Monday, July 24, 2006


Ever try to put into words, something that cannot be put into words?? Ever try to capture what is filling your heart so strongly, and yet every attempt to pin those feelings down on paper seems somehow, inadequate? This is the dilemma faced by me and, I'm sure, others on the Soldiers' Angels "Living Legends Team." What, you may ask, is the Living Legends Team? According to the Soldiers' Angels Website:

The project was formed to bring caring messages of comfort to the family members of fallen soldiers and to honor the soldier's memory... Cathy Woodruff, the team leader of the Living Legends project says, "The team has tried to express the sorrow and grief that we know all Americans feel for the loss of our precious and beloved soldiers. So many have sacrificed for our freedoms, we hope this helps to ensure that we never forget what it takes to keep our liberties."

Each week (some weeks more frequently than others), the Living Legends Team receives email notices from the Team Leader, with information about fallen soldiers and their families. We then, in turn, write letters or send cards of condolences and support to the families of our Fallen Heroes. Sometimes, the Fallen Hero is one that was adopted by a Soldiers' Angel -- and we send cards to those Angels who have lost their heroes, too... because we all know that when an Angel adopts a Soldier, he or she becomes like part of that Angel's family...and the loss is devestating.

But what do you say to someone who has lost a son, a husband, a father, a sister, a wife, a daughter, in a war? What do you say to the woman whose Marine son was killed in action in Fallujah last year - as witnessed by millions - and by his mom- on the documentary, "Baghdad ER"? What do you say to the soldier whose entire family was brutally murdered while he was deployed?

Living Legends does not only send cards and letters when the death of the Hero first happens; we also send cards and letters on the anniversary of the Hero's death... or occaisionally, on dates important to that family... such as a milestone wedding anniversary that parents must attempt to celebrate, without their son...

A few times a week, as often as necessary, I print out the Living Legends emails. During my lunch break, I'll write my notes and send my cards. I read each email, and look at the photograph of the Fallen Hero, and then look at the blank paper before me. No matter how many times I do this, I stare at the blank paper in front of me and pray: "My God... what on earth can I say to them?" Because I know that absolutely nothing I write can "make it all better." No words, no flowery poems, can make the devestation of their loss disappear. My heart weeps for each and every Soldier lost... I feel it deeply, each time. I stare at the blank paper; it stares back at me. I pick up my pen, turn off my brain, and let my heart begin to speak:

"I am so sorry for your loss. My heart weeps with yours... We will never forget your loved one will always strive to honor his memory. Please know that we hold you close to our hearts and in our prayers always... with much love and deepest respect, Kat & Family, Soldiers Angels, Living Legends Team."

I re-read each letter I send. All are unique; I never write the exact same thing over and over. Each Hero is unique and special; so, too, is each letter, in its own way. I let my heart do the writing... sometimes it's more "wordy," sometimes it's more simple...but each and every time, it is truly from the heart. As I re-read the cards and letters before I mail them, I think, Does this sound too "Hallmark-y"? Does this sound too trite? Dear God, please let them know the words I say are sincere and truly heart-felt. As if by sheer force of will, I could make the love and prayers and tears and hugs residing in my heart leap out of my heart and onto that paper... so the families of our Fallen know that, in fact, they are loved, they are appreciated and we will never, never, EVER forget all they have sacrificed for our country.

Yes, it is a difficult Soldiers' Angels team to be on. But I can think of no greater honor, or a more sacred duty, that I am able to be a part of... "Supporting our Troops" means more than just putting a magnet on our cars and sending letters and care packages. "Supporting our Troops" means also supporting and encouraging the ones left behind to carry on without their loved ones, and striving to ensure that our Fallen Heroes are never, ever forgotten.

With much love and deepest respect to the families of the Fallen,

"Momma Kat"


Georgia Blogger