4 Lovely Surprises

The package in my mailbox had a return address in the Middle East. It was from Drew*, my adopted Airman. I wasn’t expecting to hear from him. Well, no volunteer expects anything. You do it to be supportive as our troops do a difficult, dangerous job for long hours far from home. Some troops wish to connect and have access to do so, others do not. Whatever they want is fine. And up to then, Drew had not been in contact.

However there—squeezed in amongst the relentless Christmas catalogs that kept coming while we were away at Grandma’s for the holidays—was Drew’s mail. Lovely surprise #1.

Inside the package was a beautiful letter thanking me and my daughter Sofia for our support. We were really touched. Especially when we learned how much he loved the postcards. Sofia had sent him 19  (with one word each) and they were all scenes of New York City.  It turns out that Drew is also from New York Ctiy! We had no idea we were sending him little pieces of his hometown. Lovely surprise #2.

“I hope you find a place for this in your home”

Yes Drew, there is a place in our home for your kind gift. And a place in our hearts for you, your family and all that you do.

Souvenir art from deployed troop

He said it was a small token of his appreciation. But there was nothing small about the smile it gave us.

Surprise #4

I don’t know if Drew will get the letter I sent on New Year’s. Or the one I am sending to thank him for this. Why? He is going home sooner than I expected. And that’s the best surprise of all.

*name changed for privacy

© Gina left the mall, 2016

21 thoughts on “4 Lovely Surprises

  1. Surprises are the best! How warm and fuzzy and wonderful your surprises are (especially #3). Of course you didn’t expect the thanks, but it feels SO good to know that your efforts made a difference. I just applied to be a Soldiers Angels team member and hope to continue the “ripple” you started. 🙂

    • Wendy, I am SOOO excited that you are becoming even more an “angel” than you already are! Being part of what led you there gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling again—it means my efforts are making a difference 🙂

      And I know whoever you adopt is in for a treat—very very delicious treats at that!

      • Gina, you know that you were my “America’s at the mall” wake-up call. Everything I do personally and on the blog with military appreciation/care packages, is due to what you taught me. Thank you. Spoiler Alert: I “adopted” a female sailor! I am so excited and honored to get started sending smiles out into the ocean. 🙂 I am now re-reading all of your great letter writing and postcard ideas!

        • Wendy, that is the greatest compliment I could receive and the whole purpose I started this blog—to help close the distance between military and civilian, to increase understanding, caring, and possibly even encourage action. Hope you find ideas in the old posts and if you ever need a hand, please feel free to ask. xo G

        • Hi Wendy, my name is Kyndal. I saw where you said that you adopted a female sailor I am a big fan of the Navy!! Hey Wendy, hope you won’t mind if I ask you this, sometime when you get to talk to or email your adopted female sailor, will you tell her that I say “Thank You” to her for her wonderful service to our country, and that she has my total support and my prayers.

          • Hi, Kyndal! Thank you so much for the support and prayers you send to our service people and my adopted sailor in particular! 🙂 As far as I know, my sailor’s deployment has ended and she is at home with her two daughters! However, “thank you”, is always appreciated and I will pass your kind thoughts on to my current soldier.

            • Hi, Wendy! Your so welcome Wendy! 🙂 Supporting and praying for our brave men and women in uniform is what I feel like God has called me to do, and it’s something that I love to do and it’s something that is very close to my heart! Oh gotcha I see! Yeah, exactly. I know it makes a service members day when they hear someone tells them “Thank You” for their service. Oh yes please do pass my “Thank You” for your service on to your current soldier for me.

  2. It’s always a pleasant surprise when we hear from our heroes, so glad you heard from yours! And what a cute present he sent! As a fellow Soldiers Angel, I thank you for your continuing support of our troops!

  3. thinking of you on this memorial day weekend and hoping you and your family are well, miss your blog SO much, I keep going back in hopes that you are writing again.
    Paula K.

  4. Oh wow that is so awesome Gina, I know what you mean, when I get a email or a real letter from one of my new adopted service members, I get so excited and it sure does make me happy!!!! Hey Gina, it sounds like your adopted Air man Drew, it sounds like he is a very nice young man!

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