When a life experience opens the blinds to a whole new scenery, detours happen. When Gloria De Paul began working as an admissions rep at Florida National University in 2005 (distance learning department), she didn’t imagine it would eventually guide her future steps. Each active military student she helped to enroll pulled back the blinds a bit, and soon, her whole heart was flooded with a new light; a fresh view of servicemen and women came into perspective, along with an intensified appreciation for those serving America.
“Listening to their personal stories about their lives and how they decided to defend our freedom; their goals, their families, and the way they loved me…I did not have an original plan. All I knew was that I was destined to be around them and do something that would show them how I feel about them. I let God show me what the plan is.” ~ Gloria De Paul
[The one in the front is Rosa Perez. She uses the red shirt every Friday.]
In May of 2015, Gloria moved to Jacksonville, North Carolina, a military town with businesses thriving on the patronage of the armed-forces and their families. Although delighted to be surrounded by this community of servicemen and women, she was disheartened to see a lack of patriotic pride. For over eleven years, she wore RED on Fridays to honor the heroes fighting for the freedoms that Americans enjoy, but in her new residence, the signs of those Remembering Everyone Deployed were shockingly sparse.
Gloria imagined walking through the grocery store, down a sidewalk, or even sitting at a restaurant on any given Friday, and finding that everyone got the memo – to wear red; to show solidarity and honor, and to be united in patriotic support for everyone deployed, every Friday, until they all come home.
Eventually, this vision turned into a nonprofit organization, aptly named, Remember Everyone Deployed, Inc. Since the inception of this new outreach in June of 2016, Gloria has been dedicated to making the vision a reality. Starting the project of support in the military community of Jacksonville, with the intent to continue to national levels, Gloria’s mission is to unite all Americans in this cause, and to see the entire United States wearing RED on Fridays. Her heart-goal is to serve the military community and their families by showing that they are never forgotten.
Soft, stylish, and sold to help support other nonprofits that cater to the deployed, RED t-shirts are available for patriotic individuals on Gloria’s website: https://remembereveryonedeployed.org/. Businesses who want to follow the executive crowd led by Southeastern Outdoor Products, AM Global Group, CPR Phone Repair, University of Mt Olive in Jacksonville, DELL Ambassadors, Iron Forged Fitness, NorthStar Café, H&R Block and Zaxby’s of Jacksonville, can even order specialized shirts in large bundles for employees, imprinted with a company logo for comfortable, wearable advertising on RED Fridays.
The Military Heroes Support Foundation (MHSF), whose mission it is to provide monthly care packages to our heroes overseas and help veterans with the transition once home, is one favorite of Gloria’s. Knowing that many of the deployed don’t have access to a Post Exchange to purchase hygiene products, that some are deployed without any family back home to send letters or care packages, and most are just down right bored during the waiting-game, the value of the MHSF’s ministry is priceless.
One recipient said, “I was deployed twice, both Iraq 07-09 and Afghanistan 2012, and it was a great joy to receive care packages from citizens that truly loved and cared for our military personnel. I still carry a stuffed cat that was sent to me when I was in Iraq. I had it on my assault pack. Even though you all may not hear it from ALL of the troops, they really do appreciate what you all do for them. THANK YOU ALL FOR WHAT YOU DO! HOOAH!” ~Anthony J.
Until they all come home, be a tidal wave in the Sea of RED!
Because Southeastern Outdoor Products has a healthy amount of patriotism, we recently held an event for Gloria's RED endeavors, in an effort to help her spread awareness beyond the limits of Jacksonville, NC. On May 31st from 11A to 2PM, before the next tornado rolled through, guests enjoyed Krispy Kreme donuts, Starbucks coffee, the ability to buy raffle tickets for a 10x10x6 dog kennel, bid at a silent auction, plus enjoy a few supportive vendors. You won't want to miss the fun, next year!
Thanks goes out to Diane for donating military-hero care-package items!
What others had to say about
receiving care packages while deployed:
"LOL! I feel loved, once again!” ~Jon B.
“We don’t have a PX or anything to buy personal hygiene or anything here, so we have to rely on care packages to keep us going.” ~Anonymous
“We appreciate more than you know. Sometimes we skip meals trying to hit deadlines on the project.” ~Anonymous
“Receiving those care packages made me feel that people back home cared and thought about us. It was more than just receiving those things you couldn’t get while deployed, though that certainly didn’t hurt. I will always be thankful for that.” ~Luis R.
“I felt a huge surge of euphoria. Just to know that someone back at home consider[ed] my wellbeing, was enough to send me into a blissful state of mind for weeks. Thank you!” ~Daniel S.