This post is categorized in the Caring for the Defenders index because this is one way you can help those in combat and those in VA hospitals, too.
Gina Elise is a model with a BA from UCLA. She has spent 2006 and 2007 on her project that combines what she knows (modeling, photography, history) to help a cause dear to her heart (hospitalized veterans and soldiers in need).
So, she created a project called Pin Ups for Vets which is co-sponsored by American Legion Post 360 of Lake Arrowhead, California. Her 2007 Pin Up Calendar sold out and now she has her 2008 Calendar available. Gina Elise says this about her project:
Over the past year, I have heard and read incredible stories about the injured soldiers returning from military service. Their hardest battles have just begun, as they attempt to recover in Veterans Hospitals all across America . I was touched by each story, and knew that I had to try to do something to help our hospitalized Vets.
I came up with an idea to recreate a World War II style pin-up calendar that would have the dual purpose of raising money for programs that support hospitalized Veterans, and also serve as a GIFT for each and every Veteran, as they recover in a Veterans Hospital.
I always loved the beautiful pin-up photos and paintings from the World War II era that American soldiers took overseas with them to boost their morale. The troops often carried these “cheesecake” pictures with them into war to help remind them of what they were fighting for back home. One of the most famous pinup shots was taken in the 1940’s of actress Betty Grable, in a bathing suit, looking back over her shoulder.
With these old glamorous pictures as inspiration, I decided to try to recreate the feeling of these nostalgic pin-ups in my own photo shoots, and then assemble my pictures in a calendar for a fund-raiser to benefit the programs that support the hospitalized Veterans, injured in ALL wars, past and present.
Your calendar donation will go towards: eyeglasses for Veterans, the home health program, recreational therapy, spinal cord injury & amputee programs, substance abuse program, women’s Veterans’ program, chapel improvements, homeless program, reading materials and subscriptions for the Veterans, patio improvements, parking lot shuttle, courtesy cart, social relief fund, televisions, wheelchairs, and outreach programs for the visually impaired...
You can purchase a calendar for yourself, one to be sent to a soldier (any soldier or one you give the address for), or one for a hospitalized veteran. Gina will be visiting our Soldiers at Walter Reed in January and needs to bring (at least) 100 calendars with her. Purchase a calendar to give to a Soldier at Walter Reed here (option #2).
Of course, military bloggers support Gina's efforts. Here's Major Chuck Ziegenfuss with Gina:
And Major (ret) John Donovan ("The Donovan" is smiling, by the way. That's his happy face):
And me (working slightly harder at smiling than John):
And one more photo Blackfive-approved photo of Gina from 2007:
More photos of Gina Elise from the calendar shoots (but not the actual calendar photos) after the Jump: