We Asked and You Answered!
For the entire month of November, AMAC is encouraging everyone to pledge to perform at least one Random Act of Gratitude for those who have served, or are currently serving, our country.
There is nothing we value more than those men and women who defend our liberties at home and abroad. This is Amac’s way of honoring our military heroes and saying Thank You.
Here are just a few of the comments we have received so far:
From Bob F:
I was Commander of my local American Legion Post when we were given Valentines by St Mary’s School. I asked to come to the school to thank the students in person.
At my short speech, in their gymnasium I happened to talk about our Legions participation in the Gifts for Yanks program that helps our hospitalized veterans. I was asked if those of us who had attended that day would take time to stand at the door and shake hands with the students as they left the gym. One small girl came over to me and handed mea nickle and said “will you please give this to the hospital for veterans?” I teared up so bad I had to turn around and when I turned back all the teachers standing there and the other veterans had tears in their eyes! It was a great gift and even a greater day!
From Dan H:
All vets have life changing stories to share. Many experiences which happen on the battlefield make it emotionally hard to totally come back home. This is one thing many of us have in common. Many of us have had to to turn off so many emotions in order to complete the mission have found it impossible to turn them all back on. Many of the joys our family and friends back home take for granted have become a luxury we no longer allow ourselves to have. For some of us, maybe that’s what haunts us most every day.
One evening something brought me full circle while coming off duty. While walking in a Wal-Mart picking up a few things before I got back to quarters I was almost tackled by a young girl about 6 years of age. She latched on to my leg like a vise so hard I think I could have run the obstacle course and she would have still been there when I got to the end! I looked down at her both puzzled and concerned and most uncomfortable. She looked up at me with such a smile and a pair of blue eyes that could make a Command Sgt Major smile. I just stood there with my new appendage in puzzlement and concern.
Moments later a out of breath mother came rushing up and kneeled down saying in a low and embarrassing tone “Sarah you have to let the soldier go” Sarah just held on. The mother looked up at me and tried to explain that when her daughter saw me in my BDUs I looked like her father and she came running. I said in a polite manor that “it was no problem” and asked where her father was or if he was deployed and she said quietly fighting back a tear he was KIA in Afghanistan a year ago. As a soldier I know more about death than I do life and we take the news of a lost soldier with pride as well as sorrow but not when you get the news with their child holding on to you for dear life! Especially with a pair of blue eyes like Sarah’s. The news of her father struck a cord in my very soul and left me speechless! The words may not have been there but what I needed to do was clear.
That’s when things started turning on inside me. Without saying a word I knelt down and asked Sarah for a hug which she latched on around my neck with the same vise like grip she had around my leg and I picked her up and just motioned to her mom… “Carry on Maam I got her”. I escorted them around the store and Sarah not once wanted me to put her down. You see, Sarah had a mission of her own that day. I never knew such a small gift could help heal more wounds through the blue eyes and the embrace of a little girl. You couldn’t have pried her out of my arms if you tried. We got to the check out and I told Sarah’s mom “I got it” and paid for their groceries and escorted them to their car and put Sarah in hiding all the money I could find in my pockets in her car seat. Still unable to find the right words to say I gave Sarah’s mom a hug and just said “We take care of our own Maam” and said goodbye.
Some where in this world there is a little girl with eyes and a hug that can heal the most hardened of hearts and this soldier is mot grateful for her gift because she turned things back on inside me I thought I would never feel again. My advice to any soldier, if you find your Sarah take the time and come home.
Hooahh Sarah! Happy Veterans Day to all my Brothers and Sisters in Arms.
From Luke P:
I am the youngest of 7 sons, 4 of my brothers were in the military in the 60’s. Two were in the Army in Germany, Two were Marines in Viet Nam, both were wounded and one received the Bronze Star.
I had lottery # 206 so I wasn’t called after high school graduation in 1971.
I help the Honor Flight Chicago any chance I get. I run my own small High Tech Auto repair business in Aurora IL. And give all Vets and active military personnel a discount ( Seniors’ too ). I am building a “ Wall of Honor” with pictures of my family, friends and customers that served.
Freedom isn’t free !
From Karen L:
I belong to a group of women who make Quilts of Valor for our wounded war vets. So far we have made close to 500. We are so blessed and happy to be able to do such a “small thing” for our troops! God Bless them all! We are getting together this Thursday to begin making another series of quilts. We have 25 ready to go now and they will be sent off. We hear such wonderful stories from the vets who receive them. One young man said he just wraps the quilt around him when he is hurting so bad and knows there are many prayers for him. Such wonderful men and women – we cannot do enough for them.
There are many groups who make Quilts of Valor – we are not the only ones but of course, we think ours are the most special!!!
We love them one and all for what they do!!
From Robin B:
My husband and I are supporting two Marine Veterans of the war in Iraq; enabling them to go to college without the worry of finances. We had interviewed 8 and decided on two rather than one, all were grateful to us.
I also do bedside visits as a clown and other hospitality events at the West Los Angeles VA. I am grateful for the opportunity to thank the Veterans for their service and am well received.
From Emmette B:
I’m a retired gob (sailor to those not familiar with the term), and I thoroughly enjoyed my opportunity to serve this great nation and her Constitution. I am extremely grateful to the taxpayers who provided the salary and benefits that enabled me to serve this nation and provide for my family. Thank You American Taxpayers!!!!
My wife and I were attending a reunion of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association in DC in July 2006. We had eaten lunch with a friend and his wife at a restaurant near our hotel, and my friend and I were talking on the sidewalk while our wives were browsing in a shop nearby. A little girl, maybe 10 years old, and her mother walked up to us and the girl asked if she could read my nametag, which was on a lanyard around my neck. I said “Yes”, and bent down so she could read it. She looked at me and then my friend and asked “Did you really fly helicopters in Vietnam?”. We both said “Yes”. She said, with no prompting from her mother, “Thank you for your service” and shook hands with both of us. With tears streaming down my cheeks, all I could say was “Thank you”. I looked at her mother and she was smiling, proudly. A little girl born probably 20 years after the war ended, gave me my most memorable welcome home.