What are the chances of reading an article online and then randomly “meeting” the writer in Iraq a few months later? Apparently, 100% because it happened to me with a deployed troop.
6 out of millions
I had just adopted a soldier and realized…I don’t know anything about soldiers. So I thought it might be a good idea to read some stories or articles written by troops. A quick search got me millions of results and I randomly chose six. Clearly, this was not exhaustive research. I just wanted to get a sense of what deployment was like for our troops. To understand a little how they felt when going through it.
A few months later, I started doing Cup of Joe (COJ) a wonderful program where you send a cup of coffee with a message to deployed troops. COJ distributes them randomly to any troop that signs up. It costs $2, many of them email back a “thank you,” and there’s a pen pal option. I met Jim when I sent out a few COJs that Christmas.
ME: Dear Soldier, A cup of coffee is pretty small to be a present. So what I really want to give you for Christmas is the certainty that you are not forgotten. And to know how grateful I am for your service. I’m from NYC and whether my day is crazy good or bad, I get to live it in peace. Your hard work and sacrifice gives me that gift. Thank you for all you do. I wish you a merry, happy and safe holiday. Gina
JIM: That was about the sweetest sentiment I have ever received. I will copy this and save it for Christmas’s in the future. I truly appreciate your gesture and message. May Christmas find you with happiness, love and always security. Warmest of regards Jim Martin
I am using Jim’s name with his permission. Normally I don’t use full names because of privacy and/or security. He was a Senior Medical NCO for a Heavy Brigade Combat Team. When I told him I was a writer, he mentioned that had always been a dream of his. In fact, he had even gotten something published online once. I asked for the link. When I got it, I realized it was one of the six that I had read!! Six articles out of millions…. thousands of deployed troops and my coffee finds him?? I smiled and laughed at this wonderful surprise. I had loved the emotional honesty in his words. “Meeting” the man who wrote them made it even more special. This is the article: Honor Our Sacrifice
Along with a very nice “small world moment,” I got the pleasure of getting to know Jim. What our troops do, endure and brave is pretty amazing. What are the chances we can do something meaningful in return with a $2 investment? I’m happy to say the odds on that are also 100%.
© Gina left the mall, 2013