I was up to my eyeballs in bubble wrap. Movers were coming the next day and I hadn’t finished packing. Probably because I don’t like packing. I was also doing my best to stay off the Soldiers’ Angels forum. It’s hard to resist because they are an enthusiastic group of volunteers making a real difference for troops every day. And a lot of it is personal. I don’t know how many people want to hug the Dept. of Defense, but when it’s a Combat Medic named Joshua, a Chaplain named Tom, a Sailor named Megan, or a Marine named Roberto, it’s different.
A Soldiers’ Angel takes care of the troop they adopt and when they need more help or have a special project, they put the request out to the group. I’m one of many, many people that would answer those kinds of requests. But not now. It’s packing time! That is, until I found the one holiday card I had left, a pop-up. Why pack it? I’ll go on the SA site and read one card request. Just one.
Request from an Air Force wife
My husband is in need of some holiday cheer. This has been a very difficult deployment on him and our 3-year-old son. He’s been really down and our son is having a hard time with Daddy being gone for so long. Usually when DH calls, our son refuses to talk to him. So I broke down the other day and bribed my child with ice cream to talk on the phone. The first words out of his young mouth were, “Daddy come home now!” When my husband tried to explain that he couldn’t come home yet, our son just kept telling him he had to come today, come home now. It broke my husband’s heart. So I am trying to get him some Holiday Cards as a surprise! I know they have some new young Airman as well. I don’t know their names, but if you are interested in including a few cards, he could pass them out. There are probably 10 people no one is writing to. Anything would be amazing and wonderful. Thank you!
Damn. Another one, straight to the heart. And the mailing deadline was the next day. I put down the bubble wrap, put on my coat and ran out and got a box of holiday cards (for the 10 young airmen no one was writing to) and a Santa hat for her husband to wear when he delivered them. Being me, I had to write something different in each card and if you think being a writer makes that easier or quicker, you’d be wrong. But even with the packing delay, my boxes and the cards were out the door the next morning.
The following January my new mailbox was graced with a letter from the Airman. He sent it to all those that had responded to his wife’s request. It said in part:
I would like to thank all of you for your abundance of support this holiday season! I have received so many Christmas cards and care packages from all of you, I really don’t know what to say other than Thank You. I am truly humbled. A lot of what we do is highly political and it’s hard to keep the big picture in mind as day-to-day events unfold. This tends to make the military a thankless job most of the time. It’s nice to know that there are so many of you out there who are letting the “boots on the ground” know that you care. A lot of things from the care packages I brought into work with me and shared with everyone. Many of you had sent an extra 10 cards for me to pass out, those Airmen were surprised to get so many! Some of the cards and care package items I took over to the USO at the aero medical staging facility that transfers our sick and wounded. They were very appreciative. Once again, THANK YOU so much for everything.
When I think of this Airman making every delivery and how many people he happily surprised, I can’t help but smile. It feels good to know I had a small part in it.
A few wishes
Along with joy and peace this holiday, I wish everyone random acts of kindness. Because whether giving or receiving, it’s a simple way to build each other up. To feel the warmth of home, wherever you are. And that is a wonderful gift.
© Gina left the mall, 2012