Upon opening it, I found out it was a book from the husband of the founder of Soldier’s Angels, Patti Patton-Bader. I’d never heard of Soldier’s Angels when I was in Iraq, I didn’t hear of them when I got back, and it wasn’t for two years that I would find out about them.
It’s amazing the coincidences, call it karma or a divine anointment. But somehow, an anonymous Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran with mild blogging skill met a bored girl who was supposed to be working who just happened to be the sister-in-law of the soon-to-be-wounded-in-action soldier who would be the inspiration for Project Valour-IT. Fate, maybe?
I figure it was sent to me because I donated far more money than I really should’ve during the ensuing pledge drive to start the project. I just wanted the Army to win (what with the loyalty for 16 years of service), so I threw a few bucks in and got us to the finish line. And by “few” I mean “a lot.”
Determined to review the book, I started going through it and…well…started reading it. This is important to note, as I have this problem with “reading” — if God intended us to read books, he would’ve made words look more like pictures. And have car chases and explosions. Suffice it to say, I don’t like reading.
Imagine my surprise when, upon opening it, I found a hand-written note from both Jeff and Patti, thanking me and the troops. Humbled, to say the least. It gets worse from there, as the book starts with the origin of Soldier’s Angels, and then abruptly pauses for letters from service members in Iraq.
Reading them, I kept thinking to myself, “wow, I wish we had blankets. Wow, I wish we had people sending us cooling vest…things.” As somebody who’s been there and done that (sorry, cliché haters), but I relieved a lot of those years in the letters. I could still feel the sand in my hair, the dust on my boots.
After the letters, the book continues with the projects they’ve started, including Operation Valour-IT. Then there’s the commendations, with enough paper in there to fill up three “I love me” walls. The point of printing the all wasn’t to show off, but to just let people know the breadth of the service they’ve provided, and just how many of the military they’ve helped.
It’s a fascinating read for people who are actually into supporting the troops. By that, I mean with donations and volunteering, not just getting rid of that evil Bush and his oil-mongering cronies.