The Strength Behind the Strong website. Proudly supporting our friends and family in the U.S. military, including Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.


The Strength Behind The Strong was founded by Christine Hofmann-Bourque, who is proud to have a husband in the Army, three brothers in the Navy and Army, and a sister-in-law in the Army. Christine is also a professional journalist. Read our first post to find out why this website is so close to her heart. More >>

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Thank-yous are even more special when they’re a surprise

The little kindnesses shown to our military men and women make me smile. This past Saturday night at Boston’s Fenway Park, while we were watching the Red Sox play, a 22-year-old civilian standing in SRO with us bought my husband, who is almost 20 years his senior, a beer to say Thank you for your service.

What a sweet — and unexpected — gesture.

A few weeks ago, Kyle and I decided to be hometown tourists and walk Boston’s Freedom Trail, which is a marked path that leads visitors past historic sites like the Old South Meeting House and the USS Constitution. And unexpectedly — because it’s not listed on the official Freedom Trail map — we found this memorial to American servicemen and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s tucked in a beautiful tree-shaded garden behind Old North Church, where Paul Revere’s lanterns hung to warn of the impending arrival of the British. The garden memorial is made of dog tags strung between wood poles; from a distance it looks like a beautiful, woven tapestry. It’s simple and solemn and a lovely thank you to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. 

The small sign reads "This Memorial Garden is to honor the men and women in the Armed Forces and the civilians who have lost their lives in the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. We pray for all victims of war. May their souls and the souls of all the departed rest in peace."

Thousands of dog tags sway in tribute to those who couldn't come home.

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