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!
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!
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)