Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Victory Mail

(from a student in my AMH2020online)

Community service is something that everyone should try to involve in their life. It brings more appreciation to ones circumstances and shines a light on how silly our issues or complaints might be. To be selfless is one of the most rewarding things you can be, it builds character and creates a connection with another person or a foundation that can sometimes have an everlasting bond. Community service can be anything and can deal with anyone. From giving someone who is needy food or a set a clean clothes, to maybe even creating your own foundation to support the cause that you feel passionate about. In my case it was something that I never even thought about at all, something that seemed so simple, that one might think it is unnecessary to say. A simple “Thank you” or just letting someone know that you’re thinking about them goes a long way. It doesn’t seem very selfless and it’s not, but the people who I said thank you to, are one of the most selfless people I have known.
I was thwarted to this service by my sister, Charlie who works for the Department of Blind Services. She had started a writing group to individuals that were in the armed forces. A lot of members of the armed forces don’t receive a letter or anything from their family or friends. Their time overseas and dedication deserves to let them know that they are appreciated; they leave the commodity of a country that has accessibility to almost everything and go to a world of limitations. I chose to concentrate on this because I felt it was something that could be overlooked. In the cases of the armed forces members, it is thought that there are so many people donating their time and effort, one must think what is my letter, badly written by the way, going to do? What can I offer a person that is away from home defending our freedom and liberties when I sit on a comfy sofa, when my biggest debate is what show I should binge on first?
I then realized that probably the person that received this letter wanted to disconnect from the mundane or scary environment he or she was in, maybe they would want a glimpse of what I called home and what I did in my day. I had to present my case to a person I never met to understand that their decision to join was worthwhile.
When it comes to my personality I have a very difficult time expressing my thoughts on paper, it’s more difficult than verbal communication. Someone has to describe and paint a picture for someone to vividly understand what they are reading. I had nowhere to start, so I relied on the internet. I literally searched “How to write to troops overseas” and lessons from others were there. Obviously many people are in the same predicament, they don’t know how to start, and also when was the last time someone from this generation picked up a pen, wrote a letter and actually placed a stamp on something. exactly. I started writing, every letter I would end up ripping up because it would sound too cheesy or condescending or just generic. I didn’t want to be conventional. My first letter consisted of Tallahassee and how warm people here were; I described the insane ducks and geese that were in Lake Ella, ready to pounce on anyone for a nibble of anything, I described my day and asked how their world was.
I have written over 20 letters since I started, the majority of them don’t respond, it could be possibly due to the fact that they obviously don’t have time or maybe a thank you from me is more than enough for them to keep going. The service that I use is I believe strongly in the output of positive energy and I would suggest for anyone to pick up a pen and write to a soldier or to make a care package. It is one of purest forms of positivity one can have and show.
I had the pleasure of meeting a combat wounded veteran which I first and foremost thanked him for his service. We convened in small talk and then I mentioned that I had written a few times to soldiers overseas and I asked for his opinion. He said that in reality a lot of the mail that they received was great because there were many people there that would not get anything, in this day and age everyone is in a rush, and a letter in the mail helps people reminisce.
I didn’t think I would learn much from this experience because I felt it was being pushed onto me like a task, but I am so thankful it was. I now plan to start doing care packages and sending them to organizations that send them overseas. Everyone should really take the time and sit and think how luck y we are, and the majority of that thanks and appreciation should go to the men and women overseas. I also plan to start at my job a station where we can write to soldiers and donate to them. I have already convinced a few of my coworkers to start researching and looking in to the idea of writing letters to our soldiers.
Letter writing might not comparably be as involved as taking care of sick children or creating a relief program for the needy, but it is still a kindness and something that someone goes out their way to do. In the end a service is attending to someone else needs, providing what you can, whether it’s time or money. I think that these letters that are sent change the moods of soldiers and allow them to have a connection with someone else besides their fellow soldiers. It is innate to humans to feel wanted and appreciated, we need to feel comforted and know that someone cares; the support of a stranger is just as important as the care of a close friend. I am forever thankful for the their service and I know my 30 minutes of writing does not equal up for their time but it least shows that they are on our minds.