Moorestown Mall retailers say thanks to the Military

MOORESTOWN, N.J. - December 11, 2010

They were treated to prizes and discounts at the Moorestown Mall in New Jersey.

Around the holidays, everyone is often times running full speed trying to get ready for that special day. But at Moorestown Mall, they were taking a little time also to say thanks to our men and women in the military with a special shopping day.

"We decided that because Military families and service personnel sacrifice so much for us all year long to protect our country, we wanted to give them a special shopping day to show our appreciation," said Lisa Wolstromer of the Moorestown Mall.

Merchants were providing discounts, raffle prizes and other donations as part of the effort, and members of the USO were also there too providing free gift wrapping.

"This is important so that they know the community is here helping them and supporting them," said M.J. Flammer from the USO.

Supporting guys like Eric Evelo of South Hampton who has served 23 years in the Army National Guard.

"I've been to Iraq three times, had many, many deployments overseas. It's just been a long time. I got back in 2009, so I've been home for, this will be the second Christmas in a row that I'm home which is good, because I've missed a few," said Eric Evelo.

"He's missed a lot of Christmases," said his daughter Abigail Evelo.

His 13 year old twin daughter Abigail should know, she was growing up fast while her dad was overseas.

"We thought he wasn't going to be home for Christmas last year because he was in Iraq. So he's home which made me happy, made all of us happy," said Abigail.

Army Major Valdon Daniel, II is happy to be home with his wife Maria, and delighted with what Moorestown Mall and the USO is doing for the troops.

"The fact that we're here and somebody appreciates you shows appreciation by giving back, it's wonderful, and I wish that could be done more often," said Army Major Valdon Daniel, II.

Most folks may not know this, but the USO has been supporting our Military and their families since 1941. And the PA and South Jersey USO are the only ones in the country that provides full American meals to soldiers and their families before they depart for service and when they finally come back home.

"They're even on posts and FOBS (Forward Operating Base, airfield used to support tactical operations) in Iraq and Afghanistan, so the USO is everywhere, and I truly, truly appreciate everything that they do for us, they're awesome," said Evelo.

This Holiday Season, take a moment to say thanks to our men and women in uniform.

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