I’m a patriotic person, a proud American.Unfortunately, it sometimes takes certain events to show that we’re all one.Our unity is often suppressed until a crystallizing moment like 9/11, the Boston Marathon Bombing or when our liberties are being heavily imposed on.It’s in those moments that the best of us rise to defend our country.
Joining the military provides a focused sense of purpose.It gives you a chance to represent something that’s bigger than yourself. You represent something massive…the entire United States.It’s like joining the ultimate super team and striving to be the best of the best on the largest platform one can imagine.
Many civilians envy you because you did something that requires great fortitude.A lot of people don’t have the courage to pursue those type of ambitions.
I want you to know you’re sincerely appreciated.The sacrifice you chose to make particularly during deployments is both notable and commendable.Whatever civilians contributed to the effort stateside pales in comparison to the sacrifice you made in choosing to serve the United States.Thank you.
I’m still going strong with my books. I have had the privilege and pleasure of handing out copies to veterans wherever I go. Recently, I ran into a publishing problem that gave me pause. The company I use to produce the books raised the cost significantly. They are approximately double the cost they used to be. I searched around for other companies that could publish the books for a better price but none of them had the ability to create custom text and photo boxes the way Shutterfly does. I called and wrote them, hoping that I could appeal to them to keep my cost for the books the same as they’d always been. I explained that the project was created for our veterans and that I bear all costs myself since the books are gifts to the recipients. I thought they might have a special program for projects like mine but alas, they don’t. I was disappointed, however, for the moment, I will continue to use Shutterfly. I just won’t be able to distribute as many copies.
I’m pleased to report that I’ve gotten some nice, new letters and I will post them here over the next few days. If you, or someone you know wants to include a letter in Words For Warriors, please touch base at email@example.com. This is a living project and it grows and changes for the better all the time.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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)