Friday, July 30, 2010

A Way To Give Back

If you've followed the blog for any length of time, you probably remember my short lived and ill fated association with a Yahoo group called Socks for Soldiers.  The purpose of that group was to send soldiers hand knit socks from home.  Oh, I had good intentions, but it just didn't work out.  The group owner was way too much of a control freak.  I mean, seriously, we could only used the yarn SHE approved of, and only the pattern SHE had written, and only the label SHE had designed.  As if that weren't enough, we had to fold and pin the socks just so, and wrap the label around them just so, and make up a darning kit just so, and tuck it behind the label just so...  Even after all that, the way the socks were folded, wrapped, pinned, tucked were never good enough for her, so we had to listen to her constantly complaining that she was having to redo all of them because they weren't just so

Throw in a heavily moderated discussion group, in which any and all comments that the owner didn't agree with were either edited or deleted outright, and well, you have the making of a conflict with this free spirit.  I don't do well with control freaks.  Finally, I got fed up and left the group.

I'd always felt bad that it had come to that.  I mean, I really wanted to do something for our fighting men and women overseas.  A lot of that came from remembering how letters and packages were received when I was overseas.  I still remember the frenzy Uncle Lavergne's peanut butter fudge caused, and excitement my shipmates felt when I received a letter from my dad--which I had to read aloud to the entire watch.  But other than that, there is a great sense of gratitude and appreciation I feel for our military members.

I know there are other organizations that send care packages, but none of them touched me.  And there is Soldier's Angels, where you can adopt a soldiers.  I shied away from this one, because I was terribly afraid I would fail to follow through on my commitment.  I used to be a terrific letter writer, but those days are long gone. 

But, just a week or two ago, I found on Facebook a group I can get involved with.  It is sponsored by Green Beans Coffee, and I can buy a cup of coffee for soldiers serving overseas. I have the option of including a note with the coffee I send, but it's not mandatory.  It's just a small thing, but it's something I can do often.   And maybe, just maybe, I'll find someone I can send a care package to.  Yeah, I know, I know.  But if they can face death and destruction every day, then I can suck it up and face...

The Dreaded Post Office.

On the way home from work yesterday, I crossed the bridge over our creek, and noticed just how many dragonflies there are this year. I came home and wrote the following in my fake leather journal with the ribbon marker:

To An American Soldier,

I drove home from work today through a veritable cloud of dragonflies --or mosquito hawks, as we called them growing up in East Texas-- and I thought of you. I wondered if there are dragonflies where you are. I wondered if you have time to stop and marvel at the simple and wonderful things that surround you. I do, and it's because of you. I don't know your name, but in that moment, I thanked God for you. Now, every time I see a dragonfly, I will think of you, and I will pray for you.  I hope that you can see them too, and when you do, you will remember that you are not forgotten. 

Thank you
Now, I'm off to buy my weekly round of joes for our Joes. I hope that you will join me and do the same. It's cheap, it's easy, and it means so much to those who serve.

Troop Smiley 1

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