Last week, Sierra Club joined ServiceNation - a national campaign to increase service opportunities and elevate service as a core ideal and problem-solving strategy in American society. We are excited to be a part of this effort to inspire a powerful culture of volunteerism in our country. Check out more about ServiceNation and Sierra Club's involvement on the ServiceNation blog. Sierra Club's Military Families Outdoors program is proud to serve our country's veterans and military families by connecting them with the healing powers of our natural heritage.
Military families definitely know what it means to serve, and they often go above and beyond their military service by serving their local communities as well. Last week, the National Military Family Association hosted its 40th Anniversary Reception - Celebrating the Strength of Military Families. Seven military families were recognized, one from each branch of the Uniformed Services, but it was the Leanes family (a Marine Corps family from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina) who received the top honor of the night - 2009 Military Family of the Year. These families embrace their service to the Nation and are role models in their community. At left, the Leanes Family - 2009 Military Family of the Year. Photo courtesy of National Military Family Association.
It was a month of celebration and appreciation for veterans and military families, as Outward Bound hosted its 47th Annual Outward Bound National Benefit Dinner on October 22nd. This year,the Dinner's focus was celebrating our nation's service members and benefiting the Outward Bound Veterans program - powerful wilderness courses that connect veterans with the healing benefits of the natural world, teamwork and challenge. Honorees included General and Mrs. George W. Casey, Jr., Chief of Staff, United States Army. At right, General George Casey, Jr. and me at the Outward Bound Dinner.
It was great celebrating such impressive milestones with our partners at the National Military Family Association and Outward Bound. Just a few weeks ago, we joined with our partners at Armed Services YMCA, National Military Family Association, and Outward Bound for our 2nd Annual Military Families Outdoors (MFO) Summit. The goal of the MFO program is to connect veterans and military families with the mental and physical benefits of outdoor experiences. It was a productive weekend of reviewing and reflecting on the successes of the program so far while brainstorming and identifying plans to continue to serve veterans and military families in the coming years. At left, Team MFO in the "Tree house" at 2nd Annual MFO Summit.
Cheers to celebrating service, our national heroes, and our natural heritage!