Sunday, February 18, 2007

Let Us Rededicate Ourselves...

I read this over at Soldiers' Angels Germany:

I know that many remember us, I get letters and packages from so many caring people.

But we watch the news and the lead story is some bimbo model who took her life (that is what we think the result in the end will be). She had money and is famous, the tragic loss of one child and disputed fathership of another because of the life style she chose to live.

Are we to feel sorry for her? How does her death compare to this young man here in Afghanistan? [a soldier who took his life] His name will be forgotten by the country he served and world he sought to better... hers will become a movie of the week. Just the way it is I suppose…

I've thought about this alot lately. I was reading our National Soldiers' Angels newsletter the other day and noted that the letter writing team had sent out over 169,000 letters. Soldiers' Angels, as groups and as individuals have sent out tens of thousands of care packages and additional letters.

Yet, one word or one image on cable network news that is beamed into their bases can seem to shake or undo all the work we do. Should we despair and give up?

I don't think so.

Even as this young man wrote seemingly despairing, he said, "I know people care" because they get letters and packages. In some ways, it vindicates everything we do because, without those packages and letters, who knows what this young man would feel about what he sees and does every day without our efforts.

I see these letters every day popping up in the forum:

Hello and thank you! The "Grub" was good and the joke was great. I appreciate the time you all invested in the care package. The personal touch made my day. If you wanted to know, I am a SGT in the US Army Infrantry and am serving in Southern Iraq. We do not have electric or running water and I think Saddam forgot to pay the heat before he left cause it sure gets cold.

I am married (14 years). I have 3 youngsters, 2 girls(11 & 12) and 1 boy (8 months). I know they would be proud to know that you guys spent time and money to make a total stranger smile. Thank you for that more than anything. It is nice to know that the soldiers serving are being thought of and we are still making the states proud.

Thank you,
South of Mumadyah, IRAQ

Or this one:

.......I am great, GOD is great. I feel so BLESSED by soldier's angels! Ha ha ha, I can see that you have such a loving, caring, giving heart!!! already got my first 2 packages(1) 2 religious magazines(cool) (2) Art Supplies...and do I mean supplies...Wow...GOD BLESS YOU ALL! I wish that I could just gather up all of our hugs over here and give them to you all! I really don't mind not getting ANY packages at all =o) I'm just grateful for you all!!! The weather here is beautiful! This may sound weird, but, if there is EVER anything that I can do for any of you, then PLEASE don't be afraid to ask...i.e. prayer, special-letters for the elder or children, spiritual suggestions, ideas for something...just ANYTHING that you can think of. I'd LOVE to help. Well, TBS (type-back-soon) ha ha ha


I read the soldier in Afghanistan's letter yesterday and felt a lump of lead go straight to my heart. I had a hard time concentrating after that. That's why there was no Saturday post. I finally went to the Soldiers' Angels forums and read many letters of thanks and many posts of Angels excited about their efforts or grouping together to make something happen for this unit or that soldier. It lifted my spirits considerably.

I have to admit, it took a lot of posts and a lot of immersion to make me feel that way. Then I realized that if that's how I felt over that one message, how must these young men and women feel everyday? What would it take to lift the spirits of a soldier far away from home, in a dangerous world where he must see death and destruction every day, trying to remind themselves that they are doing good?

From these two letters of thanks, it doesn't seem like much. For others, it might take many more letters and packages.

What should we do? Do we give up and give in, imagining the job to be too difficult and the outcome uncertain?

In the words of Winston Churchill, during the blackest days of the Blitzkrieg over London:

Never! Never! Never give in!

Most of us, whether we knew someone serving or not, have one correlating reason to become Angels: because we wanted to do something. For that reason, we have joined the mission: may no soldier go unloved. Whether we think of it or not, that mission is vitally important to the health and welfare of our men and women in uniform.

I did not write this post to make you somber. In fact, if you felt that same lead feeling in your heart, I ask now that you put it away and instead let it be replaced by a resolve to continue this mission, surrounded by the love and pride we feel for our men and women in uniform who serve, for the most part, silently and without complaint.

Quoting this time from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg address:

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us

Let us rededicate ourselves to the mission...

- May no soldier go unloved

Don't forget: Tuesday, February 20th, Armory Nights to discuss our float in the Snake Saturday Parade and how we can bring attention to Soldies' Angels and the men and women who need our support.