The day I was born, my dad was at Basic Training or AIT (I don’t recall which) in Fort Polk, Louisiana. I still have pictures somwhere of him getting the letters from my grandma and my mom with pictures of me in the hospital. He knew I was born – there were channels to get that info to him. But, those pictures – those pictures made it real. Hearing from my mom’s letter how I was doing, that made him truly feel connected.
My dad spent 22 years of my life in the Army National Guard Field Artillery. Anytime he was away at training or summer camp, we would send letters and other gifts to him. We knew he would only likely get one or two of the deliveries because the time there was short, but we still did it. To hear his name during mail call gave him some happiness. And, his guys were usually happy too because we usually made a huge box of cookies at some point. As he used to say, hearing your name called when you’ve been in the field for 10 days made you realize you could make it a few more days.
I dated a guy who was older than me that joined the Army after high school. I made sure he had mail the entire time we were together – and hell – I wrote him for a while even after we stopped dating because I knew the mail was appreciated. I occasionally would hear back from him especially during his overnight guard duties, but it wasn’t about the receiving – it was about the sending.
Later on in college, I had a friend who joined the Guard and spent his summer at Basic Training. I wrote him too. When someone would ask why, I’d remind them how it felt getting mail while at college – real mail. That usually shut them up quickly.
Letters to our military men and women are important. They are important when they are serving at home, but even more important when serving abroad – when they are deployed. I personally know what it means to them.
Hope @ Hope Radio recently learned of a group of soldiers in Afghanistan who have not gotten any mail since they hit the ground three months ago. And, in true Hope fashion, she has decided to do something about it.
She has a list of the guys and is collecting things for them. Letters and stuff are mainly what she is collecting now. Her list on her site is much larger. Click here to read her call.
Take a few minutes and see what you can do to help. Then, take that next step and actually help.
Like with anything, she’s looking for time or money. People usually have one of those two things. Know a group needing a service project? Get this to them as an idea. I did that with one group who are formulating plans now.
So, go help already!