Red White and Blue by Kim Lawton

Memorial Day marks the official beginning of summer. But its significance is much more than that. It is a day set aside to honor and remember the men and women who have died serving in the United States Armed Forces. Its origins date back to the Civil War where Union and Confederate soldiers were honored. By the 20th century the honor was extended to all Americans who had died in service to our Country. Service to one’s country is a great calling and high honor. To give the ultimate sacrifice for one’s country is bravery exemplified. Let us remember those that have fallen in service and give thanks for their service. At the same time, let’s thank our service men and women that continue to serve so that we can enjoy the freedoms that make our Country great.

For service members planning a summer vacation, there are discounts available for Walt Disney World trips including lodging and tickets. There is even a resort dedicated to US Military members and their families. It is the only Armed Forces Recreation Center in the continental United States, offering resort accommodations and friendly service in the midst of Walt Disney World. They take pride in serving those who serve. Since the resort is a Walt Disney World partner, guests can purchase theme park tickets, take advantage of Extra Magic Hours at the theme parks and use complimentary Shades of Green buses to get around. Check out the Shades of Green web page for more information, http://www.shadesofgreen.org.

Opening in 1994, Shades of Green is designed with service members in mind, providing much needed R&R. There are 586 over sized rooms with many meeting ADA standards. Like other Disney resorts, it is a destination in itself with lush tropical gardens, pools and a variety of restaurants. Affordability, first class accommodations, enthusiasm and enhancing moral are part of the resort mission statement. If you meet the specific eligibility requirements, you and your guests will enjoy sharing the magic at this exclusive resort.
There are other web sites devoted to military discounts and Disney information. Just be sure to double check all the fine print and make sure you know what you are buying. For example http://www.militarydisneytips.com has information on everything from discounts to when to go with an overview of Shades of Green thrown in. Some of the information is free and some is in the form of an information booklet for a fee. The Walt Disney web site also has military discount information and a link to the Shades of Green page.
Patriotism and serving ones country was important to Walt Disney and to the company he founded. He once said: “Actually, if you could see close in my eyes, the American flag is waving in both of them and up my spine is glowing this red, white, and blue stripe.”

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