Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dear Soldier

Day 64
No one wants to be without family for the holidays.  For the thousands of American soldiers serving overseas, they have no choice.  That’s why I absolutely love the program Holiday Mail for Heroes.  It delivers a little piece of home.  

Run by the American Red Cross, it puts holiday cards from American citizens into the hands of active service members.    

Before we dig out the crayons, the boys and I watch a Red Cross video showing soldiers in hospital beds receiving handcrafted cards. I want them to understand who will read them.   

“To be in a situation like this, where your body is broken down and you need the motivation,” Sgt. John Stephen pauses, takes a breath.  “And you get stuff like this from the American people, it helps us out a lot.  America, you have no idea how much you mean to us and how much energy you give us.”  I want to send every Sgt. Stephen lying in a hospital bed recovering a hand-made card from us.   

While many may disagree with politicians’ policies to send our men and women into battle, the public outrage at the ongoing war feels like an abandonment of support for those on the front lines.

These service members bravely put country first as they defend American values of liberty and freedom in places where they are not wanted. 

You may hate the message.  Don’t hate the messenger.

I write: “Thank you for the sacrifices you make daily to ensure my family and friends are safe in an unsafe and sometimes scary world.  Although you are not thanked enough, believe that as a nation, we are proud and thankful for all you do.  Have the happiest of holidays!”

F. writes: “Why don’t zoo animals like to play games?  Because there are too many cheetahs.”

All cards for the 2011 Holiday Mail for Heroes program should be postmarked no later than Friday, December 9 and sent to:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capital Heights, MD 20791-5456 

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