among the best-known venues in eastern Paris, near the trendy Oberkampf area known for a vibrant nightlife. The California-based band Eagles of Death Metal was scheduled to play there Friday night.

Among the first physicians to respond to the wounded Friday was Patrick Pelloux, an emergency room doctor and former Charlie Hebdo writer who was among the first to enter the offices Jan. 7 to find his friends and colleagues dead.

The country has seen several smaller-scale attacks or attempts since, including an incident on a high-speed train in August in which American travelers thwarted an attempted attack by a heavily armed man.

France’s military is bombing Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq and fighting extremists in Africa, and extremist groups have frequently threatened France in the past.

French authorities are particularly concerned about the threat from hundreds of French Islamic radicals who have travelled to Syria and returned home with skills to stage violence.

Though it was unclear who was responsible for Friday night’s violence, the Islamic State is “clearly the name at the top of everyone’s list,” said Brian Michael Jenkins, a terrorism expert and senior adviser to the president of the Washington-based RAND Corporation.

Jenkins said the tactic used — “multiple attackers in coordinated attacks at multiple locations” — echoed recommendations published in the extremist group’s online magazine, Dabbiq, over the summer.

“The big question on everyone’s mind is, were these attackers, if they turn out to be connected to one of the groups in Syria, were they homegrown terrorists or were they returning fighters from having served” with the Islamic State group, Jenkins said. “That will be a huge question.”

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Associated Press writers Angela Charlton, Sylvie Corbet, Jerome Pugmire, Samuel Petrequin, Jamey Keaten and John-Thor Dahlburg contributed to this story.

To all of America’s Veterans, Thank you!

November 11, 2015

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