Sunday, June 15, 2014

Supporting Military Families - Matthew Freeman Project

Many readers ask me how they can support military families.  Likewise, several organizations ask me to post information about their services for military families.    I am using the time between Flag Day and Independence Day to do just that ... share info with you!

First a tidbit from the Cyber Command Weekly Newsletter for military families:

The first time Hollywood actor Jimmy Stewart applied to join the military, he was actually rejected for being 2.2 kilograms (5 lb) underweight. He did everything he could to gain extra pounds and managed to join the Air Force as a private, despite already being in his 30s. At first, his status as a movie icon was an inconvenience—instead ofseeing action, he was assigned as a pilot instructor. Eventually, though, Stewart went on to take part in multiple high-risk missions. He earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses for his actions during World War II and achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Despite the war being over, Stewart continued his military career and was promoted to Brigadier General. He finally retired from duty in 1968 and in 1985 he was presented with the Medal of Freedom and the rank of Major General by President Ronald Reagan.

Jimmy Stewart in uniform
National Museum of the Air Force
Public Domain 

I've seen several posts on Facebook about the Matthew Freeman Project.  From its website (link),

He was a true renaissance man. A two-time tennis champion for his high school team, a saxophonist in the marching band, Matthew sang at his high school graduation – having been nominated and accepted at the United States Naval Academy.
Matthew’s true passion though, was flying. As a young boy he fell in love with flying and went on to become a Marine pilot – the third generation of Freemans to wear Navy wings.

In 2009, he married his childhood sweetheart, Theresa Hess. Three weeks later, he opted out of the relative safety of the cockpit and volunteered for ground action when he heard the Marines needed more ground forces – in Afghanistan.

A week after he arrived, he saw something that led him to call his mother. He said, “Mom, the kids would rather have pens and paper more than anything, even food or water. Would you please start a collection and send them to me?”

Two days later, he was killed in action.

The Matthew Freeman Project: Pens & Paper for Peace was not created because Matthew is dead. Not because he died serving his country. It’s because of how he lived.

A life well spent.

A life given.

In service.

The Matthew Freeman Project has expanded to making "bears" for family members from military uniforms.   The website also offers scholarships for military families of fallen soldiers.   Learn more at


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Submit any blurbs about ways to help or services for military to


  1. What a great post. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I had no idea about Jimmy Stewart, great story, I really enjoyed it.

  3. Great post, Kim. Thank you for making us aware of the Matthew Freeman Project.

  4. Nice of you to share

  5. Starting my day in tears, Kim. I will share this blog on FB and Twitter. And bless YOU for passing the word. Write on.

  6. Excellent post, Kim. Thank you for sharing. I didn't know that about Jimmy Stewart. It makes you proud. And, my sincere thanks for sharing the information about the Matthew Freeman Project! *Hugs*
    God bless.

  7. You do such a great job of getting information out. Thanks.