Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pen Pals

I have a new pen pal who I am terribly excited about! His name is Joseph and he's a SFC in the US Army, stationed in Northern Iraq. I met Joseph on an airplane last weekend. He sat by me and I had a hundred questions for him, so we talked non-stop during the Tampa to Atlanta flight. I explained to him that I'm not very excited about our ever being in Iraq in the first place and for so long, but I am totally supportive of the soldiers who have to be there. I know there are many who share these feelings, so one thing I wanted to know was if the soldiers felt "supported" by our country. He said they feel supported, but mostly because of things the army is doing for them. He is a few years away from retirement and chose to not go the officer route, as he likes teaching and guiding the frontline troops. His wife and son live in the Tampa area and he had just finished a few weeks of R&R, or as he said "Honey-Do" time!

We have exchanged a few e-mails so far and I look forward to more. One of his e-mails expressed his appreciation for my interest in talking to a soldier and being interested in them. I told him I thought most people would do the same when given the opportunity I was. Meeting someone personally who is serving brings home the life and death way a lot of Americans are having to live. I can't imagine serving in this war or in any, for that matter. My father was a bombadeer in WWII. He was stationed in England and flew 34 missions over Germany. His first mission was on D-Day in 1944 when he was 22 years old.

All this being said, I appreciate the peace and quiet and comfort of my home, but I sincerely hope exchanging e-mails with Joseph keeps me aware of not only how active duty soldiers have to live, but people with not enough food or places to lay their heads at night, whether in Haiti or this country or wherever. I am skilled at blocking out the suffering of others and maybe that is normal, but staying mindful will hopefully keep these people on my heart and in my prayers.

Since it's always healthy for us to be grateful and we all want to be healthy, think about three things you are thankful for this day. I know that joy springs from gratitude, so may your pondering of your blessings fill your heart with joy.

1 comment:

  1. Tell him we all send our support along with our wish for his safe return home.