I’ve been involved in scouting for many years. “Do a good turn daily” is the Boy Scout slogan. Bottom line, I was encouraged to be a good person…trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave clean and reverent. That’s what I try to project into the world each day.
The concept of public service is an important focus in the Boy Scouts and it’s a theme that’s also seen in the military. There are many retired military men in my family, primarily Marines. Right now, we have one family member on active duty. I thought seriously about joining myself before I started college last year.
Military service is a 100% worthy thing to do with your life. When you join, you do so knowing you face war and you do it willingly because you believe in what we all want. In America, we have individual liberties and freedoms that people in other countries can only dream of. You work to protect those freedoms and to protect other people’s families along with your own. That’s really impressive to me. I think you are heroes. I’m very thankful for what you do.
Derek W. (Eagle Scout, college student, outdoorsman – Age 19)
I haven’t posted an update for a while but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on this project. I got the second edition of Words For Warriors published and have distributed many copies. Actually, I’m down to my last few. I have committed to give some of those to a wonderful organization that helps veterans seeking employment.
I’ve handed out the majority of the newest edition to veterans I run into in my daily life. Just a few days ago there was a small group of people collecting donations for a charity outside my local grocery store. They asked if I would contribute. I wished them luck but told them I save all my extra pennies for our veterans (this project in particular). Turns out the woman seeking donations was married to a Navy vet and her son (who was there with her) was home on leave. He’s a Marine. I went back to my car, got two of our books, gave one to her son and asked her to give the other to her husband. That’s the fun part of accidental meetings. It’s a pleasure to have something tangible to hand to those who have served (and who are still serving).
Speaking of things that please me, I was able to hand a copy of our book to a Marine veteran named Michael Golembesky and his teammate/friend J.J. Michael recently published a book called Level Zero Heroes about his experiences as a Marine Special Operations man in Afghanistan. It’s a powerful book and one you might be interested in reading. Couldn’t be happier about being able to give he and J.J. a tangible “thank you” from all of the people who contributed to Words For Warriors.
As always I continue to ask people who would like to participate in this project to write letters of their own to be included in subsequent editions of Words For Warriors. It’s a great way to show appreciation for all of the hard work our military members put in. Remember, thinking kind words is great but writing them down and passing them on means so much more…
Even when I’m not posting often, rest assured I’m working diligently to see that our book gets to as many veterans as possible. If you have helpful ideas for me, contact info for people you think would like a copy or a letter you want to submit, please send it along. I’m always available at firstname.lastname@example.org
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)
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)
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.
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.
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!
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)