Theodore's World: Operation Gratitude Honors LTG Moore and Sends Off 300,000 Packages

« Happy Chanukah | Main | Football Week Fourteen »

December 08, 2007

Operation Gratitude Honors LTG Moore and Sends Off 300,000 Packages

Lt. General Moore joined the Volunteers on the Assembly Line as an additional 8,500 packages were prepared and shipped to the troops

Operation Gratitude Honors LTG Moore and Plans 300,000th Package news


Operation Gratitude presented the first annual NATIONAL FREEDOM AWARD to retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Hal Moore at the National Guard Armory in Van Nuys, California on December 1, 2007. Joined by We Were Soldiers Once and Young co-author Joe Galloway and the movie adaptation's director Randy Wallace, hundreds of Military personnel and volunteers gathered to pay tribute to the General's renowned career. Several Cavalry Veterans who served under Moore's command surprised the General, and arrived wearing their revered Stetsons, the hallmark of the Cavalry.

"This experience was a most moving and sincere gathering of Americans, drawn together out of deep love and respect for each other, for our troops and for our nation," said Lt. General Moore. "I accepted the National Freedom Award on behalf of all those in harm's way who ensure our continued freedom and to whom we pay great tribute."

Serving as the ceremony's distinguished speaker, Lt. General Moore deeply touched the crowd as he recounted his dramatic return to the scene of the 1965 Battle of Ia Drang in Vietnam.

Eric Weider, publisher of the Armchair General and Operation Gratitude Magazines relayed part of General Moore's moving speech in his online forum that night:

"General Moore became overcome with emotion and tears as he recalled visiting LZ Xray with Joe Galloway and others of his troopers in 1993.

At night he walked the perimeter and recalled the men in their foxholes and trenches..."Don't worry Colonel they won't get through us" he heard them say. Painfully, now in 1993, Moore knew which of those brave young men would be killed in the next morning's assault by the North Vietnamese Army.

As Moore stood by the ant hill that marked his command post he vividly recalled the dead men laying under their ponchos with only their boots poking out...awaiting evacuation.

Lt. General Moore stood on that hallowed field for a minute of silence to remember all the dead of the conflict on both sides.

That night a meteor shower of several hundred shooting stars went on for about 10 minutes. Moore and Galloway believe those stars were the souls of all those lost at Ia Drang."

Throughout the day at Operation Gratitude , General Moore met and spoke with hundreds of soldiers, Marines, airmen, and volunteers.

One soldier's response typified the sentiments of most attendees. "I read We Were Soldiers in Boot Camp. I just couldn't wait to meet Lt. General Moore." While shaking hands, another soldier excitedly told the General, "I have read every history book that exists about you. I would serve under you any day!"

General Moore joined Operation Gratitude volunteers on the Assembly Line as they continued their Holiday Drive to ship 70,000 care packages by year-end to troops deployed in combat zones.

"I will be forever moved by the greatness of Americans," states Moore. "It was very uplifting to stand shoulder to shoulder with more than 800 volunteers to assemble care packages for our troops. For all the ugliness that comes at times, there are great examples of genuine goodness - and Operation Gratitude is that many times over."

A special gift was included in every care package this year-General Moore's new book,A General's Spiritual Journey, a compelling treatise describing his spiritual journey from childhood to his golden years. Moore also autographed copies of the "Journey" for the volunteers to take home.

"This day changed my life," said one volunteer. "I am so inspired to do whatever I can to show my admiration and respect to the members of our military."

Marine Staff Sergeant Scott Richardson, who has served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, flew in from Michigan for the opportunity to meet General Moore.

"While deployed, I received an Operation Gratitude gift box, as did many of the soldiers here today. Opening that box felt like I had a little piece of home with me out there in the desert," Richardson stated. "After spending the day with Lt. General Moore and so many hundreds of energized volunteers, I am motivated to go back to Iraq or Afghanistan to do my part-again-to do whatever it takes to defend our freedom. These Americans are the reason I love serving my country," he said.
300,000th Care Package to be Shipped December 15!

On December 15, 2007, Operation Gratitude will celebrate another milestone: the shipment of it's 300,000th care package since its inception! Several Military and political dignitaries, celebrities and corporate sponsors will be in attendance as the Volunteers assemble the 300,000th package and learn of the special gift to be included. The 200,000th and 250,000th packages contained the keys to new vehicles.

Operation Gratitude is the California- based 501 (c) (3) non-profit, all-volunteer organization that sends care packages of snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions such as Iraq and Afghanistan, and on military ships at sea. Its mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member's face and to express to all troops the appreciation and support of the American people. Operation Gratitude receives the names of troops from commanders in the field who see the positive impact of care packages on their troops' morale; the organization sends more than 100,000 care packages every year. For safety and security, all assembling of packages occurs at the Army National Guard armory in Van Nuys, California. Since its inception in March, 2003, Operation Gratitude has shipped more than 295,000 packages to American troops deployed overseas. For more information about Operation Gratitude, please visit: or call: 818.909.0039

Wild Thing's comment........

I absolutely love hearing about the various things being done to honor those that have served, our awesome Veterans and our fantastic troops serving now. Each person deserves our thanks and to show them our appreciation.

Posted by Wild Thing at December 8, 2007 12:55 AM


Tidings of comfort and joy... comfort and joy!

Posted by: darthcrUSAderworldtour07 at December 8, 2007 02:13 AM

I love Operation Gratitude. It is an example of many Americans snubbing the gloom and doom of politicians, media and certain celebrities. These Operation Gratitude volunteers express an optimism and gratitude that far more typifies the average productive American.

Lt Gen Hal Moore is a soldier to the nth degree. He was widly known and respected before the Battle of the Ia Drang. He was tough without having to act tough. He took care of and respected his troopers. In return they trusted and respected him.

I did not know about his new book. Time to get a copy and I am really glad to see copies being given to the deployed troops. I have heard Gen Moore speak. He is a humble man of great faith and patriotism. He is always full of praise for the men that served with him.

Posted by: TomR at December 8, 2007 03:54 AM

Excellent post! A Great man Lt. General Moore and a valiant effort!
Support out Troops!

Thanks for the add California Girl! The new CA pic looks sweet..and hello fellow Californians!

Posted by: patrickdaniel at December 8, 2007 08:19 AM

Darth that is the perfect way to describe it.

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 8, 2007 11:13 PM

Tom how wonderful that is so neat that you got to hear him speak. That would be a very special memory to have for sure.

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 8, 2007 11:18 PM

Hi Patrick and I thank you, love your blog.

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 8, 2007 11:19 PM

I don't know about perfect, but God love's you for what you and Bob Hope did for our Vietnam troops ... and for what you do now!

Posted by: darthcrUSAderworldtour07 at December 9, 2007 11:34 PM