Several years ago, the Christmas spirit moved the Crowley family to help some of the most severely injured soldiers of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
They heard about Ward 57 — the amputee section of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The Crowleys purchased 24 stockings — one for each soldier — and filled them with gifts.
Among them: an Uncle Sam hat, Statue of Liberty pen and pocket calendar — all engraved with “Thanks to our heroes!” — plus a book, commemorative silver dollar with an American eagle (thanks to Sam Sloat Coins), an eagle/USA baseball hat and an M&M-filled candy cane.
An American flag pin decorated the trim of each stocking. And each soldier received a letter from the Crowleys, commending them for their service.
They’ve continued the tradition every year.
“We believe the efforts, sacrifices and commitments provided by the men and women of the armed forces are immeasurable, invaluable and incredibly honorable,” Judi Crowley says.
“These stockings are our way of saying thank you to these brave men and women, and letting them know we’re thinking of them.
“It gives us great joy to fill up these stockings and ship them. But when we receive a thank-you note — sometimes from the soldiers, sometimes from spouses — it really warms our hearts. It reminds us of how lucky we are to have these brave men and women fight for our rights and our freedoms.”
(Want to help Ward 57? Call Lisa Janet at 202-782-9759 or 202-789-1557 — note that there are restrictions on what can be sent.)