Dear supporters, Happy Thanksgiving! We’re always thankful for you and the support you give us throughout the year as we work all over the world to make our troops safer and more successful in their missions. Today, we wanted to give you a chance to hear what our field team is thankful for. These combat veterans have been through a lot in service to our country – both in the military and in their roles for Spirit of America. Below, they share the things that keep them smiling. Zack Bazzi, Project Manager – Middle East I’m thankful for family and friends, in the US and across the Middle East, particularly in Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon, where I spend much of my time. My favorite Thanksgiving memory is from when I was serving with the 101st Airborne. Our company was one of the last to finish a live-fire exercise on Thanksgiving. Even though all that was left for chow was tasteless fixings and sliced turkey, it was the mot satisfying Thanksgiving meal we could have asked for. This year, for Thanksgiving, I’ll be in Lebanon! Terrell Chandler, Project Manager – Asia Pacific I’m thankful to have a job that doesn’t feel like work, and to work with a team that feels like family. My favorite Thanksgiving memory is from right after deployment, when I spent Thanksgiving with Nicholette and her family, raking leaves and jumping in them. Enjoying simple things. This year, for Thanksgiving, I’ll be somewhere with family and friends. Chris Clary, Director of Citizen-Military Partnerships & Project Manager – Europe I’m thankful for my parents, who raised me to live a life of purpose. I’m thankful for my siblings and nieces and nephews whose excitement about life’s little adventures inspires me to help make the world a more stable place. My favorite Thanksgiving memory is of my aunt and uncle’s house which overflowed every Thanksgiving with friends and family who had returned from around the world to share turkey, stories, and Grandma’s pies and cobbler. This year, for Thanksgiving, I’ll be celebrating FriendsGiving in DC – hiking, camping, and enjoying being home for a few days. Nicholette Doliva, Project Manager – Latin America I’m thankful for my friends and family who have helped me plan a wedding in 6 months! My favorite Thanksgiving memory is when Terrell came to visit my family in PA, and we played in the leaves like little kids. This year, for Thanksgiving, I’ll be in Buffalo with my fiancé and his family, hopefully trap shooting! Gabe LaMois, Director of Field Operations I’m thankful for aisle seats and noise-canceling headphones on long flights. My favorite Thanksgiving memory is getting excited, as a kid, to see my cousins and extended family. This year, for Thanksgiving, I’ll be eating, sleeping, and relaxing. Period. Chris VanJohnson, Deputy Director of Field Operations & Project Manager – Africa I’m thankful for the unconditional love of my new puppy, Freyja. My favorite Thanksgiving memory is the excitement I felt as I watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with the smell of turkey wafting through the house, and the anticipation as I waited for my extended family to arrive for dinner. This year, for Thanksgiving, I’ll be relaxing in Barcelona with my wife, exploring Spain and searching for cranberry sauce. From our SoA family to yours – Happy Thanksgiving! The Spirit of America Team P.S. Check out a sneak-peek of our #GivingTuesday campaign here!
Spirit of America is the only 501(c)(3) non-profit working alongside US servicemembers and diplomats to improve their safety and success. In 2018, Congress recognized us as a partner in “supporting the missions of deployed United States personnel around the world.”