Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cardmakers can support our troops

When my husband and I arrived at BWI at 11:30 this morning to pick up our daughter who was returning from Kyrgyzstan, I never expected to stumble across a way for cardmakers and scrapbookers to support our troops. Since our daughter's flight was delayed another two hours or so, we were invited to help put together goodie bags for the returning troops (see the bag in my daughter's left hand). It was filled with a water bottle, a home-made thank you card, two pieces of candy, a protein bar and peanut butter crackers. Leslie's "card" was made by a little girl named Alicia who thanked her for her part in keeping the war from coming to us. When I asked volunteer Larry W. Shipley  if they could use any more cards, he said, "yes, we're running low." Today, they were meeting 430 returning military servicemen and women. Another volunteer told me that last year they greeted 42,088 returning heroes and sheroes.

I can't tell you how much seeing this picture of my daughter in body armor and carrying an M-16 gave me pause to stop and think. She's an equestrian, working on her master's degree in finance, and enjoyed doing little girl things when she was a child. I tried to rationalize, thinking that maybe she was holding someone else's weapon for the sake of the photo. So I asked her if the M-16 she had in the photo was hers:

"Of course, Mom," she said. "I was in a hot spot. We had to wear the body armor and carry the weapons. We all had to qualify on them too. It was a pain in the neck carrying them around when you're trying to do your job. I was glad when I could get rid of it."

Yeah, these are our children, doing their best to keep the war on terror away from our shores. And these wonderful volunteers at Operation Welcome Home Maryland pause a moment and give our returning military members a sincere "thank you."

If you're interested in sending thank you cards (I didn't see envelopes with the ones we placed into the goodie bags) to our returning service members, you can mail them to:

Operation Welcome Home Maryland
Attn: Larry Shipley
46 Carroll Street
Westminster, MD 21157

Thanks for your support.


  1. God bless your daughter. My friends have helped me send cards to my son that he could pass out to his soldiers while in Iraq. We sent about 100 each month. School children wrote notes in them. We did 850 for the Redeployment ceremony to be placed in the FRG goodie bag. Isn't amazing what a small gesture does not only for the recepient but for us a givers. Thanks for sharing the address. That M-16 makes me sad. I lucked onto a video of Thanksgiving and saw my son eating dinner with his gun. Hurt. Blessings to you and your cardmakers.

  2. So you know. I called her yesterday evening just to make sure she was really home. She's still adjusting to being home and de-stressing/decompressing. I praise God that she came back safely and hope there is no Guard unit deployment anytime in the near future.