Operation Thank a Vet and the Legacy of Travis Manion

Shane McArdle, the Bucks County 8th grader behind Operation Thank a Vet, discusses the project with Representative Mike Fitzpatrick.

When the Travis Manion Foundation presented the Character Does Matter leadership challenge at St. John the Baptist School in Ottsville, Shane McArdle was paying close attention.

The eighth-grade student was inspired.  He took the lesson to heart.  Soon, he was on a mission: to thank all veterans for their sacrifices, bravery, and courage.  He founded Operation Thank a Vet, and the project quickly grew.

Last fall, United Way of Bucks County was honored to support this young man’s vision by hosting a ‘Thank-a-thon’ at Ann’s Choice in Warminster.  Together with veterans from Ann’s Choice and volunteers from the community, we helped Shane gather over 5,000 handwritten cards to go to those who serve.
Last Veteran’s Day, Shane brought those cards to veteran’s hospitals and a number of other locations.

As Memorial Day approaches, we are thinking of Shane and his ambitious project.  We are thinking of those who serve and of their families.  We are remembering and contemplating the words of Elmer Davis: “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”

We ask that you take a moment to reflect this weekend and then – if you are inspired to take action – send a card to thank a veteran.  You can mail your card to Shane’s Operation Thank a Vet, P.O. Box 403, Pipersville, PA 18947.

We also ask that you also take a moment to learn more about the mission of the Travis Manion Foundation (www.travismanion.org) and their incredible work here in Bucks County and beyond.


Join us in changing lives in Bucks County for good by making a donation today. Donations can be made online or by mailing a check to, United Way of Bucks County, 413 Hood Blvd., Fairless Hills, PA 19030.