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Jeff Lynch
In 2011 Jeff Lynch medically retired from the army. It was definitely a shock to realize just how little we were getting paid. I immediately went to work, but it is was still a struggle.

Come Christmas time, we found ourselves faced with a difficult decision; pay our rent or provide gifts for our daughter. On top of it, Jeff and I had always made Christmas tradition of "adopting" a child from our local angel tree who is the same age our son would have been. We had no choice but to do the responsible thing. And knowing our parents would be bringing our CateLyn some gifts; we took comfort in spending what little extra we had to make the life of someone less fortunate brighter for the holidays. Jeff has always said that even when you think you have it hard, someone always has it harder.

To our surprise a few days before Christmas we opened our front door to a package from someone we had never met. It was full of Christmas gifts for CateLyn. This was the start of our mission.

Every year since, we have worked to recognize other military families who are in similar situations to our own. We first partnered with Holidays for Heroes in 2014 and have since been able to help 15 families and 42 children, aged 6 months to 14 years. These children all have at least one parent who was injured in Iraq or Afghanistan and is either medically retired/separated or in the process.

This year the wish list for these children has been very humble. Something as simple as a Batman sweatshirt or a Barbie are all these precious children have requested.

The need for a program like this is so great - it is very humbling for these families to even ask for assistance. Jeff and I are truly honored to be able to do this for them. It is truly the highlight of our year.

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