Monday, January 16, 2006

Writing to Soldiers

Just to tout my favorite hobby horse again,someone posted some thank you's they had received from writing to soldiers.

Which gave me the idea to share some I received(names removed) so y'all would see why I keep doing this!:)

For background, Soldiers' Angels lists on their TLC message boards names of those who could use extra support,usually submitted by another soldier, or friend, or family member. You never know which one will touch your heart(and I already receive a name 3 times a week for the letter writing team, plus may pick out a name from the Cards Plus team, and send a card to the Wounded team name I receive.)

So, anyway, end of Nov. there's a posting from a friend who says this guys mail stop is Dec.1, but he'd received very little mail during his deplyment and they wanted to quick try and 'shower him with angel love'. I send off a short card ,basically saying 'thank you for your service to our country from a grateful American' and 'God bless you'.

It's a 'one-off', there'll be no more time to develope a correspondence or anything like I have with some.I'm just hoping I made someone's day a little brighter for a moment.

So, I cried the day I got this reply:

"Thank you for taking the time to send me a card and for the prayers. I just want to tell you that I will save your card and the others that I have received and put them up on a frame that I will hold on to for a long time.      They mean a lot to us."

I never got into this expecting any thank you's....so they are like extra special surprises. Like part of another one I received that said:

"I just think that when someone takes the time to write a letter to a perfect stranger, just in hopes that it might bring that person a smile...it's only right to write back and say thank you for putting a smile on my face."

I figured out the other day that I've written close to 100 letters/cards. I've received 16 replies back, about 10 of whom I've developed an ongoing correspondence with. Sometimes I've received emails back, and developed on 'email' friendship or an 'IM' friendship with someone deployed.And 7 of the Christmas cards I received this year were from soldiers I'd written to at least once. In fact, my very first Christmas card I received was from a soldier I'd been corresponding with, who said 'thank you for all the support during my deployment.'

Now, you might say 16 replies back for almost 100 sent isn't very good? But I never expected ANY, so I figure I got extremely lucky 16 times that someone in the middle of a war wanted to write back and say 'hey, thanks, it helped."Plus, I never expected replies to the cards I sent to those wounded...I just wanted to let them know they were appreciated and remembered.

Replies are just icing on the cake. The real satisfaction comes from doing something nice for someone you never met, and probably never WILL meet....just to let them know that someone cares:)

And I don't keep harping on this to toot my own horn. Just trying to convey the immense sense of reward it brings, to do something that takes so little time, and unexpectedly gives you so much back in return:)

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