A soldier mounts his Humvee to make his daily rounds. He knew that by fighting in Iraq, he could be risking his life, but he was compelled to go anyway. There is a voice deep within him that calls him to defend his family, his friends, his neighbors, his country. To defend those in America that he has never met and may never meet. Yet, he climbs into his Humvee to answer the call of our nation without hesitation. He is nineteen and his mother prays for his safe return.Two hours into his patrol, his Humvee is struck by an RPG (Rocket propelled grenade). He knows that he will be going home now but he will leave his legs in Iraq.
A soldier crawls on his belly in the dust, weapon held in front of him as he quietly leads his men to the outskirts of an insurgent encampment. He knows that here, in Afghanistan, he could lose his life but he is keenly aware that without his presence here, thousands more, back home in America, could lose theirs’. He knows that his wife and three children pray everyday, that he will make it home in one piece – and soon. When the gunfire erupts, he knows that he will be with his family sooner than he thought. He has been shot twice and he is losing blood fast but he doesn’t regret coming here. He has done his duty.
These men were flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. They did not come home to parades and well wishes. They came for surgery and rehab. While their’ families are grateful to have them home alive, they are uncertain for the first time as to what the future hold for them. How will they support their’ families now? There is so much to decide and so terribly frustrating when your’ body, mind and spirit are wounded.
Do our wounded warriors know just how much we admire and appreciate them? Have we told them? When a soldier feels helpless, as many of them do when they return wounded, how do we say thank you?
With the holidays fast approaching, many of our soldiers will spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and beyond in Walter Reed Army Medical Center. It’s a depressing thought to many of us and an even more depressing fact to many of our wounded hero’s. We can all make a small difference just by saying Thank You.
You can send a card or letter or care package to a wounded soldier. You may not know his name but you will brighten his day with something as small as a thoughtful word. Take the time to tell out soldiers just how proud we are of them. Here is a simple way that you can do just that for the cost of a postage stamp.
Send your’ card, letter or package to: A Recovering Soldier, c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 6900 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20307-5001.
Make it a classroom project at school or church. Ask your’ friends and neighbors to join in. With a little love and appreciation, we can all brighten a soldiers’ day and tell them how thankful we are that they were there for us.