June 08, 2011

A belated Memorial Day message, blogging + more

MY BROTHER IS HOME!

He redeployed (which means, in non-Army-speak, returned home) from Afghanistan last Sunday, May 29. A very cool date, considering he redeployed from Iraq the day after Veteran's Day in 2008, and this time he redeployed the day before Memorial Day.

I cannot tell you the relief that flooded my body when the plane's tires touched down. It was like a giant weight lifted from my shoulders. I know it was even more intense and exciting for my mom and my sister-in-law!

Since I was traveling home on Memorial Day and didn't get a chance to write a blog, I thought I'd do it now. I wanted to say belated Happy (and I say this bittersweetly, because is a day set aside in remembrance of our fallen really happy?) Memorial Day to the US military, current and retired. I wish there was more I could do for our military, especially our combat veterans. They hold a special place in my heart. I keep a book of newspaper clippings—the kids who toted around a cardboard cutout of their dads for a whole year, the new mother whose husband never got to see his child, the Gold Star moms, the double-amputations of once able-bodied men, the soldier  who deployed to Iraq with his bomb-tech wife and returned home a widower—to remind myself of the sacrifice those men and women make for us. I hope that all Americans, whether in favor of the war or not, keep this in mind all year round.


Me and my brother after the redeployment ceremony
I also wanted to mention a new non-profit I've started volunteering with called Operation Paperback, a group which allows volunteers to mail gently used books to service members overseas. Even if you don't have any books in your personal collection to donate (because let's be honest, as awesome as our military is, most of them probably don't prefer YA) , you could always pick up a few books from the thrift store to mail a soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine. War is basically working yourself to the bone interspersed with periods of hurry up and wait, so a few good books could make a big difference in someone's life. 

I have a few announcements regarding blogging, but I think this post's long enough already, so keep an eye out for that blog later this afternoon or tomorrow.

At the airfield waiting for my brother's plane.
It was a loooong trip and a long wait, but so worth it.

8 comments:

Rachel Bateman said...

Yay, yay, YAY! I am so, so happy your brother made it back home safely. What a wonderful time for you and your family.

I will definitely have to check Operation Paperback out. It sounds like a wonderful idea. And you're right, you can pick up a paperback at any thrift store for super cheap. It's the least we can do to help those men and women who are fighting for us to have a little better time over there.

Pam Harris said...

Yay!! I'm so happy that your brother made it home safely. :) And thanks for making us aware of Operation Paperback--how cool is that organization? You do SO much for our military.

Marquita Hockaday said...

Aw! I'm so happy your brother returned home safely :) And you two look so adorable in that picture!

Operation Paperwork sounds like an awesome cause I would love to try and help out with that. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

I'll be on the look out for your blog post tomorrow!

Kathryn Packer Roberts said...

That's awesome. Thanks him for me. I think all these guys need a huge thanks, more than they get. We owe them a lot.

StuckInBooks said...

I'm so glad that he is home safe. Would you please pass on to him my gratitude for his service to our country! Thanks so much.

StuckInBooks.com

KO: The Insect Collector said...

your smile in that photo with him says it all. I'm getting my OP package ready this week! So glad you told me about it.

Alicia Gregoire said...

How great is it your brother's back home! Like Pam said, thanks for letting us know about Operation Paperback. I'll have to go through my books to see what I can donate!

Steph said...

That's so awesome that your brother made it home safely! Please thank him for me =)

And thanks for telling us about Operation Paperback! I'll have to take a look at it.

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