Off Limits, cover art

Gratitude Plus (X-posted on the Coffeetime Romance Blog)

I’d like to open this post with a plug for one of my favorite organizations taken from the Operation Gratitude mission statement.

Operation Gratitude seeks to lift spirits and meet the evolving needs of our Active Duty and Veteran communities, and provide volunteer opportunities for all Americans to express their appreciation to members of our Military.  Operation Gratitude annually sends 150,000+ care packages filled with food, hygiene products, entertainment and handmade items, plus personal letters of support, addressed to individual Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed overseas, to their children left behind, and to Veterans,  New Recruits, First Responders, Wounded Warriors and their Care Givers.  Through Collection Drives, Letter Writing Campaigns, Craft Projects and Financial Donations, Operation Gratitude provides civilians anywhere in America a way to say ‘Thank You’ to the men and women of the U.S. Military through active, hands-on Volunteerism.

 Operation Gratitude is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer-based corporation, funded entirely by private donations.  For safety and security, the assembling of packages occurs at the Army National Guard Armory in Van Nuys, California. Since its inception in March, 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have assembled and shipped more than One Million Care Packageshttps://www.operationgratitude.com/

off limits half sizeThe sacrifices made by our service men and women and their families touch all of our lives. Gratitude and recognition is the least we can do as citizens who reap the benefits of those sacrifices. We say thanks by our actions as much as by our words. I write military romances not only to entertain and say thank you but also to promote understanding of some of the problems caused by being in the military. Off Limits is one of my favorite stories and illustrates just one of the conflicts that can arise when duty clashes with desire.

Off Limits: For Senior Chief Hank O’Mara no woman could compare with the sea until he met Lieutenant Bethany Morton.  Only the sea could draw two passionate people of such opposite backgrounds together, and only US Navy regulations could keep them apart.  Because fraternization between Officer and enlisted is forbidden, both Beth and Hank do their utmost to resist the passion and love growing between them.  However, love proves stronger than either the sea or the USN. If they are to be together, Hank must sacrifice his career and Beth will risk the destruction of her professional dreams. For more about Hank and Beth you can read an excerpt at http://rueallyn.com/2b1OLexcerpt.html.

As a former USN Petty Officer, married to another former Petty Officer, I am keenly aware of the unique problems confrontingRAlogo2013blueJPGweb service members who fall in love (or even in lust). Fortunately my husband I were married before either of us entered the service, so our problems didn’t resemble those of Hank and Bethany in Off Limits. We did, however, have to deal with issues of separation, access to military housing (easy in some places, extremely difficult in others) and finding child care at odd hours or on very short notice. Most of the commands where I served recognized these issues and had resources available, but then I was stationed on land. Women had not gained the right to be stationed aboard most ships at that time. Duty at sea for married couples complicates an already difficult situation, especially if children are involved. Hank and Beth don’t have any children, yet, but their problems are very real. When you read their story, I hope you take away a real sense of the pride, love and sacrifice that make up every career military service member. Go Navy!

Please leave a comment. Tell me how you say thanks, and how you heard about this post. At least one of you who leaves a comment will receive a Ghirardelli Chocolate gift card.

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