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 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.
p.s. my daughter thanks you too.
A few words from you
To make a submission, email Lynn at: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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).