Back in high school, I went through a phase where I was intrigued with the military. OK, maybe a little obsessed. I had no interest in joining- it's so totally not my thing. But Operation Desert Storm was going on at the end of high school and my heart always broke when I thought about the men and women serving overseas in a faraway place, far from home and family and loved ones and comforts of the everyday.
I did a service project at my school to collect items to make care packages to send overseas. Unfortunately, the project never took off with the student body so not much was collected.
I did a similar project several years ago with my church and the response was much greater. I sent packages of snacks, personal care items, and entertainment to several troops.
But showing support doesn't have to be in a box. Collecting up care packages is a great thing to do but connecting with someone who needs a kind word to cheer them up can be as easy as writing a letter.
A handwritten letter can really boost your spirits, can't it?
This morning, I was listening to The Bert Show. They are based in Atlanta, GA but syndication brought them to the Indy area a while back and they have also recently expanded their coverage to include Nashville, TN.
The Bert Show is doing a project (The Big Thank You) to collect and send 400,000 letters of gratitude to troops stationed overseas to receive in time for Thanksgiving. Visit that link for information and guidelines.
And if you need to shed a few tears to help you find some motivation, I highly recommend spending a few minutes on the Welcome Home Blog.
If you aren't from the Indy, Nashville, or Atlanta area and would like to participate, you can send your letter to me and I'll include it in my bundle. Or you can start your own project and gather your own bundle of letters from friends, family, church group, school group, and so on and mail in your own letters.
No matter how you feel about war, about the military, about the politics of it all... the men and women who are sacrificing their lives, their body parts, their safety, their mental health, time with their children and spouses, time away from the comfort of their beds or favorite chair, missing out on favorite family dinners... those are the people who deserve a few words of kindness and support and respect and gratitude.
I hope you will join me! If you'd like to partner with me, drop me an email (gentlemomlc at gmail).