Project Update – May 25, 2014

I’ve been busy this Memorial Day weekend, thinking about our fallen, thinking about my love for this country and for those who have given so much to protect our liberty and I spent the day yesterday doing what I could to show “thank you” to those I can reach.  I started out in the morning with a pile of books, my older son and the little lady in the GPS to guide our travels.

First stop was to give a book to a personal friend and Vietnam war veteran.  Yes, I know the gift bag isn't exactly manly but he didn't mind.
First stop was to give a book to a personal friend and Vietnam War veteran. Yes, I know the gift bag isn’t exactly manly but he didn’t mind.

 

 

 

Next stop was here.  I left two books at the VA Regional Benefits Office.
Next stop was here. I left two books at the VA Regional Benefits Office.

 

We went to the VA in the city.  It's a large, urban VA hospital but there were no "official" people working there that I could see. My son and I walked around for a while looking for someone who worked at the place to give the books to but we never saw anybody.  There were veterans waiting in the front lobby so we distributed some individual copes to them but didn't leave a  "house" copy.
We went to the VA in the city. It’s a large, urban VA hospital but there were no “official” people working there that I could see. My son and I walked around for a while looking for someone who worked at the place to give the books to but we never saw anybody. There were veterans waiting in the front lobby so we distributed some individual copes to them but didn’t leave a “house” copy.

 

Here I am at the Fisher House.  Very happy to be able to leave a copy here.
Here I am at the Fisher House. Very happy to be able to leave a copy here.

 

This is outside the State Veterans Home.  I don't have any books in this photo because I donated my last copy to the library here before getting this photo outside.
This is outside the State Veterans Home. I don’t have any books in this photo because I donated my last copy to the library here before getting this photo outside.

 

I’m happy to report that the books now have a presence in 13 States.  I also scraped together the money to do a second edition printing when I’m ready with more letters.  Please spread the word.  If this project speaks to you I welcome your participation.  If you don’t want to write a letter but know someone who might be interested, let them know about the Words For Warriors Project.  Make it a point to stress that this isn’t a writing contest or an exercise in perfect grammar, it’s a place for people to offer a few honest words from the heart to those who have given this country so much!

Project Update – May 19, 2014

Now that I’m distributing the book, I thought I’d let you know where the book is going.

So far, I’ve placed 6 books at my local VA outpatient clinic, 2 in a VA clinic in Colorado Springs where I was visiting, 5 at a VA outpatient clinic in Golden CO, 1 at the VFW in Golden and sent four to USA Hockey (they are our Paralympic hockey team and have four veterans on the team). I have one being placed in a VA in Maine and one in West Virginia. There are a few on the way to an Air Force base where at least one will find a home at a local Fisher House. One is at Pathway Home in Yountville, California.

Dropping off books this weekend!
Dropping off books this weekend!

I’m also incredibly pleased to say that I’ve been able to give a few copies to a company called Wounded Wear for their use and send a personal copy to the President of the company, Jason Redman (whose words in his recent book The Trident partially inspired me in this undertaking). That’s right, I cold called (via email) his company and he was kind enough to write back.

I’ve also been able to send out copies to many veteran friends and acquaintances which makes me very happy, indeed!

I’m delighted to say that the feedback from the book has been quite positive and it’s the best feeling in the whole world!

The first edition is out but I’m not done yet. I’m still asking people who want a unique way to show our veterans some support to write letters and send photos of themselves. I will definitely be doing a second edition and hopefully many more. Currently, the project is entirely funded by me and my cookie jar. I am scheming ways to get additional funds but whether I do or not, I will continue to distribute books. Outside money just means more books out to our veterans…faster.

Do you want to be in the next edition of Words For Warriors?

If you would like to be in my next book, I invite you to send a letter along to words4warriors1@gmail.com. Please understand this isn’t a writing contest. It’s not about fancy language or perfect grammar. A few simple words from the heart is all that is necessary. its something meaningful you can do and it doesn’t cost a penny, just a few minutes of your time.

 

 

Project Update – May 11, 2014

Delivery of the first shipment of the first edition of Words For Warriors!
Delivery of the first shipment of the first edition of Words For Warriors!

This is the lovely sight that greeted me when I finished my workout on Friday.  There were boxes at the front door containing my first order of Words For Warriors.  I was very excited to finally have the books in hand.

I opened one of the boxes and took out the top three books.  Those have a special home waiting for them.  One is going on my shelf, to be saved until the end time just in case I meet up again with the Marine I used to write back and forth with on Bodybuilding.com who had the tagline “The Marines are at war, America is at the mall.”  If you read the About Words For Warriors Project page here, you’ll understand.  One of the books is for the Sailor who wrote a passage in his book that made me want to bring this project to fruition.  I don’t know him.  I have no idea how to contact him, but in case I figure it out one day, I’ll save it for him.  One is for Gary Dolan, who has been so kind since the moment I first started writing to him.  He’s a wonderful man and has encouraged me every step of the way with this project (and others).

The first three books out of the box are being  saved for particular people.
The first three books out of the box are being saved for particular people.

I’m anxious to get the book into the hands of some of our veterans.  I’ve already got the first batch ready to go out on Monday.  I’m happy to report that 4 of them will be going to USA Hockey.  One copy is for Josh Sweeney and the other three are for his teammates who are also veterans.  One is going to the PATHWAY HOME program in Yountville CA.  If they like the book once they see it, I let them know I’d send individual copies for the men in their program (I believe there are 12 residents there currently). Several copies are being sent to veterans who wrote letters for the Words For Warriors Project and a few copies will be going out to personal friends (all veterans, of course).

In just one week or so (depending on shipping time) there will be Words For Warriors books in Oklahoma, California, Virginia, Colorado, Utah, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and West Virginia.

Starting Monday I’ll begin the process of distributing books to VA hospitals/clinics.  So far have one set to be placed in a VA in Maine and one in West Virginia.  

This part, the distribution is SO fun for me.  What a pleasure….I wish I could win the lottery.  I could just go around collecting letters, making books and giving them to our veterans!  Actually I’d do a lot more than the books but I’d definitely keep publishing as part of my efforts.

It’s Mother’s Day today…and I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing than thinking about how to keep pushing the Words For Warriors Project forward and getting books ready to go out in the mail tomorrow!

Happy!
Happy!

 

 

Project Update – May 7, 2014

I’m very happy to report that the book was sent off to the printer yesterday.  Just a little longer and I’ll have a box of books on my doorstep and I can begin phase two of this project.  I have created a partial distribution list and will go to the post office today to get mailers so I can address them and have them ready to go once I have the books in hand.  No delays…I want Words For Warriors out there ASAP!

I met the most interesting man yesterday.  I heard him say he had been in the Navy.  He joined up when he was very young.  I’m guessing he’s a WWII veteran.  I gave him one of the Grateful American coins I carry around and we ended up having a great conversation.  He gave me a couple of books of his and we exchanged information.  In a few weeks, I’ll go back to visit him with a copy of Words For Warriors for his library.  He seems eager to chat and from a few of the stories he told me I think a letter from him would be a marvelous addition to the Words For Warriors Project.

Don’t forget, I’m still collecting letters.  If you have people in your life who you think would enjoy being part of this project, please direct them here.  The more letters I get the better the next edition of Words For Warriors will be!

Let our veterans know their hard work is appreciated!
Let our veterans know their hard work is appreciated!