Get Your Words In The Right Hands

Lynn is a young woman who had a “mall experience” around the same time that I had mine. That put her on an amazing path and led to a terrific project you may want to be part of. She sent me this note:

Gina! Hello…I feel like we’re kindred spirits. I left the mall too…just around 2009…It so happens that I used to write back and forth with a Marine there who had a tagline that read, “The Marines are at war. America is at the mall.” That was the first time I heard any derivation of that saying and it disturbed me greatly. It was the beginning of my inspiration for my new endeavor Words For Warriors Project. In a nutshell, I’m collecting letters of encouragement/support (from people with and without a military background) to our veterans. I’ve had the first lot published in a book… and I’m distributing them free of charge through our VA hospitals/clinics and veterans organizations. The feedback has been tremendously positive and I’m in the process of planning a second edition (to be published in August)

A few words from me

I really like that these books are finding their way right to the places where they are needed most, in the hands of our troops, both deployed and at home. It’s such a simple and lovely way our servicemen and women to feel the warmth and care from such a large cross-section of people. Lynn asked me if I’d like to contribute. Hmm…let’s see….um, YEAH! This is the note I sent:

To our men and women that serve,

I see your sacrifice everywhere—on a nice day by the water when everyone is out with friends and family, or while putting my daughter to bed with wishes for sweet dreams and kisses to help make them come true. These are two of countless everyday moments that you sacrifice with your loved ones.  And because you do this, I get to have those moments in peace and security.

Thank you.

Thank you for all that you give up at home. Thank you for enduring long days away filled with danger or boredom, stifling heat or bitter cold, camel spiders and other wildlife, and mostly for facing whatever the day brings with courage.

Please tell your family that I thank them as well. The missing, worrying, dealing with appliances and vehicles that like to gang up and break down the moment you leave, and sending care from 7,000 miles away is not for the faint of heart.

What you and your family do for the rest of us is not taken for granted. It is honored and cherished. Hopefully the words Lynn collects will help ensure that you never doubt this.


Gina S.                                                                                        

p.s. my daughter thanks you too.

 A few words from you

To make a submission, email Lynn at: She posts all submissions on her blog and selects some for the book. If possible, she asks for you to include a photo. To learn more about contributing, see other letters, or get project updates, click here.

Where do the words from your heart belong? Wherever they can make a difference.

© Gina left the mall, 2014

Update: If you submit a letter, don’t forget to add how you want to be identified. People usually do first name, last initial, and a descriptor such as occupation, hobby, or something they love. You can see examples on the Words For Warriors Project home page (just scroll down).


22 thoughts on “Get Your Words In The Right Hands

  1. 1. What a wonderful way to make a difference!
    2. As always, you are really a talented writer, Gina! Your words are eloquent, heartfelt, humorous, and sincere.
    3. Your post is a call to action. Its hard to ignore such obvious need when you place an opportunity to impact that need at our fingertips.
    4. Sophia is truly beautiful! (I knew about her beautiful soul from your writing and this photo is gorgeous!) I hope her leg healed well. Broken bones and casts are the pits! 🙂
    5. Happy 4th! What better reason to write a letter for Lynn’s book, than to celebrate and thank those who make our Independence Day possible!

    • Wendy, thank you for your kind words and good wishes for Sofia. (Luckily her injury does not require a cast but unluckily, it does require an avoidance of the ocean, sand, pool, or water in general for a while) And you are 100% right on #5. This would be a wonderful way to celebrate the 4th! I hope many people decide to do so!!

  2. Gina, thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me get the word out about the Words For Warriors Project. I’m very excited about getting this next edition ready for publication and I welcome new letters and photos with open arms. I always tell people not to hesitate. This isn’t a writing contest or an exercise in perfect grammar…just a few words from the heart to acknowledge our troops/veterans and to say thank you for all the hard work they put in.

  3. Because of your service, my family enjoys liberty. Because of your family’s sacrifice, and your own, my family can travel safely. There is no way we can ever repay you, but we will always respect and appreciate you. God bless you and yours always.

    • Hi Susan! I would love to add your letter to the Words For Warriors Project! Do you have a photo or two (or more) you’d like to include of you/your family? If so, you can send them to me directly at I’d also like to know how you’d like to be identified…most people put their first name, last initial and then say what they do for a living or what they do for a hobby…some include their age but you certainly don’t have to. Thank you so much for your kind words. They really make a difference!

      Lynn (Words For Warriors Project)

      Gina, I hope you don’t mind that I answered this post directly…I’m sort of new to this game and I”m not always sure of the rules of etiquette. I got excited that someone wrote a letter!!

  4. What a wonderful project! I’m headed out of town but have saved Lynn’s website so I can return to it when I come back.

  5. Gina, I’m thrilled I finally got to see your wonderful Sophia. And what a great idea Lynn had putting that book together. No gift is more beautiful than the gift of appreciation. I hope all those letters help to raise a lot of spirits.

    • NP, Sofia is happy to “meet” you too 🙂 And I couldn’t agree more with you about the effect of being truly appreciated. I have no doubt that the results are exactly what you hope them to be.

    • Chris,
      I know Lynn has been providing it to troops by funding it herself + taking donations to cover the publishing costs. But I’m not sure if it’s for sale directly. Lynn, can you please answer Chris’s question? I’m bet others are wondering too.

  6. Hi,

    Sorry it took so long to answer. I was in the mountains without internet access. I liked being unplugged but my boys didn’t think it was so great! Ha…

    I do not have the books available to the public yet although I have looked at ways to make it so. Shutterfly is the company I’m using to publish the books and I think they have a way to make it into an e-book and also to put the book up for sale through their site. The problem with buying a hard copy from them is that I think it’s ridiculously expensive. I think without a discount the cost is about $70.00 a copy. I buy them in bulk which substantially lowers the per book price.

    If you wanted to give the book to a veteran you can just send me their mailing info (if they’re willing to have it shared) and I will send them one. Currently, I only have 4 copies left from the first printing but will print a second edition in August.

    I have made the book available to non-veterans who’ve contributed letters in trade for a donation (which covers my cost for the book). I put the donation back into the pot to pay for a free book for a veteran. I think that’s only fair. I’d want a copy of any book I was in. I wish I could provide them to the non-veteran participants for free too but the books are expensive and I want to give as many as I possibly can to our veterans.

    I will update you if there are any changes…for instance if I can convert the book into an e-book for a reasonable price (to be used to purchase books to donate to veterans).

    If you want to contact me directly, you can email me at



    • Thank you for checking in. I am very touched. My silence is not intentional. It’s the non-time-fiendly combo of working more hours & being a single mom. I’ve still been supporting troops but haven’t had a chance to write about it. However I rec’d a call yesterday from an Army wife asking for help that demands action. I’ll be writing about that shortly and hoping readers can help me advise this family.

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