September 3, 2015

Our Military Kids

Support for military families can come from all sorts of places—even softball fields. On July 30th, 12 teams of insurance/reinsurance professionals from various companies came together in Central Park to play in the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s (IICF) annual softball tournament. Even the rain didn’t put a damper on this event, where teams still raised $50,000 for Our Military Kids—a very special charity which provides grants and support to hundreds of children with parents deployed or injured in the military. The proceeds from IICF’s event went toward fees associated with athletic, fine arts, and tutoring programs for these children.

Two of the children, ages 13 and 14, threw out the first pitches at the event. The boys’ father is currently deployed in the Middle East, and they both received grants made possible by IICF’s tournament. Insurance industry professionals came together on this day to support military children, like these great boys, in this incredibly moving day.

Working with organizations like Our Military Kids, IICF provides grants, volunteer service, and leadership throughout its divisions. Since it was founded over 20 years ago, IICF has contributed more than $23.5 million in grants to charities and nearly 200,000 volunteer hours to hundreds of community nonprofits.

This coming October (Oct. 10-17), IICF’s annual Week of Giving will once again bring together volunteers across the country to volunteer with local organizations and projects. With a special appreciation for serving those in our military, volunteers can partake in several projects for military families, including food distribution and participation in a project entitled, “A Million Thanks,” where individuals can write cards, letters, emails, and prayer messages of appreciation for military members, both past and present.

As one of IICF’s most cherished industry events, this softball tournament united individuals from various companies to share in appreciation for those who serve our country and their children. This tournament, along with the other events IICF will host throughout its upcoming Week of Giving, continue to give back to communities and organizations such as Our Military Kids, which support even our smallest heroes.

For more information go to their website here: and Facebook page here:


July 30, 2015

{Giveaway} Reebok Spartan Race

I have 1 free race giveaway to the random winner who comments below. The winner will receive a code emailed to them, from me, that will work one time for any open heat (non-confirmed start time) Spartan Race in the continental US. Winner will be selected on Monday August 3rd. 
Check out their website with lots of news, events, videos, photos and more here:

Plus see where the closest event is to you:

July 24, 2015

Danielsen Homecoming

Welcome Ryan Shedrick (she's a woman, just for reference lol!) a professional photographer based in Jacksonville, NC. She is married to a Marine and they JUST celebrated their 4th year together! She is 100% self taught and loves capturing people's memories and moments! Make sure to check out her website here:

"My first session at Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, NC.... and I couldn't be happier that it was Chad Danielsen's reunion with his family after being deployed! Amanda was referred to me from a fellow photographer in the area and as luck would have it, she was a kindred spirit and an Instagram buddy already! So needless to say, we hit it off! After lots of texting and anxious waiting, it was finally the day! We met at Camp Lejeune early in the afternoon and ... well... waited LOL! That's what a lot of homecomings consist of. Nerves, Excitement, and a whole lot of waiting. And boy was it HOT! After a little running around we settled in the tank ramp and waited. At last we see tanks pulling up and everyone gathers around, pointing and trying to find their loved one. Well much to Amanda's surprise, Chad sneaks up behind us and is squatting there talking to his daughter well before she even noticed! I snapped a photo just in time as she turned around and figured out what was going on! I just love being able to witness and capture these amazing moments for other military wives! I even got to take a few for Amanda's friend who was there to welcome home her boyfriend! Welcome home boys!!!" Thank you Ryan for sharing a little back story and now onto the photos of this hot tamale couple!

Spartan Race on NBC

If you are a fan of this amazing race, be on the look out for their new season to start! They also released a new discount code, TEAM - just sign up 3 friends and you race for free!!! The teammates get $20 off their races as well.

June 11, 2015

Real Letters of Love

Thank you to Mark Subel, Chief Digital Officer of for sharing this site.
Real Letters of Love, Hope & Inspiration Written by Soldiers: A Memorial Day Tribute contains a handful of real letters written by soldiers who served in the Civil War, Vietnam, World War I and the Gulf War:
Even though many war and military stories consist of death and loss in the end, we still come across those that fill our hearts with messages of hope and inspiration.

May 16, 2015

{Vendors} Wynona Benson Photography

Welcome Wynona Benson Photography to A Military Story Vendors! Wynona is a mother of 2 girls who is located in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and available to travel worldwide. She "believes in capturing the moments of lives with photography, the moments that you want to last forever. I specialize in wedding photography, portrait photography, family portraits, & homecoming photography!" Check out her facebook page here: She is also on the Vendor page under photographers here:

February 16, 2015

{Deployment} Landrie Send-off

Please welcome Alysia of Pleasantly Captured Photography. She is a photographer in Jacksonville, NC that specializes in maternity, newborn and baby photography. You can reach her at (917) 583-1008 and see her website here: Thank you Al for sharing this touch story and the emotional slideshow!

"I have to admit when I was first contacted about a send off, I was hesitant. I was hesitant because I personally know how it is to send off a loved one. IT SUCKS! All I could think of was the ugly teary and snotty crying faces I made and wondered how would I be able to approach this. How could I keep a stiff lip while watching this happen before me? I knew this would be a challenge for myself, but I told myself I had to tackle it. I talked to Kearo on the phone and knew that we were a right fit, not to mention we have mutual friends... small world, huh?!

It was a dark and cold morning on Camp Lejeune, but when I met Kearo she was a bubbly as ever! You never would have thought that she was about to send her loved one off. Her husband gathered his gear to drop it off and then we high tailed it inside to warm up. It was loud as families and fellow Marines chatted, but we managed to talk and get to know each other. They were such a loving and fun couple; it really warmed my heart to see them so happy despite what was to come. We then stole away for a few moments so we could get some nice black and whites. I told them to act naturally and snuggle to stay warm or just have small talk. They instantly became their goofy selves and joked around and laughed. My kind of people :)

We then got word that the send off would be pushed back a little longer so we picked up some coffee and doughnuts to pass some time. Once we arrived back at the Unit building we took a stroll to go get warm in the beautiful morning light. The glow and haze it produced was absolutely gorgeous and made a beautiful portrait. After a little more waiting, the busses arrived and you could feel this buzz amongst everyone. Marines who seemed anxious to get their deployment underway and families who wanted to hurry up and send their loved ones off so they can return as soon as possible. I remember looking over to a family on my right and seeing a man wrestle with his children and they all giggling hysterically; everyone got a good laugh out of it.

Marines started to line up in front of the busses and we knew it was time for the final hugs and kisses. As hard as the situation was, there were lots of laughs and smiles and I am truly honored that I was chosen to capture Kearo’s story." 

Instead of images Al has shared their slideshow video which you can find here: or watch here:

February 15, 2015

Kick for Nick program

Kick for Nick program, is a non-profit organization that distributes soccer balls across the country and the world. Kick for Nick was founded by Bill and Shalini Madaras of Wilton, CT in honor of their son Nick, who was killed defending our country as a soldier in the U.S. Army. 

Prior to his death, Nick brought home with him hundreds of photos of happy, smiling children. Realizing the children didn’t have much to play with, he proposed the idea of bringing soccer balls back with him for the second part of his tour. Since 2006, Kick for Nick has distributed more than 45,000 soccer balls globally. 

Thank you to Chandra Johnson-Greene, PR/Marketing Manager of for sharing this.

January 17, 2015

Send Your Vote Home with FVAP!

Voting is a citizen’s most fundamental right. The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) works to ensure Service members, their eligible family members and overseas citizens are aware of their right to vote and have the tools and resources to successfully do so — from anywhere in the world.

How to Send Your Vote Home:
• FVAP Sends customized digital toolkits to overseas advocacy groups and the DoDEA
• FVAP Provides information to overseas citizen and voting advocacy groups
• FVAP Actively uses social media to share voting information

For more information visit:


January 8, 2015

K9s For Warriors

I'm a sucker for animal videos so when Chandra Johnson-Greene, PR/Marketing Manager of contacted me, I had to share it!!!

Chandra shares, "In this video, you'll learn about K9s For Warriors, which is dedicated to providing service dogs to warriors suffering from post-traumatic stress and/or traumatic brain injury as a result of their military service (post 9/11). Their goal is to give a new “leash” on life to both rescue dogs and to military vets who were injured – helping them live with independence and dignity. You'll meet two heroes who have graduated from the program and their dogs to find out what life was like before and how the program has made a difference in their lives." To read more click here: