Letters from Hollywood – Kevin Sorbo

Ladies this is one handsome dude! Kevin is known for playing the hero “HERCULES.” If you are a Science Fiction fan, you might remember him on the very popular series “ANDROMEDA” paying Captain Dylan Hunt. Kevin’s brother has had a successful career with the Army and we thank him for his service to our nation. We thank Kevin and the other wonderful actors who have taken the time to write these letters and for caring about those who serve.

Remember that May is National Military Appreciation Month. The next time you see a soldier, thank him for his service and if you have the means, buy him a meal.

Debbie Gregory, CEO
MilitaryConnection.com – The Go to Site

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Kevin Sorbo

Kevin Sorbo

Dear Troops,

A big shout out to all you guys and gals who are keeping America free. Not everyone in Hollywood is an idiot. Granted most of them are. But there is a group of us actors that appreciate all you have done and are doing to keep America safe. Mere words cannot describe the amount of praise I have for each and every one of you. I cannot imagine what you have to go through on a day-to-day basis, but have heard many stories from my kid brother who served 21 years in the Army. Lt. Col. Scott Sorbo. He retired a few years ago, but I am so proud of his service to his country.

I may have played Hercules on TV, but play is the key word. For those of you who are fans, I appreciate it. And I hope my silly little shows give you an hour of escape from the real world. But know that I am no hero. You are. Each and every one of you. God bless you all. My prayers are with you everyday. Please kick the asses of those whack jobs over there and come home safe. I will be over to visit sometime in 2010. Looking forward to meeting you.

My highest regards,

Kevin Sorbo

Bringing the War Home – How Spouses and Children Serve, Too

Recently, I received an email urging me to discuss something that I think holds a keen relevance to the current situation our country is in. The battle that the families of deployed soldiers fight daily while the world continues to move on around them is an under-appreciated topic. I think we often overlook the amount of energy the wives, husbands, children and families of active duty soldiers spend supporting their loved ones’ efforts, let alone just trying to get along each day. While the cameras of news stations are constantly rolling in the Middle East, bringing us visions of destruction and turmoil, the families of those soldiers are left to fill in the blanks and pick up the pieces of their own lives, while pushing forward for their loved ones.

There are no camera vans parked outside their homes, no front-page headlines and no recurring top stories on the evening news covering their efforts. And yet they are doing so much to serve their country here, while their family members serve thousands of miles away.

The extent to which spouses and children lend their creativity and skill to supporting their country is astounding, especially in a time when the waters are anything but still. These home front soldiers organize charity walks and events, hold informational meetings, provide support and comfort to others in similar situations and reach out to their communities in ways the average American wouldn’t even consider. They are full-time American patriots…and that’s just their side job.

They live two lives: a “normal” life and a soldier’s family life. The “normal” life consists of school, work, having lunch with friends, taking the dog for a walk, making dinner and standing in line at the grocery store among a plethora of other mundane details.

The other life is engulfed in planning, budgeting for events, making phone calls, creating flyers, email blasts and invitations, talking to vendors and finding loans all while raising children as a single parent or battling loneliness in a large and empty house. The war these families face may not be on a battlefield, but the turmoil they harbor is likely similar on some scale.

Whether or not this is news to you, there are things you can do to help support these struggling Americans:

  • Participate in events that support our troops’ return home, or that support them while they are away from their families.
  • Donate your time or available resources to a local spouse support organization, either by helping distribute flyers or volunteering at a local walk or event.
  • Donate your skills to organizations supporting the efforts of military families, i.e. offer free accounting services or financial advice, or volunteer your graphic design talents to help create posters and other advertising materials.
  • If you have the means, the next time you see a soldier out to dinner with his or her family, pick up the tab. It is an easy way to show your support for the efforts of the family as a whole.

No matter what you do, remember that the spouses, children and families of active American soldiers are fighting a battle of their own, one that goes unnoticed by most. They are the remnants of a war many Americans don’t see or feel, but they feel it every day.

Take notice. Lend a helping hand. It makes a world of a difference.

Sincerely,
Katy Cryns
MilitaryConnection.com Staff Writer

Letters from Hollywood – Karri Turner

Karri Turner

Actor/Actress: Karri Turner

Karri Turner is a huge troop supporter who has many overseas visits to our troops. Her USO visits have included Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, South Korea, Cuba, and she’s a regular at Walter Reed and Bethesda. Karri is best known for her 9 seasons on the CBS series “JAG.” for her role as Lt. Harriet Sims from 1997-2005. She had recurring roles on “Heroes,” “The X-Files” and “Caroline in the City.”

Dear Warrior,

I want to take a moment to tell you how much your sacrifice means to me and my family. I am so incredibly proud to know you have my back. I have been overseas to visit you 10 times and am headed back for #11 for the New Year…so I’ve seen first hand the bravery and patriotism of our fighting men and women.

I want to also thank your family for their continued support and sacrifice. After visiting many of them in Walter Reed and Bethesda, I feel the pain and pride of your relatives. For every second you have served our great Nation, I thank you. For every time you might have been scared or worried…I praise you for your bravery. For standing up for freedom…I love you and support you. You stood up when we needed you and for that there could never be enough “thanks.”

I’m proud to have met many of our military…I pray that you stay safe. I believe in you and your mission. I AM SO VERY PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN WITH YOU ON MY SIDE!!!!

Lots of love!!

Karri Turner

Nice to meet you!

Katy Cryns

Katy Cryns

Hello!

My name is Katy Cryns and I am a new staff writer for MilitaryConnection.com. I will be producing some fascinating content geared toward your interests and would like to tell you a little about myself.

I have been working professionally as a copywriter/editor for a little under 6 years, providing my expertise in the writing realm through a variety of mediums including web content, business documents and advertisements, and magazine articles. Writing seems to grasp me at every turn, pulling me in with its tentacles and wrapping me up in its beautiful chaos. It is a true passion of mine and I hope to continue doing it until my fingers can no longer press a key or hold a pen.

So let’s get writing! I want to know what is on your mind, what concerns you, what makes you proud to be an American and what keeps your head up in these rough times. What do you want to know about the military? What questions keep creeping and crawling into your head at night about military loans and educational benefits? What is it that you want to know?

Speak to me, America!

Sincerely,

Katy Cryns
inquiries@localhost

Letters from Hollywood – Sean Astin

Sean Astin - He played Sam in the mega-hit "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. His other films include "Rudy," "Memphis Belle" and "The Goonies."

Did you know that actor, Sean Astin of “Goonies” fame served for a decade as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army? There are so many wonderful actors who support those who serve. MilitaryConnection.com commends them. Read this latest “letter from Hollywood” to our troops. Let us know what you think and make a comment.

I served for 10 years as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army. It was an incredibly rewarding way to learn about the Civilian and Military leadership of our Armed Forces. I remember doing what you are doing now for Armed Forces Radio Network in Germany. Denzel Washington and I were standing in full battle tank gear in El Paso Texas recreating a scene from Persian Gulf 1 and I shoved a microphone in front of him and said, can you say Merry Christmas to the troops. He stood tall with a fat cigar in his hand surrounded by a bunch of Australian Sheridan’s made up to look like T-72’s and started talking to the guys in the field, hunkered down (in Bosnia I think) like they were having a beer together around a barrel fire.

Civilian Aides can only serve for 2 five-year terms, which I did under Sec. Army’s during the Clinton and Bush administrations. I remember having a little conflict with one of them who was disparaging of “Hollywood.” I reminded him of the extraordinary legacy that movie stars and studios have had working along side the fighting men and women of our country.

Your and my experience working on Memphis Belle is a small example and our personal tribute to the Brave Airmen who gave everything in service of the Army Air corps in the skies over Nazi occupied Europe. Then they went and created the Air Force. Oh, well.

I haven’t been a Civilian Aide since 2005 and the thing I miss the most is visiting our bases and installations all over the country and abroad. The time I’ve spent with the troops is sacred and I’ll never forget it. Even the MRE’s please God stay away from the “Corn beef Hash” or you’ll never leave the latrine, or whatever they call it now. I see these movies about Iraq and Afghanistan and I feel like a hundred year old man… You know, “these kids today with their funny clothes and their rock and roll music.”

I get so excited when I think about what it must feel like on a dawn patrol, knowing that you are a trillion miles from home, fighting for freedom and facing danger, surrounded by your team…my heart sticks in my throat when I think about the soldiers I spent time with at Walter Reed and those who are there now. I feel a swell of pride and loneliness and gratitude when I picture children away from a parent and a parent in uniform missing a loved one at home on the Holidays.

But I spent enough time with the soldiers to know that they are professionals. They are the greatest professional fighting force in the history of the world. And I’m not just saying that. I was a History and English major at UCLA. I’d take our guys, blindfolded, over a Roman Centurion any day, I mean just get a load of their costumes. These guys and female warriors know what their job is and they do it with strength and honor.

Please relay my thanks!

Letters from Hollywood – Joe Mantegna

Here is another Letter From Hollywood from Joe Mantegna who stars on Criminal Minds. Joe is a big supporter. He was a host at a prior Bob Hope USO Golf Tournament & Telethon. MilitaryConnection.com was the Military Media sponsor and did a live webathon of the that MilitaryConnection.com. Joe also does lots of voice overs. He is best known as the voice of Fat Tony on The Simpsons.

Joe Mantegna

To our men and women in the military:

I just wanted you to know that within the Hollywood community there are a number of us who make no bones over the fact that we support your efforts 110%. Personally I’ve never been much of a politico, and for that reason I’ve been an independent voter my entire life. Part of that lies in my belief that there are some issues too important to be tainted by any party affiliation or ideology but should be supported strictly based on the fact that it’s the right thing to do. It’s no wonder there are many films and t.v. shows that have characters in them who have occupations such as soldiers, fire and police personnel and those in the medical profession. The public has a fascination with them. I think the reason is because subconsciously the public has an attraction toward heroes. And by heroes I mean individuals who have chosen as their life work to put themselves in harms way to help others. This is what a soldiers primary job is; keep the peace, insure freedom. You are the last people I have to remind that freedom ain’t free. And too often you all have to pay that ultimate price. I just wanted you to know you have a multitude of us out there who will do their best to make sure anyone who listens will also understand that. Thank you for your service. God bless you one and all.

Joe Mantegna

Letter from Hollywood – Support for our Troops

Actors D. B. Sweeney and Cuba Gooding, Jr. have launched a new initiative to support US troops overseas called Letter From Hollywood.

The initiative aims to get messages of support from the entertainment industry to the troops stationed away from home.

D.B. Sweeney:

“It’s been my very good fortune to meet so many of you, the men and women in uniform serving our country,” writes D.B. Sweeney, whose films include “The Cutting Edge,” “Gardens of Stone,” “Memphis Belle,” and “Eight Men Out.”

“I’ve seen firsthand the great work you do all around the world under dangerous and often very challenging conditions. I’m extremely grateful for the sacrifices you and your families make every day to keep America safe. I’ve come across many other people in show business who also support you. Quietly appreciate the admirable reasons you volunteered and the ideals you uphold. And that’s what Letter From Hollywood is all about. Giving some of these folks a way to reach you. Every week, you’re going to hear from a different person. Actors, writers, directors, technicians. Patriots. People who GET what you do. And want to say thanks. Because what you’re doing deserves it.

Cuba Gooding Jr is the first star to put pen to paper:

“To my men and women warriors who put their lives on the line everyday so that our glorious nation stays free and true I say simply, thank you!” he writes. “Not just for what you’ve sacrificed for our nation but also for what you’ve done so that our freedom as Americans is properly represented to the rest of the world. Every day is glorious when I can give my children, Spencer, Mason, and Piper the assurance that their future as free Americans is safe when being fought for by men and women who represent the best sense of what this country stands for. And I am proud to stand as a witness to the dedication, courage, and above all HONOR you all bring to us here at home.”

Military Kids & Teens – Applications for Operation Purple Camp being accepted NOW.

This is a wonderful opportunity for the children of Military.  Priority is given to children who have had a parent deployed between December 2009 and December 2010 and the camps are nationwide as well as in Germany and Guam.  This also provides parents a little time to catch up and have some time to themselves.  MilitaryConnection.com salutes The National Military Family Association for all they do and for this wonderful program to empower military children.

Operation Purple Program

When you hear “Operation Purple camp” you should think: Kids Serve Too! The National Military Family Association’s Operation Purple camps are a time for having fun, making friends, and reminding military kids that they are the Nation’s youngest heroes.

The Operation Purple program was created in 2004 to fill a need identified by military parents to “help us help our kids.” The mission of the Operation Purple program is to empower military children and their families to develop and maintain healthy and connected relationships, in spite of the current military environment. We do this through a variety of means, including the healing and holistic aspect of the natural world. The program is joint or “purple”—encompassing all Service branches, including the National Guard and Reserve.

In the 2004 Operation Purple pilot season, the National Military Family Association was able to implement 12 different Operation Purple camps serving close to 1,000 children. Since then the Operation Purple program has grown and expanded and by summer’s end close to 30,000 military children and teens will have been served. The Operation Purple program also includes leadership camps for teens, family retreats at the national parks, and camps geared to address the needs of children and families of our nations wounded service members.

Donations for Operation Purple camps are now supporting our 2011 camps.

Please direct questions regarding the Operation Purple program to OPC@militaryfamily.org.

Search for camps in your area: http://www.militaryfamily.org/our-programs/operation-purple/

Applications may be submitted through April 16th.