Operation Gratitude Salutes Military Children Year-Round with Signature Battalion Buddy Program

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One last hug for Jordan

Military children like Jordan are gifted their very own Battalion Buddy
Military children like Jordan are gifted their very own Battalion Buddy

Lucy and her Battalion Buddy

"Whenever I look at my (Battalion Buddy) bear, it makes me think of my Dad. When he's gone it makes me feel good inside to look at my bear."
“Whenever I look at my (Battalion Buddy) bear, it makes me think of my Dad. When he’s gone it makes me feel good inside to look at my bear.”

Los Angeles, April 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The strength of our Armed Forces does not solely rest with those in uniform. Throughout our Nation, many young heroes of all ages also shoulder the burden of Service as they  hug their deploying parent or guardian one last time before an extended period apart. These little ones will spend milestones and holidays far away from their loved one, celebrating only with a brief phone call or virtual chat. Our Nation expresses its gratitude and appreciation for these little warriors by recognizing them throughout April with the Month of the Military Child.  

Meet Jordan, a 2-year-old from Fort Campbell in Kentucky. who is under the careful watch of a nanny as both of her parents are deployed to Eastern Europe. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, little Jordan won’t be reunited with her parents until the end of the year.  

Brave little ones, like Jordan, are gifted their very own “Battalion Buddy” by Operation Gratitude, a non-profit organization dedicated to saying “Thank You” to all who serve.  These signature bears are hand-filled by Volunteers across the country and provided to the children of deployed Service Members. Operation Gratitude’s cuddly Battalion Buddies wear tags that say, “I’m your Battalion Buddy, and I’m here to keep you company while your Mom or Dad is away. I’m so excited to join your family!”

“Whenever I look at my (Battalion Buddy) bear, it makes me think of my Dad. When he’s gone it makes me feel good inside to look at my bear” – Lucy, eight years old from Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  

“I was very excited to get my Battalion Buddy and had sad tears a little bit. I slept with my Battalion buddy while my Dad was away” – Carson, six years old Fort Stewart, Georgia. After receiving his Battalion Buddy, Carson was inspired to become an Operation Gratitude Volunteer during his Dad’s deployment. Alongside other Volunteers, Carson hand-stuffedfilled Battalion Buddies so that when “other children have their Battalion Buddies, they will feel how I feel.”   

“Military families, especially the children, need to know that the American people remember and care about them too,” said Carolyn Blashek, Founder of Operation Gratitude. We are grateful for their strength and courageous service, and honored to support them with our soft and cuddly Battalion Buddies.”  

To learn more about Operation Gratitude and how you can give back to inspiring children like Jordan, Lucy, and Carson, please visit: Military Families – Operation Gratitude

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CONTACT: Annie McDougle-Stamey Operation Gratitude [email protected] 

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