Letters from the war zone

Emails from the War Zone

Elizabeth, one of our soldiers, sent me an email about a situation that occurred after she had done a Humanitarian Aid Run.

"Recently we did a humanitarian assistance program at a school. We passed out over 600 backpacks that had been filled in an assembly line operation with shoes, Beanie Babies, toys, health care needs, school supplies and food. The project was fun and all of the soldiers went back to base feeling as if they had done a good deed. Little did we know just how those donations impacted the children. The next day a patrol was in the area. A boy wearing a backpack and a girl carrying a Beanie Baby and wearing her new sandals stopped the patrol. They had the patrol follow them behind some houses into empty farm land. The children pointed out a weapons cache of 5 rockets, two mortars, a 155 mm artillery round, wires and garage door openers. This combination was most likely going to be used to make an improvised explosion device (IED), one of our biggest threats and troop killers. There is no doubt that the donated goods contributed to our force protection. It is our families and friends who help us win the hearts and minds of the children here."

Within a few hours I received another email from the same soldier which read, "Alicia, you are not going to believe this, but I assure you it is true. Remember in my email I sent you this morning I talked about how we were going to another school to pass out goodies and some of your stuff was included in that? Well, it proved to be invaluable again. After only 15 minutes of passing out backpacks, Beanie Babies, shoes and candy, a little boy brought his dad to show us an area where there was freshly dug dirt. As we explored the dirt we determined that it was an IED placed there. This was behind the school and would have hurt or killed many children. I just thought you would enjoy knowing that your Beanie Babies helped save more lives again today."

I have never met this Soldier, Elizabeth, but she is a true patriot and my hero. We have continued to send Beanie Babies and flip-flops and school supplies to our Troops and Chaplains who do Humanitarian Aid. Donations of Beanie Babies and flip-flops are always welcome.