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.
A copy of Words For Warriors now has a new home at a Fisher House in Ohio. Thank you Major J. Navarra for making sure the book made it safely there…very much appreciated! It’s always great to have photos like these!
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.
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 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
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!
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).
“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!”
“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!
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.
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!
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.
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).
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!
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!
It’s official! The Words For Warriors Project is now a corporation…and I’m the President! The great thing about this is that I can now accept donations from people who wish to offer them. I’m not actively soliciting donations at this time but it’s nice to know that when I’m ready I can do so. My plan is to get the first books out and into the hands of some of our veterans and then get feedback regarding the book upon this site. One thing I’ve learned in life is that success breeds success and once there’s concrete evidence that the books have been well received, it will be much easier to attract additional funds to this project. I will continue supporting the Words For Warriors Project and distributing books with or without outside money but if other people want to help it just means more books to more veterans…faster! Once I get some book reviews up it will help attract attention. Everybody likes supporting proven endeavors with a bit of a track record.
It’s for that very reason that I’m so very grateful and appreciative of all of you who took a chance and made contributions to this first edition of the book. I feel very honored by your trust in me. Many of you weren’t quite sure exactly what I was going to come up with. I’m sure some of you had visions of me taking a stack of photocopied letters, stapling them in the upper, left-hand corner and passing them out. Nevertheless, you kindly took your time to write some beautiful letters to our veterans. I don’t take that lightly. We’re all busy and have lots of demands on our time and attention but those of you who saw the value in this project came through with some of the most wonderful letters I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Thank you!
I set today as the day I would send the book off to the publisher. Although it’s a bit frustrating I must delay that by a few days. This is because now that I’m an official corporation, I had to set up a business account. I met with the banker yesterday and all the paperwork is in process. I sign a few additional documents at 1:00pm tomorrow….which finalizes the business account (and will provide me with a business debit/credit card with which to order the books). I could have rushed ahead and debited my personal account as planned instead of transferring funds for the book into the business account but now that I’m a corporation any money spent must come out of the “official” Words For Warriors account. It’s a boring explanation. It doesn’t make me happy to wait a few extra days but it’s the proper decision.
The book is completely edited and ready to go…I can’t wait to get it to the printer. I’m quite pleased with the way it turned out. I changed a few minor things. The photo of the American Flag on the first page was switched out for another American Flag photo, I changed the font of some of the text and the background color of some of the pages. I also switched the order in which some of the letters appear. Nothing major was changed and the book looks great!
I am now in the process of doing the paperwork that must be submitted in order to get non-profit status for the Words For Warriors Project. That should all be in by the end of next week then I just have to wait for government response. There isn’t any way to tell how long it will take but a couple of attorneys have told me to expect it to be a few weeks to a few months.
Don’t worry if you check in here over the next couple of weeks and things look different. I’m going to be playing with this website to see if I can create something more pleasing to look at. I know how I want the website to look and I’ll be experimenting with it for a bit.
Although our first edition is complete, I’m still collecting letters for subsequent editions of the book so please feel free to tell friends about the Words For Warriors Project. I’m always happy to accept new submissions!
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)