Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pay it Forward ....

To all our brothers and sisters far from home:

We love you.
We miss you.
We pray daily for your safety.
We count the days until you return.
We will be here, waiting,
With open arms of joy, gratitude and relief.
And we are

Giving Thanks ....

Good News you won't hear anywhere else:

A Thanksgiving Story of My Own

I remember one time in particular when my husband called me from Iraq to say he was going outside the wire and he would be “incommunicado” for a few days (which ended up being a week because they got stranded in a sandstorm) but would call when they got back, and not to worry.

So of course, you know what that meant - I immediately began to worry. Couldn’t sleep at night, my nerves became extremely frayed due to anxiety, having to keep up appearances of calm for the outside world while turmoil raged within, while listening non-stop to the local media declare the war “lost” (Reid) and our friends called “cold blooded murderers” (Murtha).

I was in a chain restaurant with the kids, trying to keep busy and positive. Our youngest was in second grade. I was emotionally, physically and spiritually a husk.

I had with me my purse made out of recycled cammies that the wives sew and sell as a fundraiser for our Semper Fi Wounded Warrior fund.

Anyways, an older man stopped by our table and, pointing to the camo purse on the floor underneath my seat, asked our youngest if her Dad was in the military. She said, yes, he was in Iraq and would be gone for a year. He offered some words of encouragement, told her how brave she was, and how grateful he was that she had “lent” her Dad to the nation.

When the waiter came, instead of a check, he explained the older gentleman who had stopped by our table had paid our bill and left some Best Buy gift cards for the kids as his way to say thank you.

I immediately burst into tears, and I am ashamed to say, had a complete breakdown in absolute gratitude to his kindness and caring. It meant so much that someone really cared, a complete stranger, when I was feeling I was fighting it all alone and the load was feeling pretty heavy.

That was years ago, and I am finding it hard to type because it’s getting dusty in here.

You never know when someone is going to need the emotional boost that an Act of Kindness will provide. It wasn’t paying the check, or the gift cards, it was knowing he really meant what he said and we had his support. I will always, always remember that man, and it breaks my heart I never got to say Thank you.

This time of year, I carry a few Gift cards in my purse, so I can render a random act of thanks.

Pay it forward.


Wraith said...

Most people understand the sacrifices our military personnel endure on behalf of America.

Too few realize that military families also make a sacrifice for this country. It may not be lauded much, but it is appreciated.

May God bless and keep you and yours. And thank you, one and all. The rest of this country owes you a debt we can never repay.

Larry said...

The hardest job in the military is often that of military spouse.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Karen said...

Thank you for all you, and your family does, to support our military.
Pay it forward, indeed.