Kyle and I adopted!! No not a child, I think my mom probably passed out somewhere, and not a puppy, and that is where my future MIL breathed a sigh of relief. We adopted a soldier. MSG Manuel Paulino to be exact. This is the ideal adoption scenario really, it’s free, I assume he is potty trained and even if he isn’t that really isn’t my problem, and well there is a major need for support for our soldiers. I don’t know a single person close to me that is currently serving this country. No father, cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers or sisters of mine are somewhere in the deserts of Iraq or various other places our military personnel serve in. So I’m guilty, guilty of not recognizing on a daily basis the sacrifice the members of the service make as well as the sacrifice their families make. According to one website 239 US soldiers have died this year in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even at this moment I went searching for numbers and it took a moment for the reality to sink in. 239 families are devastated, children are without parent’s, wives without husbands, 239 lives sacrificed for my freedom and yours. Regardless of how you feel about politics, the war or the government, one thing should not be questioned. That of course is support for the men and women giving their lives to protect this country. Anyway so now I have a name, a person to worry about, a person to consider as I go on about my daily life. I have a soldier to support.
My Grandpa is a veteran and served in the Korean war. In case you aren’t a history buff, that war took place from 1950-1953. And in case you aren’t a math wizz, that was a long time ago. (I’m not a math wizz either.) Anyway on a recent trip to my grandparent’s house, I began to go through old pictures and various old paperwork. My Grandpa has Parkinson’s disease and since being diagnosed he has become much more quiet. He generally sits stoically, with a tired look on his face. However when I started to look at pictures of him in uniform, he lit up. He told me names, dates, and specific stories about his time in Korea. He had letters from Korean people telling him how grateful they were for various things he did and gifts he gave them. My grandma, of course, was still bitter about the girl in one of the pictures that was with him at send off. He cracked a smile even when we started joking with her about his Korean girlfriends. He is proud of his service and he was certain about one thing, he wants to be buried in the Veteran cemetery in Phoenix. I am proud too because until that moment I never even knew he was a veteran. I was glad to see him get excited about something and know that while his body might be aging, his mind is not.
In honor of Independence Day we are dedicating our July fund raising efforts to our soldiers. We will be holding a “Care Package Drive.” Little signs of support are huge morale boosters for soliders and it’s time we do our part. Items most appreciated are:
- Non-aerosol toiletry items: deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, baby powder
- Snacks that won’t melt: Sunflower seeds, gum, power bars
- Powdered drink mixes and energy shots
- Hand held games, movies, books, magazines, cards, or puzzle books
- Anything that you think would bring joy to a soldier
There are some guidelines about what can and can not be sent. Visit here to check regulations.
We will also have Thank You notes available if you are interested in writing a note of appreciation and you are welcome to bring your own letters, notes, or drawings.
While you celebrate this weekend, take a moment to think of our soldiers and the sacrifice they make each and every day. Anyone can adopt a soldier, so if you can’t be a part of this Care Package drive, adopt your own soldier and start a drive of your own.