Awhile back, I received an e-mail from an old friend from high school. I hadn’t spoken to or seen him since high school, which equates to almost 20 years. I’ve always thought that my life followed the same path as most of my class – after high school, I went to college, graduated with a degree, worked for a few years, got married, bought a house, had kids – basically the typical progression of things. Since my husband and I went to high school together, we keep in touch with more people from back then than most people do, but the path that we took is pretty similar to the paths of our friends and other classmates that we have heard about through the grapevine.
Needless to say, I can’t even think of the words to describe how I felt when I received this e-mail. At the time, this friend was deployed in Germany, getting ready to do another tour in Iraq. Yes, that’s right, the words were “another tour in Iraq.” In the past 15 years, this friend has traveled the world, been to Afghanistan 3 times and Iraq twice, as a Navy SEAL. He’s “seen a lot of action of there”, a quote which probably can not even begin to describe the things he has seen. At the time of his e-mail, he was preparing to go back to Iraq.
The e-mail really made me think about all of our troops that are overseas or getting ready to ship out, all so that they can defend our country. I do hope that everyone reading this post understands that it isn’t meant to have any political meaning to it at all, but rather just something to remind everyone that there are people fighting for us over there, some losing their lives.
Our friend that had gotten in touch with us wound up coming home safely from his tour. To our readers with family or friends in our military, we thank you, and hope that all of your family will be as lucky as our friend, and come home safe. If you are interested in sending things to our troops overseas, there are a number of programs that will assist you.
- Operation Pen-Pal is a program that gives US citizens a chance to personally show support to members of our troops. By participating in this program, you can keep in touch with your pen-pal soldier via e-mail and/or an instant messaging service such as AIM, MSN or Yahoo. Visit Operation Pen-Pal‘s website to apply.
- Operation USO Care Package is another program that enables you to show your support of our troops by sponsoring a care package and including a personal message. For every $25 donation made, the USO will send a care package with both needed and requested items valued at approximately $75 to a member of our deployed troops. (Please note that donations must be made in $25 increments).
- Any Soldier is a program started by parents of an Army Seargant back in 2003 in response to their son’s communications that so many soldiers were not receiving any mail. Since then, Any Soldier has served over 1.4 million troops stationed in 22 different locations. You can visit their website and check requests from service people stationed all over the world and send a care package.
- There are many projects that support our troops, these were some that we came up with. If you’ve done anything in the past, we’d love to hear about it – leave it in the comments below or e-mail us at email@example.com!