Category: Military History

National Guard Heroes You Should Know

Wish a Happy Birthday to the National Guard on December 13

While you might not think of the National Guard when you think of American military forces, you really should! The National Guard is unique in that it serves both community and country. Members of the National Guard face deployments overseas just like other branches of the military, and must still undergo rigorous training; boot camp is the very same as that provided for the U.S. Army.

Meet some National Guard Heroes you should know as we observe the National Guard’s birthday this month.

Tammy Duckworth

After serving in the United States Army Reserve, Tammy Duckworth transferred to the Army National Guard in Illinois in 1996. In 2004, she was deployed to Iraq. On November 12, 2004, she lost both her legs when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade launched by Iraqi insurgents. Duckworth received a Purple Heart, an Air Medal, and an Army Commendation Medal. She retired from the Illinois Army National Guard in 2014, as a lieutenant colonel. Currently, Tammy Duckworth is serving as a United States Senator for Illinois. 

Tulsi Gabbard

While serving in the Hawaii State Legislature, Tulsi Gabbard enlisted in the Hawaii Army National Guard in 2003. A year later, she was deployed to Iraq and was shortly thereafter commissioned as a second lieutenant before being deployed to Kuwait in 2008. For her service, Gabbard received the Combat Medical Badge and the Meritorious Service Medal. She was promoted to major in 2015. Gabbard currently serves as the U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district.

Charles Lindbergh

American aviator Charles Lindbergh was an officer in the U.S. Army Air Corps Reserves, during which time he received the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration, for completing the first non-stop transatlantic flight between New York City and Paris. Before making history, he was a U.S. Air Mail pilot. When the Army no longer needed more active-duty pilots, Lindbergh joined the 110th Observation Squadron, 35th Division of the Missouri National Guard, out of St. Louis. He was promoted to captain in 1926.

John William Vessey Jr.

Jack Vessey Jr. was a career officer in the United States Army and served as the tenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1982 to 1985, during the Reagan administration. Vessey began his 46-year military career by lying about his age to join the Minnesota Army National Guard. He succeeded, and his unit was deployed during World War II in North Africa and Italy. He served during the Cold War, Vietnam War, and in Korea, until 1979, when he was assigned as Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army. Vessey is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, two Defense Distinguished Service Medals, three Army Distinguished Service Medals, a Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, two Legion of Merit awards, two Bronze Star Medals, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Leonard F. Wing

Red Wing Sr., as he was called, first enlisted in the U.S. Army for World War I and earned the rank of first lieutenant after completing officer training. After World War I, he was discharged in 1918 and established a law practice in Rutland, Vermont. In 1919, Wing joined the Vermont National Guard’s 172nd Infantry Regiment as a second lieutenant and rose through the ranks until he was named colonel in 1933 and brigadier general in 1937 as commander of the 86th Infantry Brigade. Wing’s military awards and honors include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, and Bronze Star. 

Scott Perry

Currently serving as the U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania’s 10th congressional district, Scott Perry began his military career in 1980, upon enlisting in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. He was commissioned a second lieutenant after graduating from Pennsylvania’s Officer Candidate School before qualifying as a helicopter pilot. He served a variety of assignments, including during a deployment to Bosnia and Herzegovina between 2002 and 2003. He served in Iraq between 2009 and 2010, during which time he was credited with flying 44 missions and occurring nearly 200 combat flight hours. After serving in Iraq, Perry was promoted to colonel and commanded the garrison at Fort Indiantown Gap National Training Center and was promoted to brigadier general in November 2015. He retired from the Pennsylvania National Guard in 2019. 

Send Love to Your National Guard Hero!

At My Hero Crate, we know that our service members enlisted in the National Guard carry out important missions at home and abroad. They deserve our thanks every day! If you have a loved one in the National Guard, present them with one of our military care packages so they’ll be stocked up on snacks during their guard weekends and all the days in between. If they’re deployed, you can still send them one of our army snack boxes, too – and shipping is always free to FPO, DPO, and APO addresses.

A Date Which Will Live in Infamy: A Pearl Harbor History Lesson

16 Million Americans Were Involved with the U.S. Military During World War II

Anyone alive during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, remembers the emotions they felt upon the realization that a surprise military strike befell a United States naval base in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii. At the time, Hawaii was not yet a U.S. state. Join My Hero Crate, purveyors of military care packages, as we retell the history of Pearl Harbor.

A Brief History

The Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service struck the base with 353 aircraft in two waves to prevent the United States Pacific Fleet from interfering with its military operations in Southeast Asia. Over seven hours on the same day, the Japanese military also attacked Guam, Philippines, and Wake Island, all under U.S. control; and Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong, under British control. On the naval base, eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, and four were sunk, along with three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and a minelayer. A total of 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,403 Americans lost their lives; and 1,178 others were wounded. 

Later that day, Japan declared war on the United States; the U.S. responded the next day by declaring war on Japan. A few days later on December 11, Germany and Italy each declared war on the United States, who responded in kind. European nations had already been warring after Germany invaded Poland and Russia.


Because the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred without a prior declaration of war and without warning, the events that unfolded that day were later judged as a war crime during the Tokyo Trials. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed December 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy.” It also happened to be the day that fully thrust the United States into World War II, called “the war in Europe” or “the emergency” at the time.

American Response

After FDR declared war, Americans went to work. They rationed food and gas; grew victory gardens in their backyards; and collected scrap metal, rubber, and paper to recycle for military use. Americans bought war bonds, donated money toward the war effort, and donated blood to the Red Cross.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, military recruitment offices were filled, after low enlistment plagued American armed forces the previous year. In Birmingham, Alabama, 600 men volunteered for the military within a few hours after the attack. In Boston, recruitment office lines were hours-long. Women, too, responded by wishing to enlist or donate whatever they could for war use. In December 1941, America’s military comprised 2.2 million soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. By the end of the war, nearly 16 million Americans had served, either after voluntarily enlisting or being drafted.

The Aftermath for Japanese Americans

Throughout World War II, the U.S. government frequently referred to Pearl Harbor through imagery on posters and in publications to stir Americans’ support for the war effort. These messages also roused acceptance for sending Japanese-Americans to high-security internment camps. 

Between 1,200 and 1,800 Japanese-Americans were interned in Hawaii, but more than 110,000 living on the West Coast were forced into the camps. Canada, too, responded similarly, by enacting laws to forcefully remove Canadians of Japanese descent from British Columbia and to send others to internment camps or to work on sugar beet farms as free labor.

The War Ends

Over the course of the following several years, the United States and its allies defeated two empires, and the U.S. became a global superpower. World War II ended on the deck of an American warship, the USS Missouri, on September 2, 1945. The war claimed 60 to 80 million lives, or 3 percent of the world’s population. The majority who died were civilians, including 6 million Jews killed in Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust.

Pearl Harbor Today

Today, the USS Arizona Memorial on Oahu, Hawaii, honors those who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor. The USS Missouri is now moored in Pearl Harbor and serves as a museum. Its bow is barely 1,000 feet southwest of the Arizona memorial. We still acknowledge December 7 as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, although it isn’t a federal holiday, by flying the American flag at half-staff until sunset. 

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 325,574 of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II are alive in 2020. Of those 16 million, 1 million were African-Americans; 44,500 were Native Americans; 11,000 were Japanese-Americans; and 250,000 were women. Most of the rest were white males.

Thank a Hero with a Military Care Package

If you know one of these brave Americans who served in the war, thank them for their service. Write them a thoughtful letter, spend quality time with them, or send them a military care package fit for a hero from My Hero Crate.

A Veterans Day Salute!

Thank Someone Who’s Served with a Care Package from My Hero Crate

On Veterans Day, you probably celebrate by enjoying a day off and casually thanking veterans you know for their service in whichever branch of the military they were in.

Once you live the American military life, though, you come to learn more about Veteran’s Day and appreciate it for how important it is. Here’s a quick history of the holiday, and how you can observe it.

The Date Is a Throwback to World War I

World War I ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 18, 1919. However, the fighting had already ended seven months prior with an Armistice between the Allies and Germany was called on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is known as the end of “the war to end all wars.” 

In November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. He said, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in this country’s service with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.” The original concept was a day to observe the Armistice and celebrate with parades, public meetings, and suspension of business. 

Over the years, lawmakers passed resolutions to honor November 11, but it wasn’t until President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day Proclamation on October 8, 1954, that the day was officially cemented and special committees were formed and named to oversee the holiday. The very first Veterans Day was officially observed on October 25, 1971. 

How to Celebrate Veterans Day

There are some easy ways to participate in acknowledging Veterans Day. Unfortunately, some of these ideas are not necessarily appropriate in our current pandemic. You can, however, hold onto these ideas so you are prepared to observe Veterans Day in the years to come.

-Attend a Veterans Day event in your area, such as a parade or special service.

-Donate to a non-profit organization that benefits your local veterans.

-Fly an American flag correctly, following U.S. Flag Code.

-Write a letter to troops stationed overseas, or a letter thanking veterans you personally know.

-Visit a VA hospital, where you can volunteer.

-Spend time with a veteran on this day, or any day of the year.

-Send a military care package to someone currently serving, or to someone who has retired from service, to thank them for their dedication to their country.

More Ideas?

Do you have great ideas for celebrating Veterans Day? Share them with your social networks to inspire other people to acknowledge the day. Reach out to your friends on various platforms, including NextDoor, Facebook, or Instagram, to remind them of the day’s importance.

We Salute You on the National Day of the Deployed

Observe the Day by Sending a Military Care Package

On October 26, the military acknowledges the National Day of the Deployed, a day to thank all military serving outside the U.S., and their families who hold down the fort back home.

Soldiers don’t get to choose their deployment locations or durations. They sacrifice their own freedoms as they work to defend the United States and its allies overseas – which is why we think deployed troops are pretty deserving of recognition on this day, and all the rest.

How the Day Got Its Start

The first National Day of the Deployed was acknowledged in 2006. Shelle Michaels Aberle approached John Hoeven, governor of her state of North Dakota, to request a proclamation for a day to honor the military members actively serving outside the confines of the country. Hoeven thought it was a great idea, so he issued a formal proclamation to declare October 26 as National Day of the Deployed. The date is special; it was the birthday of Aberle’s cousin, who was actively serving in Iraq when the idea came to her.

In 2011, Hoeven was elected a state senator and sponsored a resolution to designate the day across the country. The resolution passed unanimously, and today, all 50 states observe the holiday. Although it isn’t a federal holiday, in which banks and schools close, it is still an important one to us at My Hero Crate. Why? It’s literally our job to make sure America’s troops get the thanks they deserve!

How You Can Celebrate

The National Day of the Deployed is more of a symbolic holiday than one that calls for elaborate celebration and camaraderie – although if you want to celebrate it like that, we’d love to be invited! Simpler ways you can join in on acknowledging the importance of the day include:

-Posting on social media, thanking our deployed troops for their service, and explaining the importance of the day. If you have a loved one who is deployed, include their photo in your post so your friends and followers can put a face to the day. This will help create an emotional connection, which may encourage others to celebrate the day, too, even if they don’t know anyone currently deployed.

 

-Volunteer with an organization that benefits deployed soldiers. There’s always something you can do to brighten the days of our soldiers working and living abroad. Some nonprofit agencies assemble care packages to send to deployed troops, while others organize letter-writing campaigns to send them well-wishes. If either of these sound like fun to you, do a bit of quick internet research to find an organization near you.

 

Send your deployed military hero a care package or two. They can keep the treats for themselves, or share with the rest of their unit. Because shipping from My Hero Crate is always free to DPO, FPO, and APO addresses, even those overseas, it’s an affordable way to connect with your loved ones without having to find the contents of a snack box or gift box on your own. Also, all our snacks are from American distributors, and we’re an American company, based in Ohio. Our dedication to our country is obvious – and we want to help you celebrate your favorite hero.

How to Order a Military Care Package

My Hero Crate makes it easy to send a gift to your deployed soldier overseas. Follow these simple steps:

1. Visit MyHeroCrate.com. Click “Shop” in the top menu.

2. Choose the care package you think your deployed soldier will love the most. We even have snack boxes for special dietary needs, and gift boxes designed to inspire relaxation in our deployed heroes.

3. Once you find the package you like, select whether you’d like to send a one-time gift, or keep ‘em coming month after month by subscribing. Your soldier will get a brand-new snack box, thanks to AutoPay, so you never have to remember to schedule a delivery.

4. Check out! Just like you’d check out on any website, My Hero Crate makes it easy to pay, and to tell us exactly where to send your special gift. You can even include a custom gift message to send well-wishes to your love done.

It really is as easy as that! Start shopping today, so your gift arrives by the National Day of the Deployed on October 26.

What is Patriot Day?

Join My Hero Crate’s Military Care Package Experts in Solemnly Acknowledging This Holiday

Most people remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they learned that both towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon were attacked by terrorists using hijacked commercial airlines, and when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania, a foiled attack that killed everyone aboard.

The news was devastating and played 24/7 for weeks as the American people reeled in shock, and New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania began clean-up efforts and the search for survivors; there weren’t many.

Unlike other tragic events like this one, we remember it all by the date: September 11, 2001.

How the Day of Mourning Came to Be

After the terrible attacks on civilians in our country, heroes assembled at the plane crash sites to try to find survivors among the wreckage, including firefighters, police officers, and members of our armed forces.

Just over a month later, on October 25, 2001, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill to make September 11 a national day of mourning. The Senate unanimously voted in favor. As a result, President George W. Bush declared the first Patriot Day in 2002.

How to Observe Patriot Day

Although Patriot Day is not a federal holiday, so schools and businesses remain open, people still take steps to observe the day of mourning. 

 

-Some people hold a moment of silence at the same time the jet hit the first tower of the World Trade Center: 8:46 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.


-Americans are encouraged to display flags outside their homes to express their love of the country.

 

-Some New Yorkers spend the day quietly and without flair, especially those who experienced the aftermath or lost loved ones in the attacks.

 

-The United States flag is flown at half-mast throughout the world.

 

-Memorial events are held in honor of the 2,977 victims who perished and those who lost their lives during search and rescue efforts.

 

-Non-profit organizations assemble volunteer opportunities for special projects across the country.

 

How You Can Observe this Day

If you’re looking for a unique way to memorialize Patriot Day, consider doing small things close to home to impact the lives of those around you.


Send a thank-you letter or snack box.

You can thank your local firefighters for their everyday bravery in the face of danger as they rescue people from burning buildings. You can thank your local National Guard unit for their willingness to sacrifice their time to serve regionally and sometimes overseas. You can say thanks to the troops stationed at one of America’s many military bases. If you know of a hero from the September 11 attacks, say thank you to them, too. Receiving a note or snack box will make their day.

Do something kind for someone else.
Spend your day performing good deeds and requesting nothing in return. Gather a few extra shopping carts and put them in the cart return at the grocery store. Pick up litter in your local park. Offer to mow an elderly neighbor’s lawn for free. 

Display a flag.
Fly an American flag in your yard to display your patriotism for all to see. Be sure to follow Flag Code and be respectful as you observe the day.

Take your own moment of silence.
At 8:46 a.m. eastern time, sit quietly, with the TV off and your phone on vibrate and reflect on why you’re thankful for living in the U.S. as you remember those who perished in 2001.

Donate to an organization with a mission important to you. Research a nonprofit or charity group that you think is doing amazing work for the American people, and make a monetary donation to them to contribute to their projects. At My Hero Crate, we pledge to donate a portion of our proceeds to a veteran-focused nonprofit for every military care package we sell. If you’re able to make a regular donation, rather than an annual one, consider doing it.

Let Us Know Your Plans for Patriot Day

Are you doing something special in observance of this important day? Tag us on Instagram @myherocrate to show us how you’re paying tribute.

All About the Navajo Code Talkers

Celebrate Every Day with Care Packages from My Hero Crate

This year, Navajo Code Talkers Day is recognized on August 14. It’s a special day honoring the contributions of Native Americans during World War II and their contributions to the evolution of the U.S. Code related to Native American languages, as well as First Nations tribe members who participated in the U.S. military.

There is some confusion around this day, and we think it’s worthwhile to clear up some misconceptions and celebrate our First Nations heroes for their contributions to military forces.

Were Navajo Code Talkers all from the Navajo tribe?

Navajo Code Talkers Day doesn’t single out the Navajo tribe for recognition. The name of the holiday — and the code, too — are kind-of misnomers. Navajo code is a broader term for the coded speech used to fool Nazis and Japanese Imperial forces during World War II. Navajo code depended on the complex Navajo language, and it remains one of the only codes used by the U.S. military to have never been broken during conflicts.

Other tribes associated with the World War II efforts include the Cherokee, Choctaw, Comanche, and Hopi.

When was First Nations Code first used?

Some sources say First Nations languages were used as early as World War I, when the Choctaw language was used to code a message in preparation for an attack on German forces. The CIA even claims other countries may send their military members to the U.S. to study the Code after World War I.

Why was the Navajo language used?

Philip Johnston partnered with the U.S. Marines because of his expertise in the Navajo language. He’d been living on Navajo reservations since he was a child, and had the idea to create a security code based on the complex Navajo language. The Marine Corps knew they needed native speakers for the project to be a success, so they recruited 29 members of the First Nations.

Non-native Navajo speakers, like Johnston, are extremely rare. The Code was made even more secure by encrypting communications using Navajo as a word-substitution code. It utilized common cryptography games to apply to war. For example, Navajo bird names were applied to weapons of war.

What did the Code Talkers accomplish?

Aside from assuring the security of American military secrets, the Code Talkers could translate, send, and retranslate a coded message in about 150 seconds, an incredible feat that would normally have taken hours. Military history experts believe the U.S. may not have won the Battle of Iwo Jima without the Code Talkers.

Recognizing Code Talkers Today

The Navajo Code Talkers program was declassified in 1968, but it wasn’t until 1982 when President Ronald Reagan established Navajo Code Talkers Day. In 2000, President Bill Clinton awarded Congressional Gold Medals to 29 Code Talkers, followed by President George W. Bush, who presented medals to even more.

There were about 400 Navajo Code Talkers in total. As of 2019, only five were still living: John Kinsel Sr., Samuel F. Sandoval, Joe Vandever Sr., Thomas H. Begay, and Peter MacDonald.

How to Celebrate

Although the likelihood of you personally knowing any surviving Navajo Code Talkers is rare, you can still acknowledge the day by remembering and talking about their contributions to the U.S. military’s victory in World War I and World War II.

At My Hero Crate, we think every day is a good day to thank a military hero. Express your gratitude to yours with a military care package from My Hero Crate.

Select and send your crate today.

About the image above:

Navajo Code Talkers Peter Macdonald (left) and Roy Hawthorne participated in a ceremony Nov. 10, 2010, at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. to pay tribute to veterans and to celebrate Native American Heritage Month. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Members of the Coast Guard You Should Know

Send Your Hero Military Care Packages for All Branches of the Armed Forces

The Coast Guard is the oft-overlooked brother of the United States’ eight uniformed armed forces. These heroes defend the coast, conduct search-and-rescue missions, and enforce maritime law. That’s important business!

Just like every other branch of the military, there are famous Coast Guard veterans who served this country and became heroes. These are their stories.

Signalman First Class Douglas Munro

Called “the ultimate hero of the Coast Guard,” Canadian-born Munroe died on Guadalcanal on September 27, 1942. He commanded a group of Higgins boats in the battle and was responsible for the safe evacuation of more than 500 Marines who came under heavy fire. He used his boat as a shield. After he was wounded, his last words were, “Did they get off?” Munro knew his mission, and he gave his life to save hundreds of others.

He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. personal military decoration, the only member of the U.S. Coast Guard to receive the award for service in this military branch. He is also the only non-Marine to have his name on the Wall of Heroes of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

Ida Lewis

Before the Lighthouse Service was combined with the Coast Guard, Ida Lewis spent 39 years as keeper of Lime Rock Lighthouse in Rhode Island, and an additional 15 living and working there. She is credited with saving 18 lives, her first when she was just 12 years old, and her last at 63, and was one of the first women in the Lighthouse Service.

Lime Rock Lighthouse was renamed Ida Lewis Light in her honor, along with a coastal buoy tender. She received a silver medal from the Life Saving Benevolent Association of New York, and earned a Gold Lifesaving Medal for her heroic actions. 

Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal

Nathan Bruckenthal and a team of Navy personnel intercepted a boat in the Arabian Gulf in 2004. Terrorists aboard detonated a bomb as Bruckenthal and his team attempted to board. The bomb overturned Bruckenthal’s vessel.

Later, 24-year-old Bruckenthal died from his injuries — the first Coast Guard war casualty since the Vietnam War. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device and the Purple Heart.

Lieutenant Thomas Crotty

“Jimmy” Crotty was the first Coast Guard prisoner of war since the War of 1812. After several positions in the Pacific, Crotty was attached to the Marine Corps Fourth Regiment when the Japanese forces attacked the Philippines.

As the Battle of Corregidor raged on, Crotty was captured by the Japanese and held in Cabanatuan Prison in 1942. He died there of diphtheria. His remains weren’t positively identified until 2019. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and a Prisoner of War Medal.

Captain Joseph O. Doyle

A skilled boatbuilder and fisherman before joining the Coast guard, Doyle became the keeper of the Charlotte, New York Life Saving Station. In 1878, he completed two rescue missions that cemented his name in history. First, at the wreck of the schooner B.P. Dorr of Chicago, Doyle rescued six men and women aboard the boat and brought them safely to shore.

A little more than a month later, Doyle showed his bravery once again as he ordered a lantern squad to monitor the shore for any passengers of the schooner Star of Millpoint from Ontario who may have fallen overboard during a fierce storm.

For his efforts, he was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal. The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle, named for the Captain, was commissioned into service in 2019 during a ceremony in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard Care Packages

Every Coast Guardsman is a hero, including yours! Send your personal hero a military care package from My Hero Crate, no matter where they’re stationed, with free standard shipping to APO, FPO, and DPO addresses. Our care packages are full of American-sourced, military-approved snacks to help your hero feel at home, and we donate a portion of our proceeds to a meaningful veteran-focused non-profit organization! Shop now.

Navy Sailors to Remember Today

Send Your Navy Hero a Snack Box to Say Thank You

October 13, 1775 marks the birth date of the United States Navy, when the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution creating the Continental Navy. When the Revolutionary War ended, the Continental Navy disbanded. But, under President George Washington, the Naval Act of 1794 created the permanent branch of the armed forces that we know today.

Through the years, many American heroes served in the U.S. Navy, on elite SEAL teams, as pilots, and as sailors. Although we couldn’t possibly list every member of the Navy who deserves recognition, we have compiled a list of a few here.

Admiral Eric T. Olson

Olson graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1973 and earned the role of SEAL officer just a year later. The first Navy SEAL appointed to three-star and four-star flag rank, and the first naval officer to be the U.S. Special Operations Command combatant commander, Eric Olson served more than 38 years in the United States Navy. Olson has commanded at every level and served in an Underwater Demolition team, Special Boat Squadron, Naval Special Warfare Development Group, SEAL team, and SEAL Delivery Vehicle team. 

Master Chief Petty Officer Rudy Boesch

You might recognize Rudy Boesch from his time as a contestant on the reality TV series Survivor. But what you may not know is that he was on the very first Navy SEALs who served for 45 years before retiring in 1990. His SEAL results were set as physical and operational standards for SEAL Team Two. In Vietnam, Boesch earned a Bronze Star. During that war, he was part of 45 combat missions.

Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle

Perhaps one of the most well-known Navy SEALs because of the American Sniper, the blockbuster biographical movie of his life, Chris Kyle was the most lethal sniper in all U.S. military history during his four tours of Iraq. For his heroism and service in combat, Kyle earned the Silver Star Medal, four Bronze Star Medals with “V” devices, a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and numerous other awards. Kyle and a friend were murdered at a shooting range in Texas in 2013.

Captain John Paul Jones

John Paul Jones is known as the father of the U.S. Navy and was the first to hoist the flag over a U.S. naval vessel. During the Revolutionary War, he is credited with defeating the British during battles and for taking over their 50-gun ship, the HMS Serapis. The British accused him of piracy, but you may know him from your history books for his memorable quote, “I have not yet begun to fight!”

Lieutenant Michael “Murph” P. Murphy

A graduate of Penn State, Lt. Murphy chose to join the Navy instead of pursuing law school. He was killed in Afghanistan in 2005, just three years after joining the military. Murph was awarded the Medal of Honor, the U.S. military’s highest decoration, for his actions during his time in Afghanistan, the first member of the Navy to receive the award since Vietnam. He also was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal, which was later upgraded to the Medal of Honor, and a Purple Heart. In his honor, a U.S. Navy ship and several military and civilian buildings have been named for him.

Do you have your own personal hero in the Navy — or any military branch — today? For a unique and fun way to thank them for their service, send a special military snack box from My Hero Crate. Our American-sourced snack boxes are shipped straight to their address, even APO/FPO/DPO addresses for free and overseas, and we donate a portion of our proceeds to a veteran-centered non-profit organization. A military snack box is a great choice for birthdays, holidays, or just because. Learn more and order your first care package today.

Army Soldiers Who Did Great Things

Say “Thanks!” to Your Modern-Day Hero with a Military Care Package

A true soldier possesses certain character traits that make them truly special. These characteristics are loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. Over the years, members of the Army have displayed these traits and achieved amazing things while serving our country. Do you know the story of these important Army soldiers?

Maj. Gen. John Lincoln Clem

Clem changed his middle name from Joseph to Lincoln before attempting to enlist in the Union Army during the Civil War when he was just nine years old. After being rejected initially, he made it into the 22nd Michigan Volunteer Infantry and killed a Confederate officer who demanded his surrender. Clem was promoted to sergeant before being discharged in 1864. He made his return to the army in 1871 and rose to major general before his retirement in 1915. We don’t know many nine-year-olds are prepared for war today, but we’re thankful for Maj. Gen. Clem’s dedication to this country.

Sgt. Henry Johnson

A “Harlem Hellfigher” during World War I, Johnson found himself in a fight in the Argonne Forest. A dozen German soldiers attacked him and his buddy. Sgt. Johnson was able to hold them off with grenades and rifle fire. When he ran out of ammo, he finished off his attackers with a knife and saved the rest of his unit. President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Johnson a Congressional Medal of Honor; President Bill Clinton posthumously awarded him a Purple Heart. In 2003, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Army’s second highest award, was presented to his son, Herman A. Johnson, a Tuskegee Airman, on behalf of his father. The French government also awarded Johnson the Croix de guerre; he was the first American to receive the award.

Gen. George S. Patton

A West Point graduate, General Patton commanded the army in World War II in the Mediterranean and in France and Germany after D-Day. Although his public statements and motivational speeches to his soldiers were somewhat controversial, today, he is regarded as an American folk hero. During his time in the Army, Gen. Patton earned a Purple Heart, Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal, and Legion of Merit. Patton is the subject of several full-length motion pictures that celebrate his achievements and his big personality.

Lt. Audie Murphy

Audie Murphy is considered the greatest combat soldier in the history of the United States. Although he passed away at only 46 years old, his legend lives on today in his Hollywood movie roles. At just 5’5” tall and 110 pounds, Murphy was refused enlistment in both the Marines and paratroopers during World War II. That was their loss, and the Army gladly accepted him. His first assignment was to the 15th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division, where he fought in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany. He earned a battlefield commission for his courage and leadership, as well as every possible medal for valor that the United States awarded. He also earned three French medals and a Belgian medal, making him the most decorated soldier in American history. 

First Lt. Eddie Rickenbacker

Rickenbacker was the most successful American fighter ace in the Army during World War I, with 26 aerial victories. During his time in the Army, he earned the Junior Military Aviator Badge, Medal of Honor, Army Distinguished Service Cross, Medal for Merit, World War I Victory Medal, Legion of Honor from France, and the Croix de guerre from France. Rickenbacker also is famous for his careers as a race car driver, automotive designer, and the long-time leader of Eastern Air Lines.

How to Thank Army Soldiers with a Military Care Package

Although we cannot thank these Army legends in person, we can continue to honor their legacy and dedication by remembering them on Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day. Today’s soldiers are also deserving of our acknowledgement, which is why My Hero Crate was born into existence.

My Hero Crate makes it easy to say “thank you” to any member of the American armed forces. Simply purchase a military care package on our website, and we’ll ship it directly to your favorite soldier, no matter where in the world they’re stationed. Each military care package contains a variety of snacks suitable for any dietary need, and all contents are military-approved. 

Place your order today to thank your personal hero.

Five Important Marines You Should Know

Recognize Your Favorite Marine with a Military Care Package

The Marine Corps were founded as the Continental Marines in November 1775, during the Revolutionary War, for ship-to-shop fighting, assisting in landing forces, providing shipboard security, and enforcing discipline. Since then, the few and the proud have been protecting the United States. Here are a few famous Marines we think are worth knowing. 

Be sure to add your Marine Corps hero to our list, too, and send them a military care package from My Hero Crate.

Marine Sergeant Major Gilbert “Hashmark” Johnson

One of the first African Americans to join the Marine Corps, Johnson served as a drill instructor before being promoted to sergeant major. Johnson requested permission to conduct combat patrols and led 25 of them in Guam during World War II.

Previously, he served in both the Army and Navy for a combined 15 years before joining the Marines. At basic training, he was nicknamed “Hashmark” because he had more service stripes than his instructors. Sgt. Maj. Johnson dedicated his life to serving his country in the armed forces and is definitely deserving of our salute.

Lieutenant General Lewis “Chesty” Puller”

Most every enlisted Marine is familiar with Chesty Puller and the role he played in the Corps. Lt. Gen. Puller served for 30 years and rose to one of the highest ranks while becoming the most decorated Marine in the history of the Corps. 

He earned five Navy Crosses, the nation’s second-highest military honor; no one else has ever achieved the same. He is famous for saying, “All right, they’re on our left, they’re on our right, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us. They can’t get away this time,” when his unit was surrounded by the enemy during the Korean War. He also served in World War II and in Nicaragua and Haiti.

Sergeant Major Daniel J. Daly

Known as “the fightinest Marine,” Sgt. Maj. Daly earned his fame by leading a counter attack at the Battle of Belleau Wood during World War I, despite being outnumbered and outgunned. Although this was an incredible act of bravery, he didn’t earn a Medal of Honor for it.

Instead, he received two Medals of Honor for single-handedly holding a wall in China as snipers tried to kill him and for resisting an ambush in Haiti before leading a counterattack against Caco rebels there.

Colonel John Glenn — Yes, THAT John Glenn

You probably know Col. John Glenn for being the first American to orbit the Earth, but he was an incredibly decorated Marine first. Glenn earned six Distinguished Flying Crosses, 18 Air Medals, and the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

During World War II and the Korean War, he flew 122 combat missions with three air-to-air kills. He once protected his wingman who was experiencing engine trouble as enemy planes attacked. Glenn drove them off to give his partner time to return to base, ultimately taking down one enemy jet in the process.

Private Minnie Spotted-Wolf

Minnie Spotted-Wolf was the first Native American woman to enlist in the United States Marine Corps as a member of the Marine Corps Reserve in 1943. A member of the Blackfoot tribe, Spotted-World described Marine boot camp as “hard, but not too hard.” She served on military bases in California and Hawaii, where she was a heavy equipment operator and driver for general officers.

After serving for five years, she was discharged and became a teacher, a career she enjoyed for 29 years. In 2019, a section of U.S. Highway 89 was dedicated as the “Minnie Spotted-Wolf Memorial Highway.”

Say Thanks to Your Marine Corps Hero

If your loved one is continuing the legacy of excellence of the United States Marine Corps, we think they deserve a very special armed forces snack box from My Hero Crate

Each of our military snack gift baskets contains an assortment of military-approved, American-sourced nuts, chips, candy, and other treats and ships for free, including overseas and to APO, FPO, and DPO addresses. You can send a single snack box, or subscribe so your favorite soldier receives an armed forces care package every month.

Place your order today!

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