Friday, January 25, 2008

Letters from home

"Dear soldier. Plees dont die. I love you."

Receiving letters from elementary school kids has to be the highlight of being deployed. I remember getting letters when I was in Afghanistan and spending hours reading them, and then whenever I was a little down re-reading them. It's kind of like that show "Kids say the darndest things" that used to be on. They write down whatever they think about the war, or Soldiers in general, and usually accompany it with an awesome drawing. Some ask me if I am tired, or if it is really loud here. One kid asked me what Iran looks like. At least 30 of them told me its good I didn't die or asked me not to die; the kid I quoted up above who asked me not to die drew a tank shooting an army guy. I laughed at that one for at least 5 minutes.

This time, I've received hundreds of letters, most notably from kids at Hillcrest, Belmont Station, Yosemite, and St. Annies (my elementary alma matter!). They all have one theme in common, and that seems to be that every letter is truly appreciative of the Armed Forces. Hillcrest sent us over 12 huge boxes filled with all of their Halloween candy that was collected throughout the entire school. These kids gave up all of their candy just to send to us, and the letters they wrote all said "we gave up our candy because you need it more than we do." An elementary school kid, giving up their hard earned Halloween candy that they wait for all year? Wow. Thinking of that kind of sacrifice from someone that age gave me goosebumps.

I sat down today to finish up writing back to them, and started re-reading all the letters again, and I thought that everyone should get to enjoy some of the favorite letters I've received. So I am re-writing some of the funniest / best letters here, omitting names and which school so as not to embarrass anyone. Enjoy!

"Dear Jason,
I hope you like the candy. I feel really bad that you cant be with your family for Halloween it means alot to us that you put your life on the line. I wish I could help but Im just an third grader."

"Be carful! Dear, Jason
I hope you stay safe.
Did you get a lot of candy? I hope you have a good Veteran's Day.
I like your name. I have a friend named Jason. You are a very strong man I would be scared to fight other men that are stronger than me!"

"Dear Veteran,
Thank you for your bravery and courage. It's good you didin't die if you died I would be crying like crazy but it is good you did not die. Thank you for your good fighting in the war.
Thank you for reading this letter!"

"Dear Veteran,
I hope you are doing well. Maybe sometime we could meet and get something to eat at FIVE GUYS. they have good stuff to eat there. You should see my dog, he's so cute
so we can do this on friday November 17th at 3:00 because I have school at 2:30"
(ed. note - sorry buddy, I missed our lunch together! Maybe I can visit your school when I get home)

"We Honor . . .
you because we know that you've served in wars to protect our country from giving up our equal rights. Thank you for protecting our country so we don't have to have slaves. Also thank you for our freedom. Thank you for protecting our country from the United Kingdom. Finnaly I'm grateful that you were willing to give up your life for America."

"We Honor . . .
Everybody who has fought in the Vietnam, Iraq, Civil, World War 1 and 2. and the Revolutinary war. My Great Grandpa was born in 1921. He fought in World War 2 and survived. He died on 2004 by falling off his cane. My Grandpa Grunge fought in the Air Force the year I was born. He has pictures of his plane at his home in Indiana. I hope the Unknown Soilder is revealed in the future. I visited the Vietnam Memorial and heard the president's speech on Memorial Day."

"Dear Jason,
Jason, I'm a thired grad boy. I wonder what it is like way over there in Iraq. I hope your okay and I would want come and see what kind of things can do. Mrs Dvo is is my teacher. thank you For sipporting our cuntry, you are probly busy right now. But I have so much to tell you about Yosemite.

Skiing, hiking, bike rideing, camping, and stuf like that. This week, the tird graders went to the top of Sentinal Dome. When we got to the top There we had the best view of yosemite vally stay safe and pleas write back"

"Dear Jason,
Thank you for going to war for our country. It must be really hard. I hope you come home safely and don't get wounded to badly. Good Luck in battle against terrorists. Be careful."

"Dear Jason,
Thank you for protecting me and our country. I hope we win this war. That would be a good thing. So let's win."

Cant' say it much better than that.


Anonymous said...

...Fight in & survive WII only to years later kick the bucket falling off your cane. Life can be so cruel.

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 01/25/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

Deutlich said...

aww, some of those were down right gut wrenching

sometimes, I really love children

verybadcat said...

Wow. That's just incredible. Kudos to you, too, for answering them. It really speaks to the type of person you are. I too, wish politicians could be as honest as children are. :)

HUGGINS said...


Anonymous said...

Kids and dogs man, kids and dogs....

Jo Castillo said...

Jason, you are great and these are touching and telling messages.

Thanks for the link, by the way, you know it's a link to someone that is old enough to be your grandmother! :)

Appreciate the news. Take care,

Your pseudo grandma....

Carrie said...

Aw. That's really lovely.

(PS: found you through airam)

I adopted 2 soldiers via Soldier's Angels and it's really nice to know how much letters mean to the soldiers who receive them.

Take care out there!

Jason said...

anon - agreed

deutlich - lol @ sometimes

cat - at least we'd always know what was really going on!

huggins- agreed. Thanks for the photo comments, too

anon - haha

jo - you have some great art, thought everyone would enjoy it

carrie - thanks!

membrain said...

Geez. That was really a great post. Kid's DO say the darndest things! Thanks so much for sharing those letters.

Maxie said...

These seriously had me cracking up...

especially the kid wanted to get at five guys, LOL

courtney said...

Dear Jason,

Thank you.

Kids are amazing, are they not?
Just found you on 20sb. Great blog. I'll be back.