Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Keeping Up With My Pen Pal

     Today was my day to send another letter (actually, e-mail) to my adopted soldier in Afghanistan.  I actually had a nice note from him this morning.  Only 45 days left till the replacements arrive for his unit, so he's really starting to count the days till he comes home.  He'll be arriving through Ft. Dix, so I might even get a chance to meet him when he's there.  
     I was talking with a friend the other night who told me that she has a pen pal (in England) that she befriended when she was a young teenager, some 45 years ago!  And they've been great friends since.  For me, it's been so fascinating to see how the relationship I have with "my soldier" has developed over these months.  I remember blogging about the frustration I felt when I hadn't yet heard back from him, as if I was having a one-way conversation.  Since we've started mostly communicating by e-mail though, the relationship has blossomed as we've been able to "talk" so much more frequently.  It's strange to think that he was randomly "assigned" to me when I volunteered to adopt a soldier through Soldiers' Angels and now, months later, we've fast become friends.  
     I suppose in some ways, it's a reminder that we're all pretty similar.  Despite our outward differences, at a deeply human level, most people have the same hopes and dreams, joys and fears.  I think it's what enables us to connect with each other, even when we begin as strangers.  My growing relationship with a soldier serving overseas has definitely been one of my most rewarding events of the year.

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