May 22, 2014



You could hear them coming like the distant roll of thunder - over 300 motorcycle riders representing the Run For The Wall XXVI, Central Route, rumbling through my home town of Columbia, Missouri earlier this week.   


According to their itinerary, the riders set off from Rancho Cucamonga, California on the 15th of May at 8 am, with stops planned in communities along the route for fuel, meals, ceremonies, and overnight stays, and plan on ending their journey on Memorial Day in Washington, D.C. at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.    


The Run For The Wall's mission is to promote healing among all veterans, their family members, and their friends, to call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action (POW/MIA), to honor the memory of those Killed in Action (KIA) from all wars, and to support our military personnel all over the world. How lucky for Columbia to be on the list of stops!  


I wasn't able to make it out to welcome the riders this year, but several years ago I was fortunate enough to do so when the bank I worked for offered the use of its parking lot to riders who were waiting to fuel up at the gas station across the street.  We shared cold bottles of water and conversation with many of the participants and I met some very nice men and women that day! Seeing so many riders was an awesome sight to behold! Isn't in great that we live in a country where the First Amendment grants us the right to assemble peacefully?!?! I can't think of a more fitting of a reason to gather than to honor those who pledge to protect our Constitutional rights and freedoms!


In other news, May is National Military Appreciation Month. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone out there to take time this month to honor current and former members of the armed forces, especially those who have fought and died for our great country and way of life.


As the mother of a United States Marine, the niece of several Vietnam veterans, and the granddaughter of a WWII survivor who bravely assisted in reclaiming the beaches of Normandy, I am extremely grateful for the sacrifices the men in my family have made.  Won't you join me in taking the time to show your support of our troops and to honor and remember those who have fallen?


Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson


God Bless


Angie Regan

Volunteer Manager
Operation Prayer and Letters™, Inc.
Card Writer Focus:
United Health Group Encourages Employees to Volunteer

Hand-made notes of appreciation from UHC in Minnetonka, MN.
This month we received two packets of cards full of encouragement for Operation Prayers and Letters participants from our friends at United Health Group.  I spoke to David Lood, a volunteer coordinator from the UHC location in Duluth Minnesota, who said that Involve, UnitedHealth Group's volunteer program, " highly encouraged, and is a one stop shop for all things volunteering.  For the employees of United Health Group, our business goals and social mission are one and the same.  To help people live healthier lives and modernize the health care system, we believe it is necessary to be active and responsible citizens in communities where we live and work around the world.  Volunteering plays a vital role in our mission, leveraging our greatest asset - our people - as we work together to build healthier communities."


Volunteer Coordinators are located nationwide and meet on a monthly basis to talk about the many volunteer opportunities available to UHC employees.    Their goal is to provide a variety of volunteering options, including virtual volunteering options such as Operation Prayers and Letters.  The coordinators feel that by providing virtual opportunities or other options where the volunteers are not required to be at a specific site, they can better leverage the talents and interests of their team.


We are very honored to have Operation Prayers and Letters included in the list of volunteer opportunities for UHC employees, they are indeed improving the morale and lifting the spirits of our wounded participants with their kindness!  

Participant Highlight:
Checking in on USMC David "Moose"

The swearing in ceremony for David's appointment to the Arnold Veterans Committee.

I recently had the opportunity to visit with David and talk about his very busy schedule these days.  David is very passionate about becoming an advocate for veterans and draws from personal knowledge and first hand experience with his own health issues to do so.  I contacted David by email to see if he would be willing assisting with an article for the Operation Prayers and Letters newsletter and he gladly accepted my invitation. 


David wrote, "I have just been appointed and approved for the Arnold [MO] Veterans Committee.  I also volunteer for Urban Future and mentor a North City child who is in 8th grade and can't even read.  I really enjoy it.  I am running for a position at my local Marine Corps League.  Also, as you know, I recently spent the day in Jefferson City speaking to the Veterans Commission and the Disability Committee about TBI, PTSD, and Service Dogs."


David had been invited to the State Capitol in Jefferson City Missouri by Representative Kathie Conway.  He originally met Representative Conway when he was a guest speaker at a St. Louis Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner at the end of March.  She (Rep. Conway) is attempting to solicit state assistance for a program that pairs individuals in need with service dogs and David has a service dog who has helped him in many ways (David's service dog, Dilylah, was actually already a part of his family and was trained by This Able Veteran to serve in her new role).  


While in Jefferson City, David had the opportunity to tour the grounds of the Capitol building, speak to Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, and sit in on a floor meeting.  He spoke to the Veterans Commission about his military experience, his current health issues, and how beneficial his service dog has been in helping him cope during his transition back to civilian life.  To end the day, David spoke to the Disability Council and said he felt that he, "...opened a lot of eyes to the life of a service member with TBI/PTSD;[about] how a person can look perfectly fine but have so many issues."  Since that day, David has received many hand written letters from representative and senators thanking him for speaking and letting him know how much of an impact he made that day. 


David tells me that he is honored to help veterans and will continue to do so everyday.  I have feeling that we will be hearing a lot more about David and his mission in the months to come.


For more information about David, or to check on his progress, please click here.

National Day of Prayer
A Time to Come Together in Prayer  
Pam's display helped explain the outreach program and encouraged participation from those in attendance.

May 1, 2014 marked the 63rd annual National Day of Prayer*, a day on which individuals from all over America unite in prayer for our nation.   


For the past eleven years, Reverend Neville Billy has lead the prayers as part of the annual National Day of Prayer event held at City Hall in Roswell, Georgia before the "Faces of War" Memorial.  Pam Immekus, a Marine Mom and very loyal Operation Prayers and Letters™ supporter, graciously offered to attend the event this year, as former Operation Prayers and Letters manager Barbara Gemmell was unable to be present.  Pam hosted a wonderful informational display about Operation Prayers and Letters, complete with photos and stories of several of the participants.  She also provided note cards and pens to encouraged the attendees to write notes of support to our current list of active participants.    


Pam was able to collect over two dozen handwritten cards of well-wishes for the troops.Thank you Pam for your continued support and representation of the Operation Prayers and Letters program!!  


*A National Day of Prayer was first established by the Continental Congress in 1775, and in 1952 the United States Congress approved a joint resolution setting aside one day each year, the first Thursday of May, to recognize the tradition of prayer in our land.

Mission Statement & Thank You

The mission of Operation Prayers and Letters™ is to provide support to wounded, ill, and injured troops through prayers and letters written by people in communities throughout the United States.

Thank you so very much for keeping our wounded, ill, and injured service members in your thoughts when you write and pray. Your kindness is most appreciated!
In This Issue
Total Cards Sent:

Most Recent Changes:

Added: None
Removed: None

Operation Prayer and Letters™ Writer Spotlight:

We welcome photos and stories from all our Operation Prayers and Letters writers. Thank you for all the love, support, and encouragement you send to the wounded, ill, and injured participants! You truly are making a difference.

Send Cards and 
Letters to:

Marine's Name & Company
c/o Operation PAL
P.O. Box 758
Columbia, Missouri 65205


Or just text Operation PAL 
to 22828 to sign up!


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We hope this week's edition of our email newsletter has been useful for you and your family. If there are topics you would like us to address, or if you have other suggestions for the newsletter, please contact us., Inc., is an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) public charity., Inc., was founded in January 2003 in response to parents' needs to find information and to have a Place to Connect and Share® with one another during their Marine's career. Our free online services and connections have expanded to support and educate Marine moms and dads, spouses, families and friends. We've more than 400,000 Marine and recruit families during boot camp, training, active duty and deployments. We've shipped more than 38,000 care packages overseas to our Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan, sent 87,000 prayers and letters to injured Marines and served thousands of meals to wounded heroes and their families on the East and West coasts. You've found a Place to Connect and Share.®

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