Paying It Forward

The Mister forwarded this video to me and I just had to share it with you.  As we approach the week of Thanksgiving and we reflect on the many blessings we have in our lives, let us not forget the soldiers who so bravely sacrifice all for us.  Let us keep them and their families in our prayers, especially during this holiday season when many will be away from loved ones.

Grab a tissue, and prepare to be inspired!!

~Blessings,

Jen

Oh Mr. Postman…….

letters

Remember when we used to send and receive real letters? I honestly can’t say when the last time is that I sent a letter to someone or received a letter from someone! I was going through a closet with some of my daughters stuff and found an old can with letters my sister (Jen) had sent her when she was out of state with her military husband. She has kept them all these years because they were important. My mother in law talks of writing every day to her husband who was stationed in Korea. I wonder if she kept them. When I was a kid I remember going upstairs in my grandpa’s house to cut the stamps off of the letters my dad had sent from Korea. At that age I had no interest what was in them…I would give anything today to have the opportunity to read them. I remember after visiting my cousin in California when I was about 10 we would write back and forth for awhile. I think I even had a few pen pals. I don’t think kids today would even know what that is. I take that back, they talk to people all over the world through gaming systems and consider them friends. I am not convinced this is the same.

I think as a society we have become to used to email, Facebook and text messaging. But really, I think there is nothing as special and intimate as a hand written letter. I am as guilty as anyone, and I’m not knocking any of those other modes of communication; they have all let me connect with old friends and family members. But, a letter, maybe we should reconsider this. After all, how many emails, texts or Facebook chats have your folded up and put in a can??

A love letter to someone you love…who wouldn’t like to get that. It is pretty special to know someone actually took the time to sit down and write you. So I challenge you to think…is a handwritten letter important, or is it something that we let fade into the past? Let me know what you think.

Peace,

Julie

Veteran’s Day 2013

Veterans DayVeteran’s Day is upon us again. I have seen many many posts on Facebook mentioning it. Radio commercials, television, church services. I’m guessing it all means something different to everyone. Each veteran has his or her understanding of what it means to be a veteran. Mother’s and Fathers and brothers and sisters and aunts, uncles and cousins know what it means to have a family member serving. Husband’s and Wives and children who sacrifice having to “do it all alone” while their service member is away.

POW braceletA few of you out there might remember these. I was in high school during the Viet Nam war. During that coming of age time, what we knew was that it was very very bad and young men were often terrified of the draft. I believe for a $2.00 donation you would get a bracelet of a POW (Prisoner of War) and wear it until they came home…no matter how they came home. Mine was Robert Abbott, and he was from our area. My soldier came home and I remember sending the bracelet back to him.

Many many of my family members have served in the military, and I will say I am very proud of them. I am proud of the family members who were brave enough to let them go. As a mom, I was so grateful it was not war time when my son was of age. My nephew is now serving in Germany, and again, while I am incredibly proud of this young man, the Mom in me is a little scared, and the mental health professional, a little more scared, as I have heard the stories of what these service people have endured as they fight for our freedoms.

DSC_0882My Dad, Father- in -Law and brother- in law were in the Army. Both my Dad and Father- in- Law were in Korea. My mother -in -law often talks of how hard that year he was gone was. No phones, emails or texts….communication was by letter. My Uncle and cousin served in the Navy. I am pretty sure my Uncle Al probably also was in Korea.  My brothers father- in- law was in the Air Force. My cousin Daron served in the Marines and did several tours in Afghanistan. He is forever changed. There are so many, to0 mention, and forgive me for any member I have forgotten. Men and women are still going off to serve and we all need to understand the TRUE sacrifice it is. When you are in the military, you belong to them and your family belongs to them, and they make the rules. Not all of us would be tough enough to endure that. So if you know a veteran, or a soldier, thank them. Thank their families. Help their families. It would be much appreciated.

Peace,

Julie

Veterans Day photos 3Left to right, my brother-in-law Kyle, my nephew Robert James Patten III, Terry Wolfel, and my Dad, Robert James Patten Sr. Below, my cousin Daron, my Uncle Albert and

my cousin Carl Patten.

Uncle AlbertDaronCarl Patten