As I mentioned in the past, there's a wonderful non-profit company, Packages From Home, that helps show our soldiers how much we appreciate them. When I was on their website recently I noticed something. Not only do they accept packages and donations and actual volunteer help, but they also accept letters.
Personally, I know that it makes my day when I receive an actual letter in the mail from someone. Email is convenient, but letters show effort and time and compassion. They require a little something more. Words written out are almost so old fashioned these days that they're beautiful when you see that someone took the time to write them to you, for you. And the right words, well, they can make all the difference in the world.
So, I ask two things of you.
1. Pass this on if you agree and want to thank the good military folks who keep us safe every day.
2. Write a letter. Send them a little gratitude in an envelope. You won't just be giving them a warm and fuzzy feeling, you'll feel warm and fuzzy for having done it.
Details on where to send letters can be found here.
I'm going to write a new letter to send out, but here's the original one I wrote that I want everyone to have because...honestly, I will never be able to thank everyone, every single person, for all they've done. So this is how I'm going to try.
Dear Amazing Stranger,
I don't know you.
I don't know what you've given up or put aside or what family and friends you've left behind so that you could protect your country. So that you could protect me, someone you also don't know.
I have absolutely no idea what it's like to put my life on the line for anything really, anything that matters. I don't know what it feels like to be in the midst of danger constantly, to not know if I will see tomorrow or the next day, or even if I will have a comfortable bed to sleep in each night.
I don't even know what possesses a person to do something so selfless like that. Something so wonderful. To give up the comforts of life so that strangers you've never met can enjoy their own comfortable lives. I don't know how you do it because I don't know if I ever could, but I admire you for it tremendously.
I admire you for your strength and courage and the will to get up every day and do the thing so many of us can't. I admire you for being brave in ways most people will never know, never understand. I admire you for facing fear head on - Every. Single. Day.
I don't know you, but I do know this: You are a remarkable person.
You are kind, wonderful, and brave beyond measure. You have inside of you a hope and a determination that makes you stand up and fight for what you believe in. You not only say that you believe in something, you go out and stand behind that belief.
You are a hero. To me. To millions.
This letter will never be able to express my gratitude fully, but please know that with these two last words, I speak for all of us back home when I say...
If this inspired you even a little bit - GOOD. Now go out there and do something about it. Write the letter. Tell someone thank you for something they did that matters to you. Pick up some trash on the street. It doesn't matter what you do, just do something.
Make a difference.
Twitter. Facebook. Email.
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Pay it Forward