Monday, November 28, 2011
ONLY 29 TO GO!
A simple phrase, "You don't treat us like we're children. Thank you." A warrior petting our Train a Dog~Save a Warrior ambassador, 'Colonel' found himself vocalizing some thoughts and feelings, as we sat quietly on a bench watching Kelsie and Colonel chasing balls, flies, rope toys, and taking time to roll in the grass two days after Thanksgiving. Feelings he had not expressed in a very long time began to open up. "You treat us with kindness and compassion and with respect. That's what we need. We don't need to be treated and talked to like we are children or stupid."
At first I didn't understand, but then it became abundantly clear. These guys and gals went to war at a very young age and had no choice but to grow up quickly. They come back, without exception, different people. They do not come back a child. I tried to explain to him that perhaps some, quite simply, didn't know how to treat them. I told him that I have friends, life long friends, who will not accompany me to any of the military facilities to visit with my warriors. Why? Because they don't think they could handle it or didn't know what to say. Well, that might be another blog, but suffice it to say it is in the same realm of unreality and useless absurdity.
A great lesson was learned this breezy, cool November afternoon. A lesson of gratitude, as this young man expressed in a very few words something we all should take note of.
As Kitty Kelley said, "A hero is someone we can admire without apology." Nicholas taught us that he has character, patience, love of country, and the ability to touch out with human feelings. He was a brilliant teacher, for which I personally am enormously grateful.
Nicholas will be released from the hospital this Friday. He shall be missed. Greatly missed.
I will leave you with a note he handed to us in a sealed white envelope....with strict instructions to not open it until we left the building.
"Thank you so much for coming to our unit on Saturday afternoons~it means the world to me. You have no idea how great it feels to be so many miles away from family, but yet still know that you and the Colonel and Kelsie will still be here.
As a token of my appreciation, I would like to donate $50.00 to help a fellow soldier to have the opportunity to come to San Antonio and train with their service dog. You told me last week you have no problem asking 30 people for $50.00 each to help with hotel costs...now you just need to ask 29 people.
Thank you again for everything and I look forward to my own service dog one day."
We try to not ask for money in this venue, but in honor of this young warrior we are asking for 29 people to donate 50.00 so that we can tell Nicholas that "You did it!" He is a Battle Buddy for TADSAW (Train a Dog~Save a Warrior), but he is also a Battle Buddy for a warrior with severe PTSD/TBI that he most likely will never know...but wants to help.
Please consider honoring a friend or a loved one this holiday season with a $50.00 donation to TADSAW. A card will be sent to them notifying them of your generosity to a wounded warrior!
Nothing would make this warrior feel better this Christmas than to feel he accomplished something remarkable, by helping a fellow warrior to get his service dog. These guys and gals take care of their own. They are neither selfish nor looking for reward. They love each other and care for each other passionately. Remarkably, in so doing, they teach us how to live.
Please send donations to:
For Nicholas' Fund
13423 Blanco Road, Ste. 218
San Antonio, TX 78216
How far your candle throws its beams!