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From the Troops
This past week we had the privilege of meeting 40+ wounded warriors at Walter Reed Bethesda hospital. These men and women are a testament to true courage. Each of them have demonstrated courage, resilience, and a deep will to live.
To all of the brave soldiers we met… Thank YOU! Thank you for sharing your stories, struggles, and success with us. It was truly an honor to met you. We wish you all strength during your recovery. Please let us know how the iPad is working for you!
From an iPad recipient:
“I wanted to thank you again for this tremendous gift you and your family have given to mine. I also wanted to let you know that my brother received the boxes. He was more excited than he could even put into words and crying. He was in awe of the fact that someone he’s never interacted with would love him and his team enough to do what was done. He let me know that on the 22nd they are having a Christmas party and he will surprise his team with them…Thank you again!!”
Think about this….
As early winter is carried along on the tails of the autumn breeze, the change of season ushers in the start of the holidays and, for most of us, a time for celebration, connection and kinship.
But consider now, for just one minute, a brave but terrified young soldier – someone’s son, someone’s brother – lying wounded on a medical stretcher on a flight back to the US.
His injury – permanent and life altering in its severity and trauma – represents a fork in the road of his personal journey, which right at this moment is the unthinkable struggle with which he grapples.
Instead of Thanksgiving love and Christmas cheer, our valiant soldier will be coming to terms with a lonely and arduous regimen of rehabilitation at Bethesda Walter Reed.
And imagine the first minutes of our soldier’s arrival at hospital. Exhausted, frightened and, despite the wonderful work of the doctors and nurses, alone.
We might not be able to sympathize with his exact situation, but we have all at least felt those very same emotions at one time or another. And to who else have we instinctually turned for comfort and reassurance, care and love, but our closest family.
With your continued support, iPads For Soldiers is able to provide our wounded young soldier with an iPad as soon as he arrives at Bethesda Walter Reed, enabling him to see and speak with his parents and siblings, his partner and friends, his children. A small luxury perhaps, but one which allows our wounded hero to feel the smallest semblance of dignity, normality and humanity in an otherwise unimaginable moment of uncertainty.
“I am truly blown away selflessness of iPads For Soldiers and at the generosity of those who donate. You have no idea how big of an impact your organization has on Soldiers here in Afghanistan and in recovery centers. iPads are the perfect, portable gift for the guys living in cramped, dusty tents and / or slowly recovering in lonely hospitals.”
- Soldier in Afghanistan
“…I’ll get your boots enroute – but bewarned, they’re dusted with Afghan dirt and begrimed with American sweat. My company is stationed out of Ft Knox, KY. We’re currently deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan. My Soldiers and I are attached to a Special Forces Battalion and serve in the capacity of “uplift” forces. In essence, my infantrymen provide additional combat power to the small, elite Special Forces A-teams they are attached to. On any given day, we go on dismounted patrols, mounted movements (on gun-trucks, as drivers and gunners), pull security in guard towers and at shuras, and conduct resupply missions throughout our Area of Operations. It’s a thankless and tough job, but I’m impressed everyday with the relentless vigor my Soldiers display. They are truly hard working men and women. If you are on facebook, you can find my company page at “Viper Company.” I try to upload pics there and keep the wives at home informed on what’s going on with their husbands.”
- Soldier in Afghanistan
We received the ipads you sent! I can’t tell you how overwhelming it is to
When they arrived I had my HQ people come in the office and gave them a
little speech about how I know they work hard and that a lot of people know
that and how people in America still support us and care about us.
They had no idea where I was going of course and I had the ipads in a drawer
next to me and they were all standing around me. I told them that we were
given some gifts and they’d each receive one and when I opened the drawer
and they saw what was in them (keep in mind these are grown men), it was
akin to the commercials/videos you may have seen where parents tell their
4-year old they are going to Disney World. I really should have recorded it
because it was totally priceless. The picture didn’t come out very well
other than PFC Bridge’s face, the guy in the middle.
This is truly overwhelming to receive an incredible gift like this. The
Soldiers were of course thrilled and it will help on the deployment and make
things a little better. We’ve kept it quiet within the unit as you
requested. Once we’re home we’ll be looking for ways to support your
organization so other Soldiers can benefit as well. Thank you so much for
your support and for what you and the people who are supporting you to make
this possible. I know this must take an incredible amount of time and work
on your part. Thank you so much.
1LT XXXXX XXXXXXX
XXXXXth MICO, X-X CAV, X-X AD
We received this incredible, heart felt letter recently! This is the type of stuff that keeps us doing what we do! We are so honored and humbled to be able to help our troops… so THANK YOU!
“To whom this may concern:
I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude of your generosity and how it has affected the daily living and behavior of our wounded Soldiers in their time of need. Your organization has not only been instrumental in developing a better outlook on our hero’s lives, but their future endeavors. Some wounded Soldiers feel that their future is grim and cold, others try not to think of it. But with your gift to our Soldiers they see and feel how much they have given for this country and how appreciative our countrymen appreciate their sacrifice which gives them a sense of purpose and pride for what they have done. Simple shows of kindness on your part increase their strength and in some cases make a faster recover simply due the support your company provides to our fallen.
Again, thank you for all that you are doing for our wounded and know that you are not or will ever be forgotten. Your gift of generosity is more than a machine or toy, but it is a life changing tool that greatly impacts not just our wounded but their families and friends. With your gift our staff benefits by decrease mental anguish or uncertainty of the Soldiers and their families since we are constantly trying to meet all of our Soldier’s needs. Nevertheless it is just one struggle that we graciously take on without asking.”
“Well, I am absolutely FLOORED. Wish I had a video of my reaction to
opening the package from N. Bryan for iPads for Soldiers. Some smoke
definitely got into my eyes. XXX , you, your family, and now this
organization are absolutely amazing. This kind of generosity is
unheard of. I know you know the difference this will make to those of
us who won’t be by the warmth of a good old American fire for
Christmas. So, so many thanks for the supportive patriots in the Key
Biscayne area….which I hear is beauuuuutiful, but can’t imagine it
outdoes the beauty of the kind hearts we have just been blessed by.
I have received two packages and six iPads in total (along with some
really cute homemade cards) and am going to have the hardest time
picking which Soldiers get to open probably the craziest surprise of
their life (maybe I should do it randomly but I know a handful that
this iPad would be life-changing for). I think one of the very best
parts of giving is seeing the immediate joy in the faces of those
receiving–so my intent is to videotape the initial shock and awe of
this amazing generosity so you guys can “feel it” too! This involves
keeping it on the DL which may be challenging, but we’ll see how my
guys do. Hopefully I can get this together into a half-decent “thank
you” film for your organization. Disclaimer: I’m
Anyway, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being you and for
this godsend that your idea manifested (yes, I read the website). All
I could keep thinking of when I opened that package filled with joy to
spread is “how am I so lucky?!” Thanks for making us all lucky.”
- Letter from female soldier in Afghanistan
Our troops in Afghanistan are starting to receive their iPads! We are so appreciate of all of our donors and people who have helped make this happen. Below are two heartfelt letters we have received… Read them, share them, and support our troops!
“First and foremost I would like to extend to you my deepest gratitude and
sincere thanks for the wonderful new iPad I received the other day, and I
apologize for my delay in a return email. Even more so than I, my wife and
kids are extremely happy about the new addition to our house, for now I will
be able to webcam for the first time in 3 years!!! And if there is one thing
that I have learned with 8 years of deployment is make momma and the kids
happy, a wise man once told me. In fact, I am leaving tomorrow for 3 weeks,
missing Christmas, but I will be able to spend Christmas with my family via
skype, and I have you to thank you for it. It really means a lot to me that
I am finally able to do this (financial constraints limited my ability
before), and my kids and I have been practicing webcamming for the past day.
I must say your foundation is a huge moral booster for all those who are
lucky enough to participate, and in the future I would like to donate some
money as well because I think you have a great cause worth giving what I can
too. You are all in my holiday prayers, and I wish you, your family,
friends, and those close to you a wonderful Holidays, and with the love of
me and my family thank you so very much again.
Special Forces Medic
10th Special Forces Group
“De Oppressor Liber”
” The iPads just arrived! I have attached a picture of me and SFC XX holding them. I am on the left, he is on the right with the Santa hat, but I suppose our shirts could have told you that :) Anyway, thank you So much for selecting us a recipients of these wonderful gifts/tools. This will be very helpful in allowing us and our team to keep in contact with our families back home and to carry our pictures with us wherever we may go. Thank you again for all that you and your organization are doing to support our service members!
One day we received we message from 1LT Allen saying “Hi. I’m Second Lieutenant Jonathan Allen of HHC 1-167th Infantry Battalion Task Force Centurion, and I recently heard about your organization because you gave a few iPads to some soldiers in another company in our Battalion. I wanted to say thank you for what you’re doing. I think it’s great that you’re giving soldiers a means of entertainment and most importantly communication back to their loved ones. That being said, I would like to inquire how one goes about requesting iPads from your organization. I have 26 soldiers split between Camp Phoenix and the much smaller Camp Blackhorse, and I know that communication is difficult, particularly for those soldiers at Camp Blackhorse, and if possible I would like to ask your help in alleviating that situation for as many of my soldiers as I can. Again, thank you so much for what you do, and I hope you can help!….”
And HELP is exactly what we did…
Thank YOU for all of your support!!!
Below are photos of our most recent recipient!
Please read the below letter from a brave soldier currently working in Afghanistan. Please help us send them iPads… We need your support.
“I am a Combat Stress Psychiatrist working in Afghanistan. I recently ran into a group of soldiers who had been given ipads by your foundation. They were so excited by the donation it was truely a pleasure to see. I can’t thank you enough for your kind works for our soldiers.
That said, I have four mental health technicians who are junior enlisted folks both Army and Air Force who would be very deserving of ipads. These 4 individuals cover all of of RC East in Afghanistan. They travel to some of the most dangerous Forward locations in the world to try to alleviate the frequent mental health problems seen in our troops. They work 12-18 hours per day to help their fellow soldiers. In the many months I have served with them they have never complained about the hours or the burden of hearing about the very worst days of our soldiers lives. They work tirelessly to help others and I have been enormously proud to serve with them. A donation like yours would communicate to them in a way I fear my words fail to that their jobs are immensely important. They make a huge difference in the lives of soldiers everyday and I would love to see them rewarded for this. If you require more information about these individuals I would be happy to provide it.
XXX LTC, USAF, MC
TF MED-A/Combat Stress Clinic
FOB Fenty, JAF”
“I’m a third generation Soldier following in my Father’s and Grandfather’s
footsteps. When I set out on my military journey they were by my side every
step of the way. I can’t wait to tell them about the incredible level of
civilian support that my team received from your organization. A stark
contrast to what my Father experienced when he served in Vietnam. I don’t
think my Grandpa will understand exactly what an Ipad is though :-D.” – - A female soldier in Afghanistan who recently received an iPad.