When it comes to saying, “Thank you for your service,” American and Canadian citizens do an incredible job to let those who serve know just how much we appreciate their service. Many will work through veteran’s associations, churches or charity groups like Operation Gratitude to send goodwill packages out to let them know just how much they care.
In these packages are all sorts of goodies like toiletries, books, magazines and sweets to help make life a little better for those who serve, but also to provide them a distraction from the incredible stress they face each day. So we were encouraged to hear from veterans that Upper Deck trading cards were one of their favorite gifts to receive when they served. Here is what some had to say:
“Trading cards give soldiers stationed overseas a piece of home. When I was sent to basic training I kept one of my favorite rookie cards on me as a reminder of home. I opened packs with my dad on family day and when I got home, it brought us closer together.” – Josh H.
“Every care package I received was a welcome sight. One of the best things to get was trading cards, because when all the other goodies were gone, you still had those cards. A lot of us would go around to see who had cards and trade for our home team players. During my deployment I would frequently ask for cards and top loaders in my care packages so I could keep them protected and bring them with me on patrols. They were kind of like my lucky clover.” – James Y.
“My wife knows I’m a collector so when she sent packs, the trading cards were a reminder that my family was with me, they weren’t too far away and they could show their love no matter the distance. I remember getting packs from her and all the guys saying how lucky I was. Of course I shared some of the cards with them and asked my wife to include more so I could share with them.” – Ryan Y.
“I began collecting again prior to my last deployment and I asked my wife to include packs of cards in care packages. In a place where you are constantly on edge and there is so much going on around you, there is nothing better than getting a few free minutes enjoying a piece of home. When I would open packs, I was no longer in a combat zone where the violence and chaos were at times overwhelming, but I was back home on my front porch with my buddies ripping packs of cards. It provided moments of innocence and clarity not often seen during deployment. Having been injured during service, I found that sports cards can be a form of therapy. They can help vets get through tough times by providing a much needed break to help their minds unwind.” – Brian R.
“When I was deployed everyone knew someone who was a collector and to get packs was a great taste of home. Trading cards can be a form of relaxation to many of us. When you get back from patrol you are on edge and cards provide a great way to calm down. We saw servicemen use these cards as a tool as well. By giving them to local children who never experienced the hobby, we gained their trust and put a smile on their faces.” – Hugo C.
So make sure you are including packs to go out to those who serve and to veterans who are home, but still battling mental and physical issues they experienced during their service. As a token of our appreciation to all who have served, Upper Deck will be donating 5,000 packs of cards to Operation Gratitude and 2,500 packs of cards to Defending the Blue Line which are two great organizations that support our military. Happy Veterans Day and thank you to all who served!