From Michael K. (Army Veteran, Career Firefighter

This is for all of you warriors out there who are serving our nation.

I was once where you are in a very different time. I served in the first Gulf War and I consider that to have been a cake walk compared to what you are doing today. I think about the sacrifices that are made when I drive by an American flag. I think of not only you, I think of the backbone of every soldier which is their family. The family is also in the military.  They are just behind the scenes.

You men and women that proudly go off to a foreign country are an inspiration to all of us. The mission may be long and hard but the mission is always a success because of you. Speaking as a former service member you have millions of us soldiers in your pocket with you through our thoughts and prayers. Keep up the good work and know that I personally shake the hands of every soldier or veteran for a job well done. Thank you for what you do and remember that every day that goes by is one day closer to home. God Bless and be safe. Your country loves you.

Michael J. Kline

Michael K.

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Project Update – July 2, 2014

Jack Dawson is an artist who has been producing wonderful work for over 30 years.  He has created many lovely pieces using various types of media.  He says his “principal purpose has been to spread the message of Jesus Christ through his work.”  He and his wife, have a website at http://www.jackdawson.com where you can go and see his art.

I’m delighted to say that they have made a very generous donation of notecards to the Words For Warriors Project.  The notecards depict one of my favorite paintings of his called Heart of a Warrior and I will be tucking them into the copies of Words For Warriors that I send out.  Very happy to have them.  I think the recipients of the books will enjoy the little extra surprise nestled amongst the pages.

Many thanks to Jack and Nancy Dawson for their generosity!

This is the front of the notecard.
This is the front of the notecards.

 

This is the back that explains the thoughts behind the painting.
The back of the notecard explains the thoughts behind the painting.

 

From Gina S. (Writer and Mom)

To our men and women who serve,

I see your sacrifice everywhere—on a nice day by the water when everyone is out with friends and family, or while putting my daughter to bed with wishes for sweet dreams and kisses to help make them come true. These are two of countless everyday moments that you sacrifice with your loved ones.  And because you do this, I get to have those moments in peace and security.

Thank you.

Thank you for all that you give up at home. Thank you for enduring long days away filled with danger or boredom, stifling heat or bitter cold, camel spiders and other wildlife, and mostly for facing whatever the day brings with courage.

Please tell your family that I thank them as well. The missing, worrying, dealing with appliances and vehicles that like to gang up and break down the moment you leave, and sending care from 7,000 miles away is not for the faint of heart.

What you and your family do for the rest of us is not taken for granted. It is honored and cherished. Hopefully the words in this book will help ensure that you never doubt this.
Sincerely,
Gina S.

p.s. my daughter thanks you too.

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From Sherm S. (USMC Veteran)

First and foremost, you, me and all of our brothers-in-arms, will always be WARRIORS.

Never, ever stop fighting for what you believe in. Choose your battles. Choose wisely. Fold your hands and pray for guidance, then Heaven help those who get in the way, for when God is on our side, who can be against us?

I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength – Phil. 4:13.

If you are lonely…In your loneliness find strength, in your strength find humility, in your heart find God.

Have a great day. Have a great life, and be the light of the world to others who are lost, for we are Warriors carrying the torch to all who live in darkness.

Stay Safe my Brothers,

Always and Forever,

Sherm S. (I joined the Marine Corps in the 70s, did my training at MCRD in San Diego, CA, and have always lived under the principles taught in the Corps: Honor, Courage, Commitment).

 

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From Carl B. (U.S. Navy Veteran)

I served from 1951-54 during the Korean conflict. As an aviation structural mechanic my job was to repair planes that had been damaged in battle. Ours was squadron of AD-4 Bakers (attack bombers) land-stationed at Moffett Field in San Jose, California. Prior to joining that squadron, I was stationed at Millington Air Station in Memphis and still prior to that in Jacksonville, Florida for job training. I did my basic in Great Lakes. I was called into active Naval Reserve from college after six weeks at Baylor University. I Was 18 and served until I was 21. When I came out I finished my education with the GI Bill.

During my time in the Navy and ever since, I have been convinced that every young American should contribute a year or two early in their life to military service. It would promote a feeling of patriotism that they do not feel otherwise. In my view, both they and the nation would benefit from this.

I want to take this opportunity to thank those who have served and who are currently serving by sacrificing and devoting years of their lives to protecting our Nation, our states, our communities and yes, our very families from those who oppose America and all that it stands for.

For those deployed overseas, may God bless and watch over you and your families here at home while they share in the sacrifice you are making for all of us. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

With deep appreciation,

Carl B.

photo

 

From Tanya J. (Grandmother, Avid Traveler)

Most of my relatives were foreign-born. My grandparents came from Germany. My grandfather came to America for the opportunity. He came first then my grandmother followed. They settled in Iowa to farm. None of my close relatives served in the military but many years ago I used to attend dances at the Air Force Academy and got a chance to know some of the cadets.

When I think of the men who volunteer for military service I think of men with great intelligence, who are proud of America and dedicated to her defense. I fly a flag at my house because I’m glad to be an American and want to honor the efforts of our men and women in uniform.

Tanya J.

Project Update – June 12, 2014

This project is a testament to the fact that I believe so strongly in the power of words to affect those who read them.  It’s not supposition.  I know this is true from my own life.  There have been countless times I’ve been pondering some question or another and the next thing I know, I open a book and there is the answer.  I have found illumination, comfort, camaraderie and encouragement from words left for me by others in books my entire life.  There are times books have been my best company.  That is why I’m so passionate about the Words For Warriors Project.  You never know who needs the words you have to offer.  It doesn’t matter if they’re fancy or as simple and plain as they could possibly be.  When they come from the heart, they are understood by the heart.

It was my pleasure to be able to send a copy of our book to a friend (we met through our mutual interest in fitness/bodybuilding…who woulda thunk it?)  He sent me the following yesterday

“Thank you so much! received!! awesome work…really great. People worldwide appreciate this caring and respectful gesture!” (F.T. Army Veteran)

F.T.
F.T.

Here are a few more words we’ve gotten back regarding this project.

“I received your book a few days ago. I apologize for being so tardy in letting you know, but I’ve been immersed in the volume, and I have to tell you that I love it. That this book is truly a labor of love for you is quite evident by the content. At times, I was moved to tears. Thank you for giving me a copy, and thank you, thank you, thank you for the kind and beautiful words you inscribed on the inside cover. I am deeply touched.” (A.E. USMC veteran)

“Dear Dr. Lynn, Just wanted to thank you so much for the book. I was quite surprised to receive a copy so quickly. Susie gave it to me on Monday, and my son’s birthday was on Tuesday. I gave it to him on Thursday. He and his wife were speechless, and thought it was very cool. This is a wonderful project.” (A.H. Mother of a USMC veteran.  I sent her the book to give to him).

Here is another from a USMC veteran and USAFR friend who liked the book so much he submitted a letter for the second edition. “I received the Words For Warriors book this week and I have read it front to back, twice! I enjoyed each and every story. Very moving, emotional and gratifying! My favorites dealt with the appreciation by civilians for those who have and who continue to serve and also for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you so much for this publication but more importantly your friendship and exceptional caring for military personnel. You can count on me to spread the word about this book.” (M. Davis)

M. Davis
M. Davis

One more….”Lynn, We met briefly and talked briefly about hiking when you brought the books into the CBOC on Monday. Thank you for supporting the veteran with time, effort AND ink! (Administrator at the VA where I left some copies of the book).

WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY MATTERS!

Please let friends know about our project.  I’m collecting letters for the second edition and as always welcome participation from anyone who wants to show our veterans some appreciation.

 

heart-to-heart-coffee

 

 

From M. Davis Jr. (Veteran of the USMC, USAF, Health Services Management)

To my military brothers, sisters and your families,

I am honored to be a part of this great fraternity. We have a special bond that will last forever.

To those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, you remain forever in our hearts…

I joined the US Marine Corps in 1975 right after graduating high school thanks to my father who signed my enlistment papers as my mother would not. I began serving at 17 and I was fortunate to see the world during my three years of active duty. When it came time to re-enlist I wanted to be stationed anywhere in California. I was a Jersey boy and I’d had enough of winters. Needless to say my request was denied so I decided to get out. I landed a job with the US Postal Service and life was good. But something was missing and that something was the military.

After a long break in service I joined the US Air Force Reserves (USAFR) in 1999 in the career field I always wanted – Health Services Management. I have always been driven to make the best of situations no matter where I was stationed but my favorite mission was a deployment to the Dominican Republic as a member of the US Air Force medical readiness team in 2006. During this humanitarian joint force mission team, which treated over 16, 000 patients in a one month period, I was responsible for the triage of 600-1,000 patients daily. This mission was one of the most humbling experiences for me. Being surrounded by poverty and sickness makes one realize that we truly have a lot to be thankful for.

I have 17 years of USAFR service and counting. My current goal is to retire at the highest enlisted rank – Chief Master Sergeant E9

There is just something about this military fraternity. I love being a part of it. To me serving this great country is an honor that I am very proud of.

“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. “ John F. Kennedy

M. Davis Jr.  (SMSgt Davis E8 USAFR)

M. Davis

From Marti H. (Manager, Oil and Gas Company)

To all military personnel, active, now in the civilian world and retired,

Thank you. There aren’t words that I can write that express the gratitude I feel for all of your dedication and perseverance to keep the USA safe and secure. I am an average citizen that gets up and goes to work, enjoys their family and evenings out with friends as well as going to bed at night with the only worry being, did I set my automatic coffee pot to start brewing in the morning. Your days and nights are completely different and are filled with thoughts, emotions and surroundings I cannot imagine. Thank you.

My father was in the Navy at the end of WWII serving in the South Pacific. My brother served in the Army in the late 1970’s. I have a history in my family of service, but none during “war time”. I will have to say that a friend of the family served as a fighter pilot in the Air Force. Greg “Shorty” Short died of cancer in 2012. Talk about a champion and an inspiration to all who were privileged to know him. He received many commendations and medals which included two Distinguished Flying Crosses during Desert Storm. Next to his wife and children the Air Force and flying were the other loves of his life. He used to say “yep – they pay me to do this job!” Because of Shorty, is my view of our armed service men and women. Thank you.

Greg "Shorty" Short
Greg “Shorty” Short

As I have said the only experience I have had with the military is in peace time but, the fears and strain of deployment on families and friends of the dedicated that serve should be honored as well. When my children are late, or don’t call me back within a reasonable amount of time I get panicked. Where are they, are they hurt, do they need me? These are questions I ask when my daughter is coming home from a friend’s house late at night. I cannot comprehend the dull and constant fears your families and friends go through every second of every day. Thank you.

“AMERICA” wouldn’t be America without the men and women who have fought and fight to keep our country “FREE”. My highest praise and gratitude goes out to all of you, Thank you!

Gratefully,

Marti H.

Marti H.

 

Project Update – June 2, 2014

Yesterday I got some very nice feedback on our book.  I thought I would share it here.  I want you to know that the people who receive Words For Warriors really like and appreciate the book.  This came from a veteran (Army Ranger).

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“I got the book today.  Thank you so much. I’ll put it in a special place to display and share with my friends.  Read it from front to back already.  Outstanding, incredible, emotional but motivating and uplifting!  Thank you so much!”

IMG_44015683896276

“OK, my table is a cluster, but it’s my cluster!  This is where everything has a meaning including the rocks.  I will keep it snug against another important book of mine.”

Well there you have it!  If you’ve contributed to the Words For Warriors Project, you know your letter was definitely appreciated.  If you’re considering contributing to the second edition, please take a few minutes now to pen a few lines.  You don’t have to write like Hemingway, just a few lines from the heart is all it takes!

 

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!

May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night and a smooth road all the way to your door. (Irish Blessing)