A.J., I am sitting at work and saw this...I have gotten and forwarded this e-mail before...and it still affects me to tears. When my son (and his best friend) went to boot camp in June 2007, I wrote him (and his best friend) letters every week. They were, most times, 6 to 10 or more pages long. He later told us, after he got home, that he had maybe 2 minutes a day to try and read his mail, that one letter would take literally a week to read! I made sure that certain Scriptures were referenced and written out, as an encouragement to them both.
He and his best friend (now a shipmate) both told me that those letters kept them going the whole time they were in boot. The whole company (started as 160 plus, whittled down to just over 80, due to washouts) shared letters with each other, cried with each other and ministered to one another in the few moments before lights-out every evening.
What's amazing to me is, my son and his shipmate went to boot between their junior and senior years of HIGH SCHOOL and has served as a Reservist while in his senior year, as well as taking a college course! My son was the youngest in his company, just three years over his 17th birthday when he went in...his nickname was "Target" because he was the youngest on base. He just experienced his one-year anniversary this June 3rd in the USCG.
(Some folks don't know it, but the only difference between Marine and Coast Guard boot camp is the combat training....)
In the business I'm in, I serve several military branches, selling and supplying them goods; the USCG and USAF are two of my better customers. Whenever one of them comes on my counter, I make it a point to shake their hands and thank them for the job they do.
A.J., thank you for what YOU do...keep 'em coming, we ALL need reminders, every day. God bless you and our military!
Bud, Mobile, AL