Having featured my Soldiers Angels Letter Writing Team Leader and having written about A Year With the Soldiers Angels Living Legends Team ,
I was finally able to get Elaine, my Soldiers Angels Wounded TLC Team Leader, to send me a short summary of how She got involved with the Wounded TLC team and a little bit about herself :)
So here, in her own words, is Elaine :
In March of 2004 after clicking on a link from a joke list at www.ernieshouseofwhoopass.com Ernie himself is a vet and a big supporter of the troops and at the time I was annoyed at our media and their portrayal of our troops. I did not want to just sit back and not do anything. Little did I know how one little click could change your future. That little click opened up a whole new world that I knew absolutely nothing about. I had never been around anyone in the military and today I can tell you the orders of rank, what abbreviations stand for and the major zipcodes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In November 2004 the Wounded TLC Team was started and I volunteered to help get our wounded requests out to the team. We had a dozen angels and 4 names of soldiers that had been hurt that we sent mail to. The team has since evolved from just sending mail to helping provide laptops with the Valour IT program, helping families with their needs that come up when dealing with catastrophic injuries, and providing needed items to the Combat Support Hospitals overseas. Our team also works hand-in-hand with the Blankets of Hope project getting blankets to our soldiers as well as a first response backpack for the soldiers arriving at the hospitals with nothing but what they shipped out of Iraq with. Sometimes that consists of a partial uniform and that's it!
In 2006 what we were doing was made a little more personal for me. A lady that my husband worked with asked about a box set up to collect goodies for the soldiers that I was sending overseas and she told him, "I know you guys, my nephew arrived in Germany and got one of your backpacks all he had was a his shirt!" I'm not in a major metropolis I'm about 2 hours south of St. Louis in a small town but everything we were doing was made really clear!
And with all those other projects the Wounded TLC team itself has grown in leaps and bounds. We have over 1100 team members from across the United States and across the world. We send well over 5,000 cards a month to wounded soldiers/veterans and cards in bulk to be distributed to our wounded in the hospitals overseas. In March the team sent mail to over 100 wounded heroes just to let them know they are not forgotten.
It has been amazing and something I'm so proud to have become a part of these past few years. I have seen complete strangers just step up and help because someone says, "I need you." It is a constant reminder of the good that is out there! I'm proud to be part of Soldiers Angels, and so happy that I can be a small help to one person out there who needs a smile or two.
Thank you,Elaine, for all that you do for the Wounded TLC Team, and for our wounded soldiers, and their families!
(crossposted, as always, from ' my real blog ' )