Speed Post for the Troops

82nd Airborne via Wikimedia Commons

Hey Friends. Many of you know that I was in the army from ’96 to ’99. Why? Yeah, that’s the right question. Long and short of it is that I was/am one of those crazy adrenaline-junkie types, and the 82nd Airborne Division is the world-class example of hard-core adrenaline mainlining freaks. Naturally, I had to be a member. After three years and thirty-some jumps, I decided to hang up my boots and bruises and pursue something a little more grandiose. Like being NOT in the army anymore. I have a thing about authority, but that’s another story.

The reason I mention this is because I finally achieved a life-long goal this week and have officially, through Createspace, brought copies of my novels into physical reality. This is momentous, but not because I’m low on reading material. (That was some pretty good snarkasm, am I right?) Really, it’s a bigger deal to me because I had them made for my partner, a former Marine, who always wanted to see them in print. And the timing coincided with another event that’s equally as important. Task Force Tigershark: a troop-morale-boosting enterprise being organized by a friend in Connecticut. He and The Battle Standard game shop in Manchester are doing a massive care-package collection to send to a group of soldiers in Afghanistan who’ve recently suffered heavy, heavy casualties. One of the big things these soldiers could use is a mental escape, no matter how light and temporary, from their incredibly cringe-worthy days. So copies of the first print run of my trilogy will be sent to them in hopes it can ease some of the burden of their damn daily drudge.

As many, maybe most, of you have, I’ve had a number of friends do tours of duty in our country’s recent non-holiday international excursions, also known as Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Thanks to politics, some have done more than one. While I was fortunate enough to be a civilian again before either of these operations, and was thus never deployed, the experiences many of my friends have shared of them, and their aftereffects, have left an everlasting impression on me. It is a small thing to send these soldiers books and sundries, yet the truth of it is, being stuck in a hostile foreign country sucks, and any little bit of home or show of appreciation from those of us who get to relax to a hot shower and a soft bed at night goes a long feckin’ way. It’s pretty easy to box up some Handi Wipes and Clif bars and ship them overseas. I definitely encourage everyone to take a couple hours this weekend and show the troops some love. And if you’re an author, let me point out that those stuck on bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, well, they’re a pretty captive audience. Just sayin’.

A few organizations that can assist in creating and sending care packages:

Operation Gratitude

Soldiers’ Angels

Military Family Voices

Military.com

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All content copyright unless otherwise specified © 2014 by Tammy Salyer, writer. All rights reserved.