People From All Over the World Rally Together to Support our Heroes: Operation Holiday Salute

Written By: Christina Etchberger

Join the Event on Facebook at Operation Holiday Salute – Christmas Parade

Each man’s life touches so many other lives.

It’s a Wonderful Life

As the holiday season draw near, and I reflect on the story and vision behind It’s a Military Life, I am in awe with all the people I have met in the military community. It’s a Military Life’s mission has always been about making the military journey a truly wonderful one for servicemembers, spouses, families, and veterans. As we have evolved, and partnered with Veteran Last Patrol, we now dedicate our outreach efforts during the holiday season to honor the journey of our veterans from the beginning of their military career all the way to their final salute as respected heroes.

Christina Etchberger from It’s a Military Life and our friends from GivingTuesdayMilitary have been working together to spread the word about Veteran Last Patrol’s Operation Holiday Salute!

Still from It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

My heart is full today on GivingTuesdayMilitary. So many people from all over the world have come together to honor our heroes, with a simple act of kindness. Like the classic Christmas story, It’s a Wonderful Life, full of the ups and downs of life but still filled with so much joy-many caring patriots, military families, children, clubs, schools, and other organizations have paused to send letters of gratitude to our veterans.

Huge shoutout to Attica Elementary school and the Youth Empowerment Organization at Attica High school in NY for contributing to Operation Holiday Salute! Together, they made almost 500 cards for Veterans in Hospice this holiday season.” (GTM, Leader Samantha Gomolka)

Look at this outpouring of love for veterans in hospice care by Wiesbaden High School’s JROTC! Here they’re preparing to send us their holiday cards. With our land of the free red-white-blue flag in the background, these students are showing the world their gratitude for those who served in the United State Military and now find themselves at end of life. Thank you students of Wiesbaden High School! Thank you Never Walk Alone Riding Club for sharing! (Veteran Last Patrol)

Today, I gather you all around the GivingTuesdayMilitary table of gratitude and kindness, as if we are at the Baily’s home singing, “Auld Lange Syne”, to say thank you to all that gave and will continue to give to our heroes in hospice at Veteran Last Patrol.

This holiday season, take the time to send a veteran a card or small gift, as a simple act of kindness that will make a big impact.

Last year they received 4,000 cards that were then delivered to veterans in nursing homes and “at home” end-of-life care. This year they wish to again receive cards and small gifts from grateful patriots, folks with a family military connection, children, clubs, schools, and other organizations that would like to help express gratitude one final time during this holiday season.

Veteran Last Patrol’s Operation Holiday Salute

To support this cause please mail your cards to:

Veteran Last Patrol

140B Venture Blvd

Spartanburg, SC, 29306

The salutation on the card itself should be: “Dear Veteran” or “Dear Hero”

This year’s goal is 10,000 letters no later than DEC 7th!

What is #GivingTuesdayMilitary?

One simple act of kindness can change the world. It’s about something bigger than ourselves…..and it all starts with YOU!


GivingTuesdayMilitary was an idea of hope that by coming together we could make the world kinder. But that idea we had created a spark of inspiration for people all over the world! We never dreamed the movement would grow as big as it did. Watching people raise their hands and commit to acts of kindness to serve their communities has been awe inspiring.What I love the most about kindness is that it doesn’t care what you look like, who you love or even who you vote for! In a country divided, this is the thing that unites us — our differences don’t matter when we are serving.Kindness, unity and giving can be the things that unite and ground us, always.

-Leader at GTM, Jessica Manfre

What is Veteran Last Patrol?

To learn more go to

Last Patrol: Serving veterans by bringing new friends to veterans in hospice.

“Our non-profit organization is focused on bringing national attention to Veterans in hospice care. Far too many are alone & lonely. We want to bring them friendship on their “Last Patrol” of Life. Our veterans served America. They protected us and our way of life. Now, we must stand by them.”

Claude Schmid, Retired Army Colonel/31 Years, Founder

Purpose: America’s veterans served their country. They protected us and our way of life. We must stand by them.

Our veterans know about patrolling land, sea, and air. Veterans in hospice are on their final fight and in their last patrol. Whether it goes by the name of “battle buddy” or “shipmate” or “wingman” – all veterans understand that tough assignments are best faced together. (

Letter from the Founder of Veteran Last Patrol

Claude Schmid, Founder of Veteran Last Patrol

Seasons Greetings!!!

Many of you are aware of our 2nd Annual Operation Holiday Salute, our national campaign to get as many Holiday Cards to veterans in end-of-life care as possible.
We’ll be delivering 1000s of holiday cards this year to these dying veterans in nursing facilities and in home hospice.

WANT TO HELP? We’re seeking volunteers around the country to help get these cards out — cards written and often beautifully personalized by families and organizations around the country — to thank these very special veterans one more time. Given the COVID concern, in most cases the volunteer would simply be dropping off a package of cards to a nurse at a facility taking care of veterans.

Learn more here: Operation Holiday Salute | Veterans Last Patrol | Spartanburg, SC (

Please let us know if you would like to help.

Thank you & Merry Christmas!

Claude Schmid

Thank you to our veterans, and we will always be grateful for your service.

No man is a failure who has friends.

It’s a Wonderful Life

Please feel free to contact Veteran Last Patrol or It’s a Military Life, if you would like to get involved! Veteran Last Patrol is a nonprofit that serves veterans all year round, and is always looking for more volunteers!

Don’t forget-cards and small gifts can be sent to Veteran Last Patrol up until Dec. 7th! Thank you again to all that have participated in Operation Holiday Salute.

In the Media



It’s a Military Life with GivingTuesdayMilitary

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