June 19, 2013 By blogging

Before the fireworks, thank a veteran.

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This time of year, Americans all over the country are making their plans to celebrate the 4th of July. There will be backyard barbeques, parades and fireworks. There will be patriotic songs like “God Bless America” and almost anything by Toby Keith played on repeat, and there will be plenty of U-S-A chants all throughout the day and late into the night. It’s one of my personal favorite holidays; there just isn’t much that can top celebrating this great country that we live in!

However, it is important to remember that there will also be families all over the country remembering those who have lost their lives fighting, and there will be Americans overseas still fighting, to defend this country that we love so much.

The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4th, 1776.  Since then, millions of American men and women have put their lives on the line to protect the independence and freedoms that were established on that day.

For my first blog post, I want to share with all of our IPR fans a couple of ways to give back to our men and women in uniform during the next couple of weeks leading up to the July 4th holiday!

Letters to the Troops

Writing a letter to our troops is a great way to show your heart-felt appreciation for all of the sacrifices they make to ensure the safety of Americans everyday.  If you are planning on hosting a BBQ, request that everyone invited bring a letter written to the troops. Organizations such as Packages From Home are great online resources that provide guidelines on writing the letters, as well as where to mail them in order to ensure they are received by the troops. Remind our men and women overseas that we are still thinking of them, and will continue to do so until everyone comes home! 


Operation Homefront  is a San Antonio-based, 501-c3 non-profit organization that provides emergency financial aid and other assistance to families of our service members and wounded warriors. Their website lists the current needs of various veterans and military families. Visitors to the site can read the stories and make individual donations to a specific need, or they can make a general donation to the whole organization. It doesn’t have to be a large donation; small donations can add up and make a big difference. This is a quick and easy way to make a difference and show your appreciation to our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much in the name of freedom!

Say Thank You!

It’s very easy to get caught up in our fast paced lives and not really take in our surroundings or the people around us. In the next couple of weeks leading up to all of the 4th of July celebrations, make a point to notice any service men or women around you. They may be wearing full uniform or maybe just a hat or t-shirt. They may be standing next to you at the airport or sitting next to you at your favorite bar. If you notice, approach them and thank them for their service. Shake their hand or buy them a drink. Just let them know that you appreciate the sacrifices they have made.

Here at IntegratePR, we are lucky to work alongside a military veteran every day. Our social media intern, J.C .Gage, signed up for the army right before he graduated from high school in 2004 and left for basic training just three weeks after graduation.  He served in Korea for a year, and then in Iraq from April of 2007 to June of 2008.

From all of us at IntegratePR, we want to say thank you to J.C. and all of our past, present and future military service men and women! Thank you for keeping us safe and protecting our freedoms!

-Written by Ahna Gavrelos