Beyond the Holiday

I was at church recently and the priest said a community kitchen was looking for volunteers to serve, “not at the holidays.” Apparently they had ALL the volunteers they needed around Thanksgiving and Christmas. In fact, they had to turn people away. But the problem was that people were hungry all year round.

That “year round” idea was on my mind as I thought about Veterans Day. There are some great celebrations, big and small, to honor those that have served and are serving now. That’s a good thing. But when the music fades and the sun sets, they still need our support. Especially when they are far from home.

What to do?

I always say, “do what you can.” No matter how you show kindness or give of yourself, sincere effort in any measure is always appreciated. For me, this year brought some challenges to people I love so… I’ve done smaller things. A cup of coffee here, a postcard there. Nothing wrong with that. However, after a while, I took it for granted that I couldn’t do more. But then I remembered that terrific friends and amazing readers have offered to help. Why is it so hard for me to say yes? If you ask my mom she will tell you— with love—that I can be thick. Hmmm…

So I’ve decided it’s time to adopt a deployed servicemember again. That’s a commitment of one letter a week and one care package a month for the duration of the deployment. And I’ve decided that if I need help, I will ask. When you adopt, you can choose male or female and the branch of service (Army, Air Force etc). But I have my own special system for choosing. It’s whoever is next. Whoever has been waiting the longest is the person I want. I will let you know next time if it’s a boy or a girl :).

So while I’m starting this up again on Veterans Day, I’ll be doing it long after the holiday. And speaking of post-holiday, I’ll also take my daughter down to that community kitchen on some random weekend to lend a hand. After all, kindness is never out of season.

letters to the troops

© Gina left the mall, 2015

15 thoughts on “Beyond the Holiday

  1. It’s great to see you back here, Gina and picking up where you left off! I hope this means we be hearing more often from you as you get to know your service-person.

  2. Gina!!! It’s great to finally see another article by you!! You have no idea how much I miss these. The content, information, your lessons taught, and learned, and the heartfelt words that you so elegantly and perfectly share each every time! I remember when you first started this, and how I would mark the calendar, LITERALLY, waiting for the next one!! We seem to have stopped talking for some odd reason unknown to me why that happened. I absolutely love this one to, just as I have all the previous writings you have shared with us. Even as a combat veteran, who was so lucky to have met you during one of my deployments through your work not letting guys like me forget that people other than out families remember where we are and that we are care about. I thanked you many times before, and I thank you again. Even after my return and later forced into a medical retirement, you seemed to.pull me from some of my lowest moments. Keep up the good work and your writings. You are TRULY my hero…

  3. Gina,

    I echo all of the wonderful comments about you being gone for so long. I am glad that your words are hitting the airwaves. Keep up the great work and I know that you are a great Mom! Happy Mother’s Day in advance in case I miss it.


  4. Gina,
    So glad to read your thoughts again and look forward to hearing how you will be supporting your service member…you always inspire us with your packages and ideas! Welcome home!
    Paula K.

  5. Welcome back, Gina. Good to hear you are taking on another soldier. Yes, do let us know if you need help! I think I could write a letter or two.

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