The Ultimate Blog Party

Ultimate Blog Party 2012Who doesn’t like a party? So glad you stopped by. Come on in and stay awhile. Just like putting on a name tag, let me know that you were here and leave a comment, like LYMTYK on Facebook, or follow on Twitter or Pinterest. I would love to visit your blog too!

Love You More Than You Know honors our military and their families. I am the mother of a veteran and am so proud to share stories about our military heroes. As you browse through the site, you will read wonderful stories of courage, honor, and sacrifice. You might start with these stories. Just click on a picture.  Looking forward to meeting you. Have fun at the party!   Janie

                                                    

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Letter Writing Campaign by Middle School Students

As the mother of a veteran, I was delighted to speak to 300 middle school students in the Launch program at my parish, Church of the Holy Angels in Chagrin Falls, Ohio this past weekend. The 6th, 7th, and 8th graders started a new service project to show gratitude to our troops.  Besides a letter writing campaign thanking soldiers for their service, students are collecting items to send soldiers who may not be receiving any mail.

Packages will be sent through our local USO center. Students stood and said the names of their family members, past and present, who served or are serving our country. Students continue to pray for our troops safety.

Love You More Than You Know:Mother’s Stories About Sending Their Sons and Daughters to War

Here are pictures of 11 of the 45 troops and their moms from our book, Love You More Than You Know, in an Animoto video. May God bless our troops and bring them safely home.

Love You More Than You Know:Mother’s Stories About Sending Their Sons and Daughters to War.

Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program Sponsored by the National Guard

Battle Buddies Szerdy, Hinson, and Popow at Post-deployment Reintegration Retreat, Quail Hollow

My guest columnist is Katherine Harris Szerdy, mother of Sgt. Katelyn Szerdy. Katherine recently had two of her children deployed at the same time. We thank God that both are safely home.

On July 10, families of 180 soldiers from the Ohio Army National Guard 112th Engineering Battalion welcomed home their loved ones after their 12-month deployment to Afghanistan.  Unlike previous wars, today’s military is offering greater support to deployed men and women and their families.

The National Guard Joint Services Support, a relatively new organization within the National Guard, coordinates two post-deployment retreats as part of the “Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program,” whose mission is to provide family support during the entire deployment cycle.

Families join their soldiers at these retreats scheduled 30-days and 60-days after their return from theater.  Free childcare is provided while spouses or parents attend breakout sessions on PTSD–what it looks like, stress management, relationships, finances, and veterans benefits.  Both of the reintegration retreats for the 112th are held at Quail Hollow Resort in Concord, Ohio, and the National Guard picks up the entire tab, including meals.

“I was extremely impressed with the efforts of the NGJSS to offer these retreats for the families at no cost.  I don’t know of any other branch of the military, which offers such support.  I would really like to see some long-term studies done on these soldiers and their families to see if they actually have an easier time with reintegration than those military personnel who don’t get this benefit.”It seems that the National Guard is doing all they can to live up to the Joint Services Support motto:   “Stronger Relationships Mean a Stronger National Guard.”

Thank you Sgt. Katelyn and the soldiers from the 112th Engineering Battalion for your service. Welcome home.

Books and Cooks

Madison Public Library is hosting its Books and Cooks event (6111 Middle Ridge Rd. Madison, OH- 440-428-2189) tonight from 6-8 pm. I will be one of the local authors there signing books. Come on over and say “Hello” and sample food from local restaurants.

Wave the Flags the 3/25 is Home!

Several moms wrote stories about their Marines from the 3/25 in Love You More Than You Know.  These brave troops have their boots on the ground at home after seven months of deployment! The second wave of Marines from the 3/25 will return at the end of March.

Suffering heavy casualties on their previous tour in Iraq, we are so grateful that our prayers have been answered and all have returned safely from Afghanistan.

Watch this emotional video from Fox 8 as families are reunited. A young father meets his baby son for the first time saying there is nothing better than  holding him and kissing him in person! Welcome home and thank you for your service.

3/25 Homecoming

Afghanistan: Mike Bowersock’s Blog

Mike Bowersock’s blog  says ” thanks to the Ohio National Guard 112th Engineer Battalion for letting us tag along and take a small peak into the lives of those who are helping make our lives better. Thanks. MGB.”

Mike traveled to Afghanistan and will start stories on Febuary 28,2011 about these brave soldiers and their families left behind. Thank you Mike for telling their stories.

How Catholic Digest Brought Us Together

Mary Anne Mayer’s story, My Son The Marine is in this month’s Catholic Digest. The article also tells how we reconnected by sharing stories about our sons’ military service.

Click Soldier[1]to read the story.

Share Your Stories

We would be honored to have you share the stories of your very own heroes! We believe that writing our stories helped us deal with the swirling emotions we felt when our sons and daughters were deployed.

Please go to the Welcome tab at the top of the page for information on telling us your story. Katherine is the mother of two soldiers. Her story is about her daughter’s deployment and what it is like to live a year without your daughter in your arms. God bless our servicemen and women. Bring them safely home to those who love them.

A Year Without by Katherine Harris Szerdy

Thursday Janurary 27, 2010 On Oprah

Check out Thursday’s show on Oprah: The Bravest Families in America with First Lady Michelle Obama, Tom Brokaw and Bob Woodward.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of our book, Love You More Than You Know will be donated to charities benefiting wounded veterans:

ReMIND.org, a Bob Woodruff Foundation initiative for injured service members and their families.

The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund will also receive donations.