The Decorated Family Program Honors Local Veterans In a Special Way

The decorations we put up for the holidays are temporary—but that doesn't mean they're unimportant. Arranging some flowers in a vase, hanging a seasonal flag, or putting up a Christmas tree are all ways to make a home warm, welcoming, and happy. This can be particularly meaningful for anyone who's been away from home for a while, and who would benefit from some extra care and cheer.


Just ask Lucas and Amy Oppelt. This married couple, both veterans, made it through a terribly challenging time together, thanks in part to the warmth and happiness that holiday decorations bring.

On May 26, 2012, Amy received a call from the Army informing her that Lucas had stepped on an IED during active duty. Over the next three years, the family virtually lived in the hospital with Lucas. The former combat line medic lost his right leg and suffered nerve damage in his left, leaving him grateful to be alive but limited physically and by experiences with PTSD.

When Lucas could finally go home from the hospital, the whole family was thrilled to get to spend Christmas together at their house. Amy knew that when it came to hanging lights and other decorations, they would have to do things a little differently—so she reached out to the Decorated Family Program.

Started in 2003 at a Christmas Decor franchise, the the Decorated Family Program helps military families add holiday spirit to their homes with all types of decorations. At Lucas and Amy's, Christmas Decor workers hung more than 1,000 lights and set up inflatable characters in the front yard, and it was all a surprise to the Oppelts' kids!

"My daughter just stood in amazement for 3 or 4 minutes and didn't say anything, just sat there and looked at the lights," Lucas says. That feeling, and seeing families united in holiday spirit, is truly priceless.

To learn more about Christmas Decor's Decorated Family Program, visit their website and Facebook page! People can nominate deserving military families in their community by filling out the nomination form, available on Facebook.

This video was produced by Lucia Nazzaro and shot/edited by Jackie Turner. To see more inspiring videos, check out our YouTube page!


Press Paws (S1:E1) – Finding Furry Friends In Unusual Places

Welcome to Press Paws - a new OnlyGood.tv series for the Animal lover in all of us! Hosted by Michelle Ray Smith, Press Paws tells passionate stories of the unique bond between animals and people and how they help each other live a happier, more fulfilling life. Whether you are looking to adopt, visit a sanctuary filled with quirky characters, or are just an animal lover that loves a good "tail", Press Paws has something that is guaranteed to make you smile.

Keep reading... Show less
Fans' Top 5 Hits

From Software to Sourdough, Taking A Leap of Faith

Did you ever know someone who seems to be on a brilliant, fast track career path and then suddenly gets up one day and decides to do something completely different? Sherif Farag is that guy. After a 15 year career in Management Consulting and Business Strategy, most recently with McKinsey in New York City, Sherif decided to trade in the airline miles and hotel points and do something completely out of his consulting comfort zone.

Keep reading... Show less

A Dog’s Journey Home (E11) - Pittsburgh Gotcha Day!

After 90+ dog transport trips, Tracy'sDogs co-founder Scott Whyatt knows to be ready for anything. In this episode of A Dog's Journey Home, Scott's transport will arrive with 62 dogs who were loaded up on an 80 degree day in Texas and will now be meeting their new families in the chill of early winter in Pennsylvania. It's Gotcha Day in Pittsburgh!

Keep reading... Show less
Fans' Top 5 Hits

The Creation of Us (S2:E4) – A 30/60/90 Celebration

The love and closeness of families can be traced to the traditions that are passed down that bind them together. In this episode of The Creation Of Us, Heather and Christen invite us in to share a unique event that links 3 generations of Christen's family in a special way.

Keep reading... Show less

This Community Comes Together In A Beautiful Way To Honor Fallen Soldiers

As the fourth of July approaches, people across America are already celebrating by lighting small fireworks and commemorating all of the soldiers that served or gave their lives to keep this country both safe and free. Dr. Alida Ward, Reverend of the Greenfield Hill Church in Connecticut, brings her community together to honor all of the fallen soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan by holding a memorial service in her church and posting the names of all those who have passed on her church walls. Despite this, they felt like something more needed to be done.

Keep reading... Show less

From the Horrors of Iraq to the Glamour of Tribeca

Like many other Army Vets who have experienced the carnage of war, Stacy Bare was not able to put Iraq behind him when he returned home. The worst low he experienced was questioning why he lived while others died which led to feelings of guilt and suicide.

Keep reading... Show less
www.youtube.com

Be a STAR with these Holiday Ice Cream Sandwiches

Beaches and pools have opened up and ice cream trucks are once more playing their jingle. Summer has finally arrived! In this new episode of Unwritten Recipes, a HooplaHa Original Series, we commemorate Independence Day and cool down with host Felicia Levinson, with a helping hand from her son Simon, who shares with us her recipe on how to make Star Ice Cream Sandwiches.
Keep reading... Show less
Fans' Top 5 Hits

One-Armed Sharpshooter Won't Miss His Shot

It happened in seconds. Izzy Ezagui, a Special Forces soldier in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), was quietly preparing in his tent for his next mission, when suddenly, a mortar hit and exploded right next to him. He lost his left arm on the spot.

Keep reading... Show less
Watch and Subscribe
It's a Positivity Movement
OnlyGood TV on YouTube

mailbox

Get your Only Good TV Newsletter