Old Glory

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

When you take advantage of a teaching opportunity... Priceless

One of our neighbors from our old neighborhood reached out to me asking if I knew any specific Troops that her son's 6th grade class could send care packages to.  I started doing some checking and got some names and addresses for her.

She took her son shopping last night and she found the perfect way to take this kind act and turn it into a learning experience for her son.

Most of us adults don't really comprehend how much our Troops need the simple things we take for granted while deployed.  Things like washing machines and dryers aren't there for their convenience and depending on where they are located they may not even have showers and if they do have showers, most don't have hot water.  If most of us adults aren't aware, how would we expect our children to know unless someone teaches them.

I love how our friend was able to take this simple act of kindness and turn it into a very teachable moment and not only did it teach her son how little our troops have when they deploy, but I believe it taught him compassion, understanding, and gratitude.  One small example of how she showed him what he was doing was so important is when she had the chance to explain how important a container of powder is to them.  He couldn't figure it out so she explained that they put it in their boots and on places that get rubbed raw.  It made it more real for him.  She then explained to him that they will appreciate getting things they desperately need or would just like to have to remind them of home from someone other than their families would mean so much to them and she is correct.  Chad even said once how touched he was when a group from a church sent him a care package and wrote notes to him and they didn't even know him.  It truly does touch their hearts that total strangers will take their time and money and do something for them when many times I fear they think we have forgotten about them.

They know their families aren't forgetting about them, but when someone outside their family, especially children, are thinking about them and thanking them for what they are doing I believe it gives them a little boost of moral that they need when they are so disconnected from the real world.

His mom said it gave the two of them a change to talk about what they miss out on and why they need the things on the list they were given.  While just seeing the list and purchasing them on her way home may have seemed easier for her to do, she decided to take him along and use this as a teaching opportunity for him.  So for "Jacob" and his mom, thank you and hopefully this will inspire more parents to get their kids out there and get them involved with sending care packages to our Troops.

With the holidays coming up these young men and women are away from home and families (some for the first time ever) so image how it will warm their hearts to receive care packages from people all over the U.S.  Knowing we are still supporting them and not forgetting that they are still over there fighting a very real war.  It couldn't have been better timing for all this to happen with November being Military Appreciation month and Veterans' Day coming up as well as the Marine Corps birthday.  I'm proud to have had them as neighbors and still have them as friends.

Picture courtesy of www.rrdailyherald.com 

Picture courtesy of www.operationcarepackages.org

Picture courtesy of theshoppingmama.com

Picture courtesy of www.takepart.com

Picture courtesy of brooklyncupcake.wordpress.com 

If you ever doubted if your efforts were appreciated, this last picture says enough...  Thank you to all who give and send care packages and a very special thank you to our Troops home and abroad for your service and sacrifice and for all past, present, and future.  WE ARE A GRATEFUL NATION!

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