All He Wanted Was A Little Dress

This deployed soldier in Afghanistan didn’t ask for anything for himself. However, “J” had a special request for the Soldiers’ Angel who had adopted him. His Angel was a lovely woman who shared it through the Soldiers’ Angels forum. I’m a member so that’s how it got on my radar.

His request

I need some help. The local kids are dirt poor (and when I say dirt poor, I mean these girls have 3 sets of clothing and NO shoes at all.) They live in a mud hut. They have to beg for water. They eat fruit stolen from the local orchards and bread that the mother makes somehow. The older girl smiles when I ask her name and I told her I would like to get some shoes and clothes for her.  Her name is _____ and her little sister is _____. They are 6 and 2 1/2.  Figure if we can help the kids, maybe the parents will be more receptive to US soldiers helping the community with building wells for clean water, improving streets, getting trash and pollution out of here. I hope that through the children’s smiles, they will melt the hearts of the adults and there, we will win the war through peace and charity.

My daughter Sofia was 6 then and this request melted my heart. I said I’d be happy to help and was told the dresses should be modest, conservative and ideally long-sleeved because it was getting cold.

Sparkle City

I went immediately to Sofia’s closet to pull out “hand-me-downs” that were in great shape. The only problem was her style at that time was Opposite of Plain. She loved sparkles, sequins, “jewels,” any form of bedazzlement. And her favorite color? Rainbow. That’s what she would say. She loved all colors… often on the same exciting garment which could then be paired with an equally exciting garment of unrelated pattern. It was slim pickin’s in Sparkle City but I did find a few things including the dress below. Then I went out and got a few new ones.

Little girl dress

The mission

I’m sure when J deployed that nowhere in any of his mission briefings was there a section on “fighting” war with toddler and size 6 dresses. Nor are these items standard issue Army equipment. But many times I’ve seen requests or heard stories of troops trying to make things better for the people around them and in ways that go beyond their training. I think it’s because the men and women who raise their hand to serve, are often the first to volunteer at home when help is needed. From food drives and clothing drives to disaster aid. It’s part of who they are. I love that J took action this way. He was doing what he could in his little corner of Afghanistan. And from random corners across the U.S. he was getting help from an army of Angels, each of us doing what we could too.

© Gina left the mall, 2012

12 thoughts on “All He Wanted Was A Little Dress

  1. Great title. Great article.
    So so cute. And so impactful that of all the things he could have asked for himself – he asked for something for someone else instead. You are so amazing for having this blog to share with us….

    • Thanks CJ! For our troops, selfless service is a big part of their lives. They have to put the mission or their battle buddy ahead of themselves. So I can understand where that mindset (and heartset) would lead to acts like this. And why they continue to find ways to serve others after they return to civilian life. (example:http://teamrubiconusa.org)

  2. This is true. A lot of soldiers will put others before themselves. As a prior service member myself, I always try to make sure I help where and when I can. It’s one of the things we learn in the service. We ourselves are important, but battle buddies have to take care of each other as well. The soldier in this blog is a perfect example of how soldiers are. Thank you for sharing this, and God bless the soldiers that have served, are serving, and keep them safe.

    • It sometimes amazes me the places and living conditions our servicemembers find themselves and instead of complaining or asking for more, they dedicate the few minutes they have and the few wishes they are given to help those less fortunate than they are. Thank you for your service and God bless all those who give so much of themselves.

  3. I had adopted soldiers in Iraq ask for rice and beans because the locals did not have food. We have the most compassionate soldiers in the world. This is not new- our men in WWII did the same thing. I believe it is part of being American.

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