It’s Christmas Eve and all is quiet around our house. We don’t normally do a lot this day, but this year it seems extra quiet.
My morning started with a message from our son in Afghanistan. I told him about the fund I started to supply needed items to the soldiers in his battalion. I have just about $1,000 in donations wither in hand or on their way here this week. He was thrilled to hear it. And when I say thrilled his comment was, “wow that is amazing.” High praise from a guy who hardly ever writes.
At noon I drove to the Veterans Administration hospital to drop off some Christmas cards to the chaplains office. I left the cards a the office door after talking to another VA employee who was also hoping to find the chaplain in.
On my way to the elevator I saw a man with a cane at the information desk. He was asking if anyone was there. I walked over to let him know no one was at the desk and I told him I was a visitor but would try to help him if I could. He wanted to find a restroom. Fortunately a gentlemen approached who looked like he might work there and told us the direction to go in. After brief introductions we walked together down a long hallway with photos of members of the military who were killed in action lining the walls. Before too long we found the restrooms. He assured me he could find his way back down the hall.
My next stop was right before I left the building. Two employees of the VA were standing by a Christmas tree. I could tell they had a lively discussion going. The gentleman asked me to come over and join them. Apparently they were debated the cost of the tree and the ornaments. They wanted a neutral third-party to help settle their discussion. It was a fun little conversation about ornaments, the tree decorations and shopping for them.
I am home now. The afternoon mail brought with it a few more checks for the soldiers fund. I am floored by the generosity of people. Some of the money donated comes from long time friends. Much of it is coming from people I have never met. It looks like the donations may exceed $1,000 when all the checks come in. Just amazing.
This past week while I waited to get my hair cut I struck up a conversation with an older gentleman there waiting for his wife. We talked about family and Christmas. When I told him one of my children is in the Army and is deployed he told me he served in Korea. He then pulled out a $20 dollar bill and gave it to me. He asked me to send something to my son with the money. A lady who over heard the conversation came into the room and she gave me a $20 as well. After my hair cut the receptionist said she would like to help too and gave me a $10! With the cash they gave me I ordered 96 more rolls of Ultra Plush Quilted Northern for my sons platoon.
This Christmas is a bit different from all the others. It is hard to have a loved one away, but really tough when they are in a war zone. Knowing we are surrounded by caring people, even people we don’t really know, helps.