Three Ways To Lower Your Insurance Premium


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If you’re looking for a lower homeowner’s insurance premium try one of these tricks:

Call competitors.  This can be time consuming, but calling several companies for rate quotes can end up saving you quite a bundle in the long-run.  Just make sure the quotes you are getting match the coverage your currently have, otherwise it’s not a good comparison.  In some cases, switching carriers could save you up to 10% annually!

Package it.  Depending on your carrier, you may be able to get a better rate if you bundle your homeowners insurance with your auto coverage.  If you currently have separate policies, call both companies and ask about package discounts.  Who knows, maybe you’ll even save some money on car insurance while you’re at it!

Raise your deductible – A deductible is the amount of money you will have to pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in.  If you’ve got some money set aside to cover unexpected expenses then raising your deductible can save you a significant amount each month.

Looking to buy or sell a home in Southern Delaware?  Give Cooper Realty Associates a call and put us to work for you – 302-629-6693.

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5 Things To Know About Homeowner’s Insurance


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Homeowner’s Insurance is something that everyone has to deal with, but not everyone understands.  Here are five tips for dealing with it:

1.  Shop around.  You shouldn’t just shop around for the best price, you should also shop around for the best agent.  If you need to file a claim, you will have to work with an insurance adjuster.  Knowing, liking, and trusting your agent can make this process much smoother.

2.  Lower your premium.  Insurance companies figure out your premium from formulas that are based on how much risk they forsee in your property.  Taking some preventative measures can lower your premium by up to 20%!  Examples of preventative measures that affect your premium are installing smoke detectors, dead bolts, and alarm systems just to name a few.

3.  Replacement v. market value.  The policy you choose will either cover the “replacement cost” of your home or the “market value” of your home.  A market value policy is typically less expensive, but in the event that your home is ruined by a serious disaster you may not recoup enough to rebuild.  A market value policy will pay out based on how much someone would pay for your home and accompanying land in whatever condition it is in – so basically the insurance company will buy you out at market value after a disaster.  A replacement policy will pay out based on how much it will cost to replace your entire home.  Replacement coverage is definitely recommended, and sometimes even required by mortgage companies.

4.  Time limits.  When you purchase your homeowner’s policy, be sure to ask about time limits for reporting claims and then follow them.

5.  Jewelry coverage.  Many homeowner’s policies limit the coverage of jewelry.  If you have expensive jewelry in your home, even if it is just a couple of wedding rings, be sure to note the jewelry limits in your policy and purchase a supplemental policy (often called a rider) if necessary.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-856-6434.

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Tips For Working With Contractors


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Home improvement projects are stressful, and unfortunately working with contractors can make this even more difficult at times.  Contractors are busy people and they don’t want to work with difficult customers any more than you want to work with a difficult contractor.  To make the relationship smoother, avoid disputing payments unless there is an extreme legal reason, be gracious about filling online reviews in a timely and truthful fashion, and offer to serve as a reference for completed work.  These tips will help you build a relationship with your contractor and pave the way for a smooth transaction.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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Natural Ways To Get Rid of Pests


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If your yard or home seems to attract pests, but you don’t like the idea of using chemicals to combat the problem, consider these natural solutions:

  • Plant Basil.  This will help block flies, which hate the smell of basil.  Planting pots at doorways or on windowsills or countertops can help repel flies.  Dried basil will also work, as long as the smell stays strong.
  • Vitamin C.  Citrus fruits are good for you and spiders hate them!  Mix unsweetened lemon or lime juice with water and wipe your countertops, doorways and windowsills with it.  If you have a spider problem in your garden spread around lemon, orange, or lime peels.
  • Vinegar.  A half water/half vinegar solution will destroy scent trails that ants use to navigate, thus helping to destroy your ant problem.  Just be sure to wipe down any surface where you’ve spotted ants multiple times a day for best results.
  • Trick Wasps.  Wasps are territorial and will not built a nest within 20 yards of another one.  You can purchase a fake wasps nest that is similar to a paper lantern.  Hang several around your property and you won’t have to worry about wasps taking over.
  • Catnip.  If cats are an issue, this is probably not a good idea, but according to a scientific publication catnip repels mosquitoes more effectively than DEET.  Grow it in your garden to keep mosquitoes at bay.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar.  If fruit flies are an issue, trap them in a glass filled three-quarters of the way with apple cider vinegar, than add 6-8 drops of dishwashing liquid and fill the rest of warm water… fruit flies will be a distant memory!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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September 11, 2013


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”Today we remember what took place 12 years ago.  The world changed and not for the better.  Man needs to repair its social fabric to bring trust, honor, and just common sense back into vogue.  Hate and murder, must not be allowed to run our lives.”  Fred005011

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What’s The Big Deal About Home Warranties?


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A home warranty can be a good investment or a complete waste of money.  Whether or not a home warranty is right for you completely depends on your situation.  There are many different companies that offer home warranties and they all offer different services for different prices, but in general a home warranty costs $300-$500 a year and will cover the cost of repairing or replacing almost any malfunctioning appliance or system in your home.  With a home warranty, when something in your home, like a dishwasher, oven, water heater, etc. breaks you call the home warranty company and they contact the repair company that the contract with and send someone out to fix the problem.  The home warranty would cover the costs, minus a small co-pay.  You can purchase a home warranty at any time that you own a home, but it is a particularly great incentive to offer if you are putting your home on the market.  For usually less than $500 you can offer a year’s worth of peace of mind to potential buyers, which can go a long way to helping your home show well and even sell!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-629-6693.

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3 Ways To Lower The Cost Of Homeowner’s Insurance


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 homeowners-insurance

There are many reasons that your homeowner’s premium might go up, but if you’re looking to lower yours, try any of these quick tips:

  1. Call competitors – Yes, it can be time consuming, but calling several companies for rate quotes can end up saving you quite a bundle in the long-run.  Just make sure the quotes you are getting match the coverage your currently have, otherwise it’s not a good comparison.  In some cases, switching carriers could save you up to 10% annually!
  2. Package it – Depending on your carrier, you may be able to get a better rate if you bundle your homeowners insurance with your auto coverage.  If you currently have separate policies, call both companies and ask about package discounts.  Who knows, maybe you’ll even save some money on car insurance while you’re at it!
  3. Raise your deductible – A deductible is the amount of money you will have to pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in.  If you’ve got some money set aside to cover unexpected expenses then raising your deductible can save you a significant amount each month.

Looking to buy or sell a home in Sussex County?  Give Cooper Realty Associates a call and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266!

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5 Ways To Use Up Fourth of July Leftovers


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If you enjoyed your fourth of July, but aren’t quite sure what to do with all your leftovers, this is the post for you…

1.  Watermelon Cake.  If you have lots of fresh watermelon leftover, cube it up, remove the seeds and mix it up with some white cake mix and other ingredients for this scrumptious summer dessert.  Just watch out!  It will become a favorite.  Click here for the recipe.

2.  Bread Pudding.  If you have a lot of leftover hamburger and/or hotdog buns, cube them up and use them in place of the bread in your favorite bread pudding recipe.  For a delicious recipe option that uses only ingredients you most likely already have on hand, click here.

3.  Hamburgers.  If you fear you’ll be eating hamburgers for the next week or so, crumble up your leftover patties and use them in place of ground beef in your favorite chili recipe.  Then you can freeze the chili in gallon freezer bags and pull them out when you need a quick and tasty meal!  For a simple and delicious chili recipe, click here.

4.  Coleslaw.  Take your leftover coleslaw and turn it into a star ingredient in your next meal with recipes like Easy Moo Shu Veggie WrapsAsian Style Lettuce Wraps, or Chicken BBQ Sandwiches.

5.  Cupcakes.  Patriotic cupcakes are all super popular, so if you find that you miraculously have some leftover, use them in place of pound cake in any trifle recipe, like this delicious blueberry trifle option.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County, give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-629-6693.

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Five Tips To Keep Your Home Safe This Summer


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With Summer vacation season in full swing, keep your home and family safe when you’re away with these tips:

1.  Keep quiet.  Don’t announce your vacation plans on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks and refrain from posting pictures or travel updates until you are back home safely.

2.  Stop your mail.  It’s free to put a hold on your mail at the post office, but asking a friend or neighbor to pick up your mail, newspapers, and packages will do the same thing.  Nothing announces that you’re out of town faster than a mailbox bursting at the seams or a doorstep full of unread newspapers.

3.  Unplug.  Turn off and unplug any appliances you don’t need to leave on to lower your potential fire risk.

4.  Set timers.  Put both outdoor and indoor lights on timers, especially in often used rooms that face the street.  Also consider putting your television or a radio to give the illusion that someone is home.  If possible, vary the timers each day, especially if you are going to be gone for a long time.

5.  Lock up.  This may seem like common sense, but double check all doors and windows to be sure they are locked and engage your alarm system if you have one.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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Five More Ways to Save on Air Conditioning Costs


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Yesterday, I wrote about three ways to save on air-conditioning costs this summer.  Here are five more:

1.  Watch the thermostat.  Consider turning the thermostat up a single degree.  It can make a big difference in cost!  Additionally, keep lamps and other heat-producing objects away from the thermostat.  If you have a programmable thermostat set it to up the temperature when nobody is home and lower it about an hour before you arrive home.  If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, install one!

2.  Turn it off.  Lights that is, although turning off the a/c will surely save a bundle too!  Turn off any lights that are not in use.

3.  Upgrade your bulbs.  Switch any regular incandescent bulbs out for CFL bulbs which are more efficient anyway.

4.  Add insulation.  If your home is not well insulated, insulating attics, crawlspaces, garages and any other un-airconditioned spaces can save a bundle and will continue to save you on heating costs in winter as well.

5.  Change the filter.  Maintain your system yearly at a minimum and change the filter regularly for the best efficiency.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?   Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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Three Ways To Save On Air Conditioning Costs


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Clip Art Illustration of a Penguin Repairing Air Conditioner

With the heat and humidity of summer fast approaching, energy costs can skyrocket with the nearly constant use of air conditioning.  Here are some simple tips to reduce your a/c costs, sometimes significantly!

1.  Reduce appliance use.  Keep the stove off and use microwaves, crockpots, toaster ovens and grills as much as possible.  Run heat-producing appliances like the dishwasher and dryer in the evening after the sun goes down, and consider hanging your clothes to dry and avoiding the dryer all together.

2.  Close it off.  Keep curtains, blinds, and shades closed during the day, or at least during the hottest parts of the day.

3.  Plan for shade.  Keep the area around your condenser unit shaded so that the system doesn’t have to work as hard to cool your home.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?   Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-856-6434.

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Garage Sale Tips: Finding Bargains


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yard-sale

Yesterday I talked about tips for hosting a successful garage sale, but if shopping for bargains is more your style consider these tips.  First, be selective.  Even though a dollar here and there doesn’t seem like much it can add up quickly, so unless you want your home to become cluttered with other people’s stuff, be discerning about what you buy.  Don’t feel obligated to buy just because you’re there, and choose things that you know you will definitely use.  Second, shop with a supply of small bills and change – single dollars and quarters are best for scoring bargains and making change quickly and easily.  Last, consider a drive-by.  After you’ve done your research on which sales you are going to hit up, drive by to see if they are as advertised.  If not, don’t hesitate to move on… just because you’re hunting bargains doesn’t mean you need to waste your time.  Enjoy bargain hunting during this garage sale season!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-856-6434.

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Garage Sale Tips


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‘Tis the season of garage sale-ing!  Garage sales are an awesome way to get rid of clutter around your house when you are preparing to sell, but you can also use them to raise money for a good cause, or just because.  No matter why you’re planning a garage sale, start by collecting items to sell.  The best thing to do is methodically go through each room of your home and put anything unused in a box to sell later.  Once you’ve got your goods for sale, put a price on everything, or if you want to save time, price it when you put it in the box.  Once you’re ready to sell you need to advertise.  The best way to do this is to place a free ad through craigslist.  Post your ad a few days before the sale and keep it bumped.  Include the address, times, and a list of items for sale.  You can also call your local newspaper and ask about ad space, but often it is too expensive to be worth it.  In addition to your ads, create several signs with large bold letters that advertise your sale.  For best results stick to the basics – the words “Garage Sale”, address, date & time.  You can even advertise your sale through your personal Facebook and Twitter account and other social media sites.  Ask your friends to share the info for even greater word-of-mouth!  For the best success make sure to set up your display neatly and in an area that is easy to find.  If you live in a difficult to find neighborhood, consider teaming up with a friend in a better location or purchasing a spot at a community sale.  Price everything, but be sure you don’t overprice it.  Garage sale pricing is significantly below retail value.  Your goal should be to earn a few bucks on something you would otherwise throw away or give away, not to recoup the price you paid for an item, even if it is still brand new.  Finally, consider teaming up with your friends or neighbors for a neighborhood-wide yard sale.  This will generate more traffic and create better success.  And don’t forget, the purpose of a garage sale is to clear clutter, so as soon as the sale is over box up anything that’s left and donate it to a local thrift store or non-profit organization.  Many will gladly take your leftovers and even give you a donation receipt that you can use as a tax write-off next year.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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Tax Day Freebies!


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tax-day

Today is tax day.  If you haven’t already taken advantage of the freebies that many businesses offer today, here are a few you can still get your hands on…

Arby’s – free value-sized curly fries or small potato cakes with this coupon.

Cinnabon – two free Cinnabon bites between 6pm-8pm (not all locations are participating, so you may want to check with your local chain first)

Sonic – enjoy their “happy hour” deal all day long… half-price drinks and slushes all day long

Chili’s – print a coupon for a free appetizer or dessert from the chain’s Facebook page and enjoy a freebie with the purchase of an adult entrée.

Office Depot – you can get 25 free black and white, single-sided copies and up to 5 pounds of free paper shredding through May 1st.

7-Eleven – enjoy a free medium Slurpee between now and the end of the month when you text “Slurp7” to 711711.

AMC Theaters – enjoy a free small popcorn when you take in a movie tonight.

Pinkberry – enjoy a free Pinkberrygreek yogurt every Wednesday from 11am-2pm through the 24th.

And of course, don’t forget to postmark or e-file your taxes today if you haven’t already.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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January 30, 2013


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Today’s Food for thought is from John Adams:  “I must study politics and war that my sons have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.”  (Fred)  “We have not reached that point yet, which is unfortunate.”

Fred’s Pick of the Day is MLS # 601085-$239,000.  This is a Commerical property with 1600 sq. ft. on the ground floor with 600 sq. ft. of garage storage space.  Upstairs is a 2BR, 1 BA, apartment with 1600 sq. ft. and a screened-in porch.  Call me to see this gem @ 302 258-6983.

January 30, 2013

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Saving Energy At Home

Aside from your mortgage, utility costs generally account for the largest portion of the monthly bills you pay thanks to your home. However, there are several things you can do to lessen the blow a bit.


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11.1energy-savings

Aside from your mortgage, utility costs generally account for the largest portion of the monthly bills you pay thanks to your home.  However, there are several things you can do to lessen the blow a bit.  The first is to take advantage of energy-efficient light bulbs.  Yes, they cost a bit more up front, but you can save a significant amount of money over the course of a year by replacing just one incandescent bulb, so imagine how much you can save if you swap out all of your bulbs!  Additionally, if any of your faucets, pipes, or toilets are leaking, fix it and save yourself a bundle.  Often times these types of leaks are an easy fix such as swapping out a washer, replacing a flapper, or tightening a valve.  Sometimes they require more extensive work, but even then it is best to do the work, even if you have to call in a professional for help.  Changing out your shower heads for low-flow counterparts can help save water too.  Changing and/or cleaning your furnace filters will also save energy in your home.  Lastly, don’t forget to be sure all of your doors and windows are well-sealed and your home is well-insulated.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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5 Great Conversation Pieces

If you’re entertaining anytime soon and are nervous about awkward silences, consider displaying one (or several) of these conversation pieces and get things flowing!


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conversation

If you’re entertaining anytime soon and are nervous about awkward silences, consider displaying one (or several) of these conversation pieces and get things flowing!

1.  An interesting photo.  We’re not just talking family photos here.  To truly spark conversation the photo or album you display should contain people that your guests know, your guests or yourself with a celebrity, in an exotic location, or something otherwise interesting.

2.  An exotic or interesting plant.  Once someone mentions it don’t just thank them and move on, use it as an opportunity to jump start the conversation!

3.  A great book.  Displaying a beautiful coffee table book is nice, but a popular novel, book that has recently been made into a movie, or interesting biography also works.  Anything that will get your guests talking!

4.  A collection.  Everyone collects something!  Not only does the collection itself provide fodder for conversation, but you can also extend the conversation by asking what your guests collect and letting them tell their stories!

5.  A musical instrument.  Anything other than a piano can spark the interest of your guests and get conversation flowing.  Just remember the instrument is there to start conversation, not so you can give a concert!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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Winter Safety & Your Home

Winter can be a treacherous time of year. Ice and snow can lead to car accidents, falls and injuries. Falling an ice can seriously injure anyone, but can be especially dangerous for children & the elderly.


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Winter can be a treacherous time of year.  Ice and snow can lead to car accidents, falls and injuries.  Falling an ice can seriously injure anyone, but can be especially dangerous for children & the elderly.  But did you know that if someone slips and falls on your property, you are considered responsible and are therefore liable?  Exact laws vary from place to place, but homeowners are responsible to “mitigate risks to others on their property” which means that as a homeowner you are responsible to put forth a good faith effort to keep your property free of ice and other dangers.  Simply put, if you know about ice and snow you are responsible to clean it up.  During storms it is best to salt or sand driveways and walkways to decrease the chance for ice and especially to prevent black ice from forming, which can be the most treacherous since it is not easily seen.  If someone does fall on your property they may file a “slip and fall” lawsuit, which can cost you several thousand dollars (although your homeowners insurance may cover part of it).  To avoid this the best step to take is prevention, so if the temperature falls below freezing you should salt your driveway, sidewalks, and walkways as a precaution.  Laying salt before it snows helps to prevent ice from forming in the first place.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-629-6693.

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THINKING ABOUT A PUPPY FOR CHRISTMAS? CHECK OUT THIS FABULOUS BREEDER IN SUSSEX COUNTY, DE!!

THINKING ABOUT A PUPPY FOR CHRISTMAS? CHECK OUT THIS FABULOUS BREEDER IN SUSSEX COUNTY, DE!! Holly Black.


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I have a great idea for a Christmas gift for all of you animal lovers out there.  HOW ABOUT A NEW PUPPY???  There is a fantastic breeder in Sussex County, DE who has puppies ready to be adopted.  I can personally verify the quality of her puppies, because I got my little Shi-Poo from this breeder almost two years ago.  My dog, Karma, has an amazingly loving disposition!  She is smart, healthy, well behaved, and she loves people and other dogs.  Karma is definitely a perfect addition to our family!!

If you or someone you know is looking for a new puppy, I completely endorse Holly Black, the breeder!!  Check out her website – CLICK HERE!!

Connie Cooper – Cooper Realty Associates 302 841-4185

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November 12, 2012


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“A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.”  Mark Twain  “The love of reading should be taught to all children if at all possible.”

(Fred)

 

Today we celebrate Veterans Day.  The day became a Holiday after WWI, as Germany surrendered on November 11, 1918.  It was “The War To End All Wars.”  We all know it was not to be.  So today we celebrate all those who have served to keep this country Free, from the Revolutionary War to Afghanistan.  To all those who Served—We Salute You!

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