"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Not Just Any Soldier

As most of you know I have a brother serving in the military (and yes, that is a picture of him). He's my younger brother and normally I would give him some clever sort of nickname to keep him anonymous but his lovely wife recently started a blog and she used their real names, so there it is.

My brother, Larry, has always been someone who stood out from the crowd. Don't get me wrong, he was never one to want the spotlight. In fact, he was painfully shy until he discovered that...well, he's funny. He could even get the teachers laughing in class so you know the kid had talent. He was usually their favorite, too. And he can play just about any wind instrument, which kinda makes me hate him...just a little. I could tell you all sorts of blackmail-worthy stories about him, as we were pretty inseparable when we were younger and often conspired together. There was that one time we found a mysterious bag on the way home from school and then ended up in the back of a police car...

Anyway, Larry is in the Air Force. It was always a dream of his to join. He's already been stationed in a couple different states. But currently, he is in Afghanistan, serving for six months. I love my brother dearly and I think of him often. I also think of his young wife and their new little boy. When he is on base, he can email, phone and even visit the store for American products. It's amazingly hot but still has some comforts of home. However, he's not always on base. And I can't tell you where he goes because you don't have security clearance and I might have to kill you afterwards.

There's a program called Any Soldier that helps people send care packages to those in the Armed Forces, giving the soldiers a taste of home and support while they are away. They give you guidelines on what to send or the option to purchase a pre-packaged gift. You can choose which branch of the military receives your package, if you have a preference for say, Air Force guys with cute newborns at home. And the soldiers that receive these packages don't keep it all for themselves. The items inside are handed around to everyone. Think of the difference in their day a simple package can make! This is such a worthwhile cause that my elder brother, Chuckles' son is working with the program as part of his Eagle Scout project.

"A soldier in Iraq can't see your ribbon,
Or the flag at your front door.
But a letter they hold in their hands,
To them means so much more."
Supporter Liam Sweeny

I am going to do this. I will send a package. And I won't send it just to my brother. So I am challenging you, my dear Internet, to do the same. Pick a name from the list and make a difference.

You know you want to...


Emily said...

We have a Knight that was deployed to Iraq. We have adopted his unit along with our little bro.
We planned a big box of cookies next, they say they have good cooks but nothing beats what’s from home.

Kristie said...

What a great idea!! Thanks for sharing that. I had no idea that Larry was overseas!!! We will keep him in our prayers!!

Amanda said...

I had no idea about Larry either! So thanks for sharing that info:) His wife must be a brave, strong woman! Just to take care of an infant alone is a TOUGH job! That is a very cool package idea:)

Tally said...

Oh jess, i dont know why but lately I have been crying almost for no reason, the moment I saw a picture of Larry on your blog I already had tears in my eyes. What a great idea you had and that will sure make them feel special! Thank you!! Love you...

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