"I was just in shock and awe that people would take time out of their day just to come out and support you," he said.
"I had the biggest smile on my face. I haven't felt this good in a long time."
If you live near the DFW airport, you can help generate that particular type of "shock and awe", too, but adopting a troop through Soldiers' Angels can do the same thing.
One of the niftiest things that you can get as an Angel is "free mail". "Free mail" is what deployed troops write in the upper right hand corner of an envelope where you and I put a stamp (you see, they can send their letters home for free). So, when you get mail from theater, it's "free mail". I'd adopted a number of troops before I received my first "free mail" (the others were kinda busy or sent email instead - which is still very cool). In fact, I think my first free mail came from a medic to whom I'd sent a one-time care package.
There is something special about a real letter; no matter how short, it's still very sweet. Free-mail is inevitably full of one thing: thank yous. And they go on and on with the thanks. Because of the extra support and TLC* that we provided. They don't expect it, even the smallest thing.
For Veteran's Day, I posted this quote on my "status" on Facebook (don't know the author):
A weekly letter and monthly care package for the length of a deployment - or a high-five from a five year old - seem like an inadequate trade, but they like it just the same.
"A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America’ for an amount ‘up to and including my life'."
1500+ are waiting. Are you ready to be an Angel? I think you probably are - no experience required! Go show 'em a little love.
*TLC = "tender loving care".... someone asked me what that stood for the other day!