I am Facebook friends with a girl from high school who is married to an active military serviceman. He recently returned from the Middle East after about a year there. In that year, his kids grew several inches, moved to another grade, won soccer games, performed in band and choir concerts, got sick and dealt with the death of a grandparent. His wife earned her college degree, dealt with illness, took a new job and acted as mom and dad for the entire time. No holidays together. No birthdays with dad. And this was not the first time he has been away for this long in the last five years.
Never once did I see her post a picture where they weren’t smiling. She tagged him in every Facebook post to make sure he was part of everything. She never complained.
I can’t comprehend the deep longing they must have felt for their dad and husband. I certainly can’t even imagine what it was like to be that far away from your family when they were sick and needed you.
My husband has a relative who was in the Air Force. She would travel to crazy places and never really be able to say where she was going.
Did her family know and just not say? What did it feel like to be around the world and not be able to tell your brother or your boyfriend? What about coming home? Can you talk about what you did or what you saw?
It’s like living another life…one that you only share with your military counterparts.
So, if I tree falls in the forest—is there a sound? How do people at home understand where you have been at or what you have been through?
I’m going somewhere with this, I promise.
We NEED these servicemen and women.
They are the ones running at the scary, horrible, no-good situations when we are running away.
They are the ones leaving their families to protect our country.
They deal with heat, sand, snow, freezing temperatures and ridiculous conditions.
They live on freeze-dried food.
They carry their possession in bags.
They are armed at all times—for protection.
They face crazy situations on a daily basis.
For what? Me. You. The United States.
The least we could do is say thanks.
As part of National Letter Writing Month, I’m including AMillionThanks.org.
Here is what it’s all about:
We are asking individuals, schools, churches, businesses, and other organizations to write cards, letters, emails, and prayer messages of appreciation for our military, past and present. It is our goal to see that our military – active, reserve, and veterans – receive these messages, whether they are serving at home, abroad, or are injured in hospitals. To get started, read the guidelines below, then find a location nearest you on our Drop-off Location list so your notes of appreciated can be sent to our troops. We recommend that you contact the location via phone or email to be sure they can accept your cards and letters.
So basically, use one of your 30 letters in 30 days to send a small note of thanks to these people who do so much.
The website provides a list of drop off locations. If there is one near you, head on over with your mail and have it sent from there. If there isn’t one near your home, send the letters to:
A Million Thanks
17853 Santiago Blvd.
Villa Park, CA 92861
One letter to AMillionThanks.org can make all the difference to a military serviceman or woman.
National Letter Writing Month is held throughout April, I’m encouraging everyone I know to participate by sending 30 letters in 30 days. You can visit my National Letter Writing Month section for more information, writing prompts and other cool letter-writing goodness.