Guardswomen Return from NYC Mother’s Day Event for Soldier Support

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Shelle Michaelsby Shelle Michaels, Staff Writer

 left: Shelle Michaels of Grand Forks, N.D., writes a letter to a deployed service member at Military Island in Times Square, New York. Michaels is the national communication director for Soldiers’ Angels and founded Ladies of Liberty as part of that group. Both are nonprofit groups that support deployed service members, with Ladies of Liberty focusing on the special needs of female service members.

NEW YORK — Some of the original Ladies of Liberty from the North Dakota Army National Guard had the opportunity to visit the original Lady of Liberty and help support other service members during a trip to New York City this week.

Four female Soldiers who have deployed with North Dakota National Guard units took part in “Operation: Birthday Cake” in Times Square on Tuesday morning. The event was a nonprofit partnership between Soldiers’ Angels Ladies of Liberty and Bake Me a Wish! in which 5,000 “Mother” cakes were given away to those who volunteered to write a note to a deployed service member and, in a nontraditional manner, “mother” one of America’s Soldiers.     


Operation: Birthday CakeRIGHT: A businessman writes a letter to a Soldier serving overseas during “” in Times Square on Tuesday.


“This trip was such a positive experience that I could share with my daughter. With me being deployed in 2006-07, and my husband currently being deployed, it was a positive experience in our lives and I’m just really proud to be a part of it,” said Sgt. Delicia Glaze, a North Dakota Army National Guard Soldier from Grand Forks who attended the event with her daughter Peyton, 9.
 

Glaze is one of the first Soldiers supported by Ladies of Liberty, a nonprofit subset of Soldiers’ Angels that supports the special needs of deployed female service members.  

“It was Soldiers’ Angels honor to fly such amazing women from the Ladies of Liberty to participate in the first ‘Mothering Soldiers’ event. Their participation brought the event to another level of excellence and I look forward to this becoming an annual event in Times Square,” said Shelle Michaels, national communication director for Soldiers’ Angels. Michaels, of Grand Forks, took part in the event with her daughter, Rebbekah McPherron, 13.

Sgt. Vanessa Mozinski, a North Dakota Army National Guard Soldier from Ardoch, N.D., was one of those ladies. She traveled to New York with her mother, Gloria.  

“It was an honor to go there and support Soldiers’ Angels,” she said. “It was a great experience to be a part of, especially with my mother.”

Other participants included Sgt. Sara Braaten, who now serves in the South Dakota Army National Guard and lives in Hutchinson, Minn., and her mother, Barb, of Fargo, and Sgt. Amy Wieser Willson, of West Fargo, and her stepdaughter Molly, 15, of Valley City. Mozinski, Braaten and Glaze all deployed with North Dakota’s 1-188th Air Defense Artillery, and Wieser Willson deployed with the 141st Engineer Battalion.  

“It was an honor being part of such a giving event,” Braaten said. “I hope that the cakes the Soldiers receive bring them a lot of happiness. It was a great experience for me and my mom.”

In addition to the 5,000 cakes distributed in Times Square, an additional 5,000 cakes are being mailed with the letters to deployed service members.  

“Being apart from family on Mother’s Day is always difficult; however we hope that with the help of Soldiers’ Angels Ladies of Liberty and Friends of Island Academy (a nonprofit that assisted with this event) we will bring some joy, a little ‘mothering,’ to our troops this Mother’s Day,” said Josh Kaye, Bake Me a Wish! president. “We are proud, especially during these tough economic times, that we can bring the ultimate comfort food to those who mother and to those who need moms.” 

SOLDIERS ANGELS WEB SITE: http://www.soldiersangels.org


Photos by Sgt. Amy Wieser Willson, North Dakota National Guard.


Sgt. Vanessa Mozinski, a North Dakota Army National Guard SoldierSgt. Vanessa Mozinski, a North Dakota Army National Guard Soldierwho deployed with the 1-188th Air Defense Artillery, interacts with a New Yorker writing a letter to a Soldier during “Operation: Birthday Cake.” The nonprofit event in Times Square celebrated “mothering” America’s Soldiers by giving away 5,000 cakes to those who wrote letters to Soldiers serving overseas; another 5,000 cakes are being shipped to deployed service members with the letters. Mozinski traveled to New York with her mom, Gloria, for the event. Other female Soldiers who deployed with North Dakota units also traveled with either their mother or their daughter.


Sgt. Delicia Glaze, a North Dakota National Guard Soldier

Sgt. Delicia Glaze, a North Dakota National Guard Soldier, holds a boxed “Mother” cake as people in Times Square write letters to deployed Soldiers. Glaze herself deployed to Afghanistan with the 1-188th Air Defense Artillery, and her husband, Sgt. Matthew Glaze, is currently deployed there. Glaze traveled to New York with her daughter Peyton, 9, to take part in “Operation: Birthday Cake.”


Molly Willson, of Valley City, N.D., hands paper to a passerby in Times Square.Molly Willson, of Valley City, N.D., hands paper to a passerby in Times Square. The woman was one of 5,000 who wrote letters to deployed service members in a two-hour time period Tuesday morning. Each letter writer received a small Bake Me a Wish! cake and another 5,000 cakes are being mailed to deployed Soldiers with the letters. Willson traveled to New York City with her stepmother, Sgt. Amy Wieser Willson, of West Fargo, N.D., who deployed to Iraq with the North Dakota Army National Guard’s 141st Engineer Battalion.

 

 

 

 

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