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I Think This Is Very Inspiring December 4, 2006

Posted by Jay Medina in Inspirations, Personal Stuff, Reflections.

My future best man and groomsman and SGT Perez working on the tree 

Having served in Iraq fairly recently, I think this story deserves attention.  Ed Asner is kicking off a “Cards For Troops” campaign to help Americans remember our troops stationed overseas during the holidays.  You can read the story here.

I think it is very inspiring when someone does something so special for others, in most cases, for people they’ve never met. 

When I was in Iraq during Christmas of 2004, we received cards and care packages, and it was great to know we weren’t forgotten.  It was important at that time, as it was not the best of times. 

In fact, on Christmas day, our generator broke down, so we had no heat or lights the entire day; therefore we couldn’t write letters in the dark, or read or listen to music or even watch a movie.  Christmas day was one of two holidays where most of us were guaranteed a day off, and even then guard duty still had to happen as well as other essential duties.  And, if we were attacked, all bets were off.

It was about 35 degrees outside, and our sleeping quarters couldn’t have been more than 40 degrees, as insulation was not part of the package.  It was rainy, so mud was everywhere. At the chow hall, they really went all out to make it festive.  The dinner was delicious and officers served chow to the soldiers, and it was a nice time.  After dinner, my Platoon Leader and now best friend and I stood in line with water up to our ankles, sloshing in mud for two hours to be able to call home.

I’m not sharing this with you to make anyone feel bad, or even guilty.  I chose that life, and I chose to serve.  It just meant a lot when people showed they cared.  One country club south of Austin sent each soldier in our battalion (about 600 soldiers) a care package filled with goodies and books and shaving items.  Earlier this year, Brenda and I were married at the country club that sent us those items.  I saw a decoration on the wall of the offices there and noticed several names on cards on the decoration. They were soldiers from my unit!  I didn’t realize it until I saw that decoration that this was the country club that sent us our packages! 

That next week, I came back to the club events coordinator’s office to meet the girl that actually organized the package-sending effort with the country club members.  I shook her hand and thanked her for all she did. The cool thing was that the country club also featured me and Brenda in their marketing for events services on their website.  You can see that here.

Well, I surely didn’t mean to go on this long about how the holidays can be a rough time for Soldiers stationed overseas.  However, I hope that my personal story may inspire you to do something for the troops this year.  Even if it’s baking cookies for a National Guard unit or Reserve unit in your town or county.  Perhaps bringing hot soup to firefighters or police officers.  Have you noticed how cold crossing guards who protect our children can get?  How about some coffee or cocoa for them?  Just do something for someone who serves, please.

And, if I have any influence at all, please visit my National Charity Registry and register your favorite cause or charity. Thank you so much for reading and for doing something positive today.



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