Military Families to Benefit From Keepsake Book of Children's Heartwarming Essays

NMFA Announces Additional $2 Million Donation From Sears to Address Unique Challenges Faced By Military Families

Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) and the National Military Family Association (NMFA) announced today the release of an inspiring keepsake book titled A Tribute to Military Families: Letters of Thanks from Our Nation's Children. The book provides a unique account of the significance of our nation's military and their family members, through the eyes of children, during this difficult time in our world.

The book was created to increase awareness about the importance of military families and to raise funding to support programs that address the unique challenges faced by these families. Proceeds from the book's sales will go to NMFA for programs benefiting military families throughout the nation. The book is available now on (Item# 02868995000) for $9.99 while supplies last. See for program details.

The special keepsake features 100 children's letters, which were collected through a contest created by Sears and NMFA that encouraged 4th through 6th grade children to write about their appreciation for service members and their families. Children from military families wrote letters about their appreciation for their family member serving in the military, while civilian children expressed their thanks for the unique challenges faced by military families. (Sample essays attached.)

To spread the word about the importance of military families, Sears also will donate a copy of the book to every public library in the United States.

The release of the book coincides with the Month of the Military Child (April) and the announcement of Sears' $2 million contribution to NMFA to develop and enhance programs that address the unique challenges faced by military families. The donation is the largest contribution in NMFA's history.

Sears' partnership with NMFA is part of the Sears American Dream Campaign, the company's multi-year, $100 million commitment to strengthen families, homes and communities. From helping low- and moderate-income homeowners nationwide outfit and maintain their homes, to assisting victims of natural disasters to providing thousands of children with new apparel, the Sears American Dream Campaign is making a meaningful difference in communities across the nation.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a leading broadline retailer providing merchandise and related services. With revenues in 2003 of $41.1 billion, the company offers its wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services through more than 2,300 Sears-branded and affiliated stores in the U.S. and Canada, which includes approximately 870 full-line and 1,100 specialty stores in the U.S. Sears also offers a variety of merchandise and services through,, and specialty catalogs. Sears is the only retailer where consumers can find each of the Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard and Lands' End brands together -- among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S. The company is the largest provider of product repair services with more than 14 million services calls made annually.

NMFA is a predominantly volunteer-operated 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with a dedicated group of Volunteer Representatives, based around the world. These Representatives are the "eyes and ears" of the Association. Through their daily lives they embody the military lifestyle, including active duty, reserve, Guard and retirees. They also interact, educate, and inform military families of their benefits. In so doing they contribute to the Association's mission: to improve the quality-of-life for all military families through education, information and advocacy.

   Amber Tozier
   5th Grade
   Morris Hill Elementary
   Fort Riley, Kansas

My dad is in the United States Army. He has been in the military a long time. My dad is very proud of his country and told me that the best way he could show how much he loves the United States is to serve in the military and protect it.

My dad loves to help people in this country. I can remember one time when there was a hurricane in Florida and he had to go and help people that had lost their homes. He helped them clean up their houses and got them water and food to eat. He took people to the hospital that needed help.

My dad is now in Iraq. He is trying to help those people to be free like us. He has helped rebuild hospitals and made it safe for kids like us to go to school. He told me that the kids over there don't have a lot of things and gave them candy and toys that we sent over to him.

By making others countries safe my dad is making our country safe. He is very brave and knows his job very well. My dad loves my mom and I very much. He wants to protect us, and make this country a better place for us. This is why I am very proud of my dad.

   Alexandria Gigler
   6th Grade
   Schiller School
   Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Recently was the first time that the full meaning of war and the sacrifices that our soldiers families make. I have a growing interest in all of these families. There are men and women left to raise their children alone and living with the fear that their spouses may never return home. There are babies that have never been held by their fathers and fathers that have never laid eyes on their baby except from a picture. Children scoring their first goal looking up into the crowd for their father cheering but he will only read about it in a letter. The holidays go by and meals are eaten with that one chair empty each time. I sat at thanksgiving dinner and looked around at all of my family and thought how sad it would be if we had one chair empty. I am lucky though I have my entire family with me. I think kids take for granted every day things like watching your father read the newspaper your mother make dinner or fighting with a sibling over the TV. I guess it is not until one of them is away that you really realize what those every day activities mean in daily life. It is because of all these things that I greatly appreciate the families of men and women in the United States armed forces. I thank them for all the sacrifices that they make while their loved ones are at war defending the freedoms of others.

SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.

CONTACT: Shirley Calhoun of National Military Family Association,
+1-703-931-6632; or Lisa Gibbons of Sears, Roebuck and Co., +1-847-286-5506

Web site:

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