Coming Home Early

Exciting news!!! My soldier’s deployment is being cut short AND he will be home in time for the birth of his child! YAY!!!!! Of course, before we all get too comfortable, he’s already been informed he’ll be deploying again this year. But for now, we’ve hit his mail-stop date and all kinds of joy are just around the corner.

This is the same soldier, Sergeant (Sgt.) K, that many of you helped me support with my snail-tweet project (one postcard a day, every day.) Thank you for all the messages you left here for me to send. Thanks also to everyone who sent me postcards from their home state to use.

He did get most of them. And he loved them. That’s the big win. If I ever do this again, there are a few small things I would change. And many things I wouldn’t.

Snail review

1. Getting postcards ahead of time and having snail-tweets from other people is a huge help.

2. Writing to the same person every day made me more aware of the passage of time. And gave me an even greater appreciation for what Sgt. K’s family goes through.

3. Deciding after you start snail-tweeting to create a craft project and photograph each one (both sides) in different locales with different backgrounds adds a layer of complexity that is not necessary at all.

4. If you travel, bring more than the exact number of postcards that you need in case something goes wrong. Like you are ambushed by a sneak rainstorm while visiting your mom in Florida a few months ago.

The ambush

It was a beautiful sunny day. See?

(I blurred out the last names and address for privacy.)

(I blurred out the last names and address for privacy.)

Do not trust this shade of perfection-blue. It may turn on you. Innocently, I wrote out that day’s postcard. Then, adhering to my Mom’s outgoing mail system, I used a wooden clothespin to attach it to her mailbox. The mailbox is protected by an awning that extends five feet. I put it on and went out with Mom to run an errand.

In my absence, it rained hard for 10 minutes. Sideways. The postcard was soaked. Gingerly, I peeled it free and then attempted to return this near-pulp object back to a solid state with a blow-dryer. After I was done, I still wasn’t sure the structural integrity would hold so, I put it in an envelope. Back it went to the mailbox with the clothespin but this time I kept a steady eye on the skies.

Trying to save snail tweet #31

Trying to save snail tweet #31

Luckily, it survived all the way to Afghanistan. This is part of Sgt. K’s office wall.

Some of the snail tweets that made it to Afghanistan. #31 is among them.

Some of the snail tweets that made it to Afghanistan. #31 is among them.

Since this picture was taken, more 4×6 doses of morale-boosting care have arrived and been added to the wall. Soon Sgt. K will take them down and start concentrating on a much better decorating project: the finishing touches on the nursery for his new baby.

© Gina left the mall, 2014

10 thoughts on “Coming Home Early

  1. It’s always bittersweet when I get notice that my adopted soldier is on his/her way home. I’m happy and excited that they are coming back to their family and friends, but a little sad that our relationship is coming to a close. Even if they were silent (no response to my mail or packages), I still feel proud that I provided them a little view of home.

  2. I am so happy to hear that Sgt. K gets to come home in time to see the birth of his child! That is so HUGE! I love seeing his office. I t really is nice to see the effect that sending these tweets creates. 🙂

    • Yes it is huge Mrs P! And I wish I could’ve shared the rest of his lovely cropped the pic because he was in it) Crowded desk on the right. Chair. Directly behind chair (inches away) the all-important coffee-maker then everything else. I’m happy that wall had snail-tweets to remind him he is being thought of by many people. I hope when his buddies saw it, they felt supported too. 🙂

  3. Hi Gina, it’s Kyndal. hope you won’t mind if I ask you this, sometime when you get to talk to your adopted soldier Sgt. K. will you tell him that I say “Thank You” to him for his wonderful service to our country, oh and will you tell him that I say “Thank You” to his family for their service too, I know that when a soldier serves, his family does too. I would just like to send a big “Thank You” to both of them, and I would like to tell him and his wife congratulations, I saw on your blog that he and his wife are having a baby, this is wonderful!!!

    • Hi Kyndal,
      Of course I don’t mind one bit! I am happy to pass along your kind words! This is a wonderful time for them and I am so very happy that they will get to spend it together. Thank you for reading and more than that, thank for caring!

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