Kool Kat of the Week: Pinups for Soldiers Co-Founder Dena Stahl Brings Back a WWII Tradition to Support the Troops Overseas

Posted on: Sep 7th, 2011 By:

By Spookie Susie
Contributing Blogger

Watching. Waiting. Worrying. Night after sleepless night, Dena Stahl got up, took care of her children, worked, managed her household and anxiously awaited the safe return of her husband, Sergeant Travis Stahl, from the war in Afghanistan. When Dena learned from her husband about all the soldiers who didn’t receive care packages from home, she teamed up with longtime friend, photographer Danielle Thiery Camp, to remedy that.

Together they founded Pinups for Soldiers (PUFS), a nonprofit group that produces an annual World War II style calendar to raise funds for our troops overseas. With the 10th anniversary of 9-11 coming up this Sunday, we caught up with Dena to learn more about Pinups for Soldiers, their 2012 calendar, their Sept. 10 Memorial Ride/Poker Run and other upcoming events to support their worthy cause.

Danielle Thiery Camp & Dena Stahl. Photo courtesy of Dena Stahl.

How did you meet Danielle Camp, and what made you two decide to start Pinups for Soldiers?

Danielle and I have been friends for over 18 years. Danielle wanted to do a pinup shoot and asked if I was interested in helping her build her portfolio. I reached out to my friends for ideas, and one of them mentioned that she had always wanted to do a pinup calendar. It was March 2010 and my husband, SGT Travis Stahl was deployed to Afghanistan serving our country. During his deployment I became aware that there were many soldiers who did not receive care packages from home. Travis began giving items from the care packages I was sending to those soldiers. We decided that if we were going to make a pinup calendar, we were going to make it a nonprofit and use it to raise money so that we could send care packages to soldiers stationed overseas.

Tell us about having your husband deployed.

Having a husband deployed is one of the hardest things I have ever been through. A year of sleepless nights waiting on a phone call, email or text to confirm he is okay, the constant worry and not knowing where he is or what is going on, the fear that enters your body any time there is a knock on the front door, the empty spot in the bed beside me, handling everything on the home front on my own…is all very hard. However I am honored to be a soldier’s wife. He is my husband, my hero, and his dedication not only to me and our family, but to our amazing country makes me so proud.

Travis & Dena Stahl. Photo courtesy of Dena Stahl.

How many units does PUFS help? Do you have a most memorable request for assistance?

Currently we are supporting three units totaling almost 200. The units are stationed in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait. We have a unit that is about to deploy, bringing us to almost 600! We are always touched when we receive emails from soldiers. For me, they are all memorable. The requests we get range from necessities to soldiers wanting pictures. Our motto is “Brightening Lives Protecting Ours,” and that is our mission and we take it to heart. We feel as if the American Soldier is a true patriot and should be honored and appreciated. We want them all to know that they are not forgotten.

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This Week in Retro Atlanta, May 16-22, 2011

Posted on: May 17th, 2011 By:

Monday May 16

Andrew & the Disapyramids

Swing to Joe Gransden, trumpet player extraordinaire, and his 16-piece orchestra and special guest Jazz Tenor sax great Skip Lane this week during Big Band Night at Cafe 290 on the first and third Monday of every month. Andrew & the Disapyramids bring back the best of surf, doo wop, Mod, soul, sock hop and all types of retro rock ‘n’ roll during a free gig at Noni’s Bar & Deli tonight. Read the Kool Kat feature on band-member Joshua Longino here. Find out if Kingsized and Tongo Hiti lead singer Big Mike Geier will croon a tune or two for tips as Monday night’s celebrity bartender at newly opened Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Parlor. Northside Tavern hosts its weekly Blues Jam.

Tuesday May 17

The Age of Aquarius rises again as HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical opens a weeklong run through May 22 at the 1929 Fabulous Fox Theatre. The legendary hippie rock opera follows a group of hopeful free-spirited young people as they explore sexual identity, challenge racism, experiment with drugs and burn their draft cards. This production won a 2009 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival.

Find out and see the winners of the 2011 Mid-Century Modern Georgia Photo Contest, during a reception at Gallery See in the Savannah College of Art and Design-Atlanta, Building C at 1600 Peachtree Street. Photos depict buildings or sites in the state that are part of the design movement that lasted from the 1930s-1970s, and attendees also will have a last chance to view the exhibition, “Capturing an Icon: Ezra Stoller and Modern Architecture,” featuring works by the celebrated American architecture photographer.

Grab your horn and head to Twain’s in Decatur for a Joe Gransden jazz jam session starting at 9 PM. Notorious DJ Romeo Cologne spins the best ‘70s funk and disco at 10 High in Virginia-Highland. Catch Tuesday Retro in the Metro nights at Midtown’s Deadwood Saloon, featuring live video mixes of ’80s, ’90s, and 2Ks hits.

Wednesday May 18

Get ready to rumba, cha-cha and jitterbug at the weekly Swing Night at Graveyard TavernFrankie’s Blues Mission and Danny “Mudcat” Dudeck bring on the blues at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack and Northside Tavern respectively. Dance to ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s hits during Retro in the Metro Wednesdays presented by Godiva Vodka, at Pub 71 in Brookhaven.

Thursday May 19

Iconic ’80s alternative and psychedelic rock band The Flaming Lips play The Tabernacle. Listen to Tongo Hiti’s luxurious live lounge sounds, as well as some trippy takes on iconic pop songs, just about every Thursday night at Trader Vic’s. Party ‘70s style with DJ Romeo Cologne at Aurum Lounge. Breeze Kings and Chickenshack bring on the blues respectively at Northside Tavern and Fat Matt’s Rib Shack.Bluegrass Thursday at Red Light Cafe features Bluebilly Grit.

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