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’ve just sent out the last copy of the current edition of Words For Warriors to an Army veteran. That means I’ll start thinking about placing an order for additional books in the near future. First, I need to re-fill my cookie jar and have some jobs lined up to accomplish that goal. In the meantime, I’m going to use this lull to re-configure this website. I like some aspects of the way it looks, like the sliding banner across the top but I don’t like some of the other visuals. I’m going to play around with it…try on some new clothes, if you will, to see if I can find a template that I like the look of.
As always, I’m happy to have new letters for the next editions of the book I put out. Please contribute a few lines and a photo or two. If you’ve already written a letter, let your friends know about our project. It’s an easy and fun way to make a positive contribution!
I’m delighted to say that the second edition of Words For Warriors is now ready to go to the publisher. I will be double checking everything this weekend and I’ll send it off on Sunday evening or Monday morning. I like the way it shaped up. I am, of course, still happy to have any additional letters people want to send. This will be the last order of books for this year but I will publish more next year (after refilling my cookie jar) and I’ll include any new letters in the next printing. As you go about your day and you run into people who might be willing to contribute, please let them know about this project! I’m very grateful to those of you who have already taken time to pen a few lines to our very deserving veterans. Thank you.
After so many years we’ve seen a lot of changes. We’ve seen a lot of battles, we’ve seen a lot of war. We’ve seen a lot of goodness, we’ve seen a lot of evil but mostly, we’ve seen a lot of sacrifice. To me, our freedom comes from those sacrifices. I created a painting of a soldier returning home and tried to capture the sacrifice that the soldier made. The eagle in this painting is flying over that sacrifice which was made in the name of God and country and freedom. What it’s all about is unconditional love and going beyond the call of duty which is what the world needs right now more than anything. I want the people who defend this country to know that there are people out there who care.
Hidden Words – The words at the bottom of the painting say, “OUR FREEDOM COMES NOT FROM THE GENEROSITY OF THE STATE, BUT FROM THE HAND OF GOD.”
Tie a Yellow Ribbon – The soldier is returning home. He looks over at the picture, drawn by his daughter, nailed to a telephone pole with a yellow ribbon tied right below it. She writes “In God We Trust” and “I Love You Dad.”
In Honor Of – Between the soldier and the town are ghosts of policemen, firemen and soldiers honoring him for fighting for what they gave their lives for.
Kinship – One soldier was his buddy, wearing the same deployment patch he is.
In Formation – As your eye follows the four telephone wires towards the town then beyond, you’ll see four snow lines going up into the mountains. At the end of the lines are four F-16 fighters flying in the Missing Soldier Formation.
From Ashes – Between the 3rd and 4th jet are the 3 firemen raising the flag in front of the remnants of the twin towers in Manhattan.
Raising the Flag – To the right of the 4th jet are the soldiers raising the flag at Iwo Jima.
Defenders – On one side of the main telephone pole, in the mountain, is Mother Teresa, who gave her life to the poorest of the poor. On the other side is Dr. Martin Luther King, who gave his life defending freedom.
World Peace – In the snowiest part of the mountain, to the left, is the Pentagon. World peace is defended there daily. In flight, below the Pentagon is United Flight 93. On the side of the plane, in the immortal words of civilian Todd Beamer it says, “Let’s Roll.”
Summit – At the top of the mountain is the American flag. In the sky is our nation’s symbol, the bald eagle, soaring to great heights over all the sacrifices in the name of God, country and freedom.
When I post letters I do so because it allows readers to see what is in the books I hand out. It’s also an opportunity for veterans who might not be in my immediate sphere to read the letters that have been written to them by all of the contributors to this project. The internet posts convey the meaning of the letters but they do look much more impressive when I put them into the book with proper layout. I recently posted a letter from Logan C. He included many great photos with his letter so I had enough between the text and the pictures to create a two page layout. This is what it looks like.
I’m diligently working on the second edition of Words For Warriors. It’s shaping up quite nicely and just in time! I had the opportunity to send 9 copies to a group of Army Rangers who were getting together for a summer party. I’m now down to the last couple of copies of the first edition available to distribute. Some of the letters from the first edition will appear in the second edition but many new letters will be included. I still have August 15th as my target date to send the new edition off to be printed.
The second edition cover will look like the first edition cover with the exception of the color and a little notation on the spine indicating that it’s a subsequent edition. I liked the original red cover and I think the blue looks great as well.
Remember, if you know anyone who might like to contribute a letter to the Words For Warriors Project, it’s not too late. Please encourage them to do so! It doesn’t take much time to write a few words and you never know…it might make somebody’s day!
When you join the military you join a family. You take on more responsibility than the average individual and are taught to excel in leadership. I have made friends for life that I met in the military. We have been through things that others will not understand and that is a bond we share. It makes us who we are. We volunteered to do the things we did and were proud to do each and every single one of them.
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.
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!
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 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.
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).
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!
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)