About Us And What We Do
We are a family with a proud history of military service dating back to, at least, World War I. We have several surviving family members that are either retired or currently serving on active duty. Their service includes deployments to war zones in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Between family and close friends, we have belonged to each branch of the military. Through these united experiences, we understand the extreme sacrifices and dedication entire families sign up for and endure during military commitments.
Operation Grateful Hearts’ beginnings started in 1992 when founder, Wendy Jo Ackley, had tragedy strike her family. Being exceedingly grateful for the wave of support and assistance her family received from their military community, they wanted to give back. Her family decided to start by sponsoring a family for Christmas, in honor of her brother’s birthday on December 18th.