However, my all-time favorite day as an Angel was in January 2007. I had just returned to the DC area after spending Christmas at my parents home in Houston, Texas.
I'd already done a little jig on Christmas Eve after receiving emails from about half a dozen of the 240+ sailors deployed to the Pacific on the USS Rentz that were on the receiving end of this project. Angel Michelle in Iowa, my co-lead for the project, had received emails as well. My favorite quote was:
“Thank u thank u thank u, I was happy to receive the stocking with your letter in it, I was sleeping and I woke up and it was on my leg. lol. Put a smile on my face. This is my first Christmas away and I felt a lot of love from yall"
Fun, huh? So what could top that?
Well, on January 7th, I got, not one, but two more emails.
The first had the subject: "THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE TROOPS". The message started,
Well, low and behold it was a from a member of a small Navy unit deployed somewhere in the Pacific. The USS Rentz had provided re-supply for them shortly after Christmas. We'd overestimated how many goody bags that were needed for the Rentz, so they shared some of the Christmas cheer along with food staples, fuel, etc.
"Lisa, My name is XXX and you're probably wondering who I am..."
How cool is that?? We never could have planned to provide some holiday cheer and a little morale boost for that remotely deployed unit, but that we did, well,... YAY!
Then a little bit later that day, I got this email, which I did get permission to share with "as many people as you wish":
“I can not begin to express the gratitude the Commanding Officer and I have for the gifts you delivered to this ship. I have been in the Navy for over 26 years and I have been deployed away from family and friends during Christmas eight times during that 26 years. Your gifts, notes, thoughts and the heart felt effort made this deployed Christmas the easiest to weather. Our crew has a large number of young sailors that experienced their first Christmas away from home. The homemade Christmas bags brightened so many faces and helped everyone on board forget about the distance between them and their families. You and your organization are wonderful. I am proud to be serving this country and helping to protect people like you and those that make Soldiers Angels possible. Thank you.”
THIS is why I'm a Soldiers' Angel. I want to make sure that those who serve know - without a doubt - that we appreciate their service to our country.
So maybe this will inspire you to adopt a troop (we have 2000+ waiting!!!), donate to the Soldiers' Angels Foundation (Go TEAM NAVY!), and/or remember to express your thanks the next time you have an opportunity. Maybe?
If you need to do some Christmas shopping, check out the Valour-IT Auction on eBay - great cause and some great items! (autographed first edition "Hunt For Red October" and baseball autographed by Nolan Ryan!)
Thanks in advance for any and all the support you can provide.