I received this email from Granny the other day and it got me to thinking about the wonderful people I’ve met on this remarkable journey as a volunteer with Soldiers’ Angels over the past 6 years
Here’s the email:
i have a lot of granny adventure stories that i write to the troops...but i guess the one that sticks in my mind the most is after katrina...i am a single ole woman,,,an i was living in a fema camper that really was in bad shape,,,i went daily to fema an asked for help,,,,they never could fix it...it leaked an smelled like gas...well,,,i kinda lost it...no i really lost it...i talked to my soldiers angel mentor daily...she could see that i was having a hard time....we had never met face to face...but emailed an talked with each other on the phone....i remember sittin in the computer tent talking with her,,,cryin,,,alone...angry...misreble....my daugther offered to pay her flight to katrinaville...as i had no family close by....well,,,my mentor had never flown in her life an would not fly as she was very scared...i asked her please come...an finally,,,,she did...Lynette flew here an stayed with me for a week...helped me mentally,,,a lot...just imagine someone that u really didn't know coming when u r at the bottom of the barrel....an u really didn't know each other....i will never forget her,,,an what she did....i kinda think that is what we do for the soldiers...we are all there for them....
What Granny neglected to say was that during her time of crisis, she was also there as a support for me while recovering from major surgery that I’d had earlier that August. So while she cried to me—she was also there while I cried to her. She was the first person to make me laugh about “the new me” and I still giggle about it when I think about it and her "tattoo" idea.
Volunteering with Soldiers’ Angels is a remarkable experience in so, so many different ways. Yes, you support the warriors-both deployed and Stateside. That alone is a fantastic experience. In fact, I am still in touch with the wife of the first soldier we “adopted” and hope to meet them this fall.
What is even more priceless, to me, is the friendships that have come from my time with Soldiers’ Angels. I have been blessed with the dearest friends since joining. Friends who have provided me support while going through the next chapter in my life. Having these ladies in my life, with their uncontrollable laughter, their “I’ve got your back” attitudes, and their unconditional friendship has been a delight and I am thankful for them each and every day. We may come from different parts of the country, but the friendships are those as close as sisters.
The warriors and their families that I’ve come to know during these times have each taken a piece of my heart. Thankfully, my heart is as big as my “butt” so I still have a lot of heart to give……and you do give a piece of your heart every time you meet one of our warriors—whether an active duty warrior, a wounded/injured/ill warrior, or a veteran.
And for all this, I can say “thank you” to Patti Patton Bader for seeing that “something” in me when she and I first spoke so many years ago. She saw the woman inside waiting to “grow” and helped me to the place I am today—not only in Soldiers’ Angels, but in my life. Had you told me in school, I’d be doing what I’m doing today and meeting the people I’m meeting today, I would not have believed you. Believe it or not—I was very quiet in school, keeping to the background and keeping my opinions to myself. LOL I know—those that know me now, it’s hard to believe!! Patti--There aren’t enough words to say thank you.
To each and every one of you that touched my heart—thank you!!
God Bless you all and GOD BLESS AMERICA and OUR TROOPS!