Thank You, U.S. Soldier

September 10, 2010 at 12:53 pm 6 comments

September 11 is not a subject I would normally consider a topic for this blog. But, with respect, I would like to share a story.

A few years back, I joined a group called Soldiers Angels, a non-profit organization designed to support the troops. You sign up and, once approved, receive a name and a military address of an active-duty military person. 

You “adopt” a soldier and commit to sending letters and care packages for as long as that person is deployed. (I do think “adopt” is a bit too familiar and quite the overstatement. I think of it more like being a secret Santa or airmail waitress.)

Should you want to, you can learn more about Soldiers Angels at soldiersangels.org. In addition to adopting a soldier, there are a variety of one-time things you can do to support the troops via the website.

On Tuesday of this week, in a completely unexpected, totally unnecessary table-turn, I received a care package from one of my “adopted” soldiers. (He is home safe.)

Inside the box was an American flag with a note explaining that this flag had flown, in Iraq, on the anniversary of September 11 in 2008.

I was stunned and amazed.

And goose-bumped and teary-eyed.

And something more. Something I’m not sure I can totally explain, but I feel the need to try.

The idea of where this flag has been and what it stands for. This banner o’er the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. This badge of power. The Good Guys panache. This symbol of who we are. Of who we have always been.  

For nine years, September 11 has triggered nothing but a deep and inconsolable sadness, a thick shadow of grief that doesn’t ebb, an abyss I must draw back from to function in the everyday. But. To have this flag in my hands and to have in my head this image of the spirit of those who serve. To imagine an American soldier flying this flag, honoring the Stars and Stripes–and all of us–in Iraq, on September 11. To hold something so beautiful and patriotic and . . . tangible.

Well.

It comforts me.

It humbles me.

God bless America. And God bless those who serve.

Entry filed under: Life Preservers. Tags: , , , .

The Packaging People Must Be Stopped Win

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. WritingByEar  |  September 11, 2010 at 8:52 am

    I was so sad today, driving an hour to my mom’s house and seeing virtually NO recognition of 9/11 — no flags flying, no signs on businesses — just a story or two on the radio. It made me angry too — people are, what… too busy, too jaded, too clueless, too “over it” to fly a flag today? Do they really not remember that horrible day, only 9 short years ago?( We are doomed, if that is true.) Thanks for sharing your story — I agree, it’s a humbling gift you received. And a treasure.

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  • 2. Kathi  |  September 11, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Powerful post. Thank you.
    A fellow Soldiers Angel

    (p.s. dont’ see a way to contact you? but, I do a sort-of monthly post called ‘Soldiers Angels Web Surfing’ and would like to link this post in my next one…..please let me know if that would be ok with you)

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    • 3. boatdrinkbaby  |  September 11, 2010 at 11:54 am

      Thank you. Yes, of course, you may share it.

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  • 4. Ken Jordan  |  September 14, 2010 at 2:00 am

    Wow. What a humbling experience. The people who answer the call to serve their country are truly the best among us.

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  • 5. Soldiers Angels Web Surfing | Hooah Wife and friends  |  September 19, 2010 at 5:50 am

    […] First up, came across this moving post by an Angel and new blogger at life preservers,a blog Thank You, U.S. Soldier […]

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  • 6. Happy Birthday America | Life Preservers  |  July 4, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    […] us our land of the free and those who have kept it that way for more than two centuries. To the U.S. soldier who sent me this flag and all our founding father and military life preservers, I […]

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