Card Writer Spotlight:
After answering a recent email inquiry, we received a lovely note back. Her words speak for themselves:
Dear Miss Barbara,
Again, thank you so much. Not just for your assistance with my problem, but more importantly for the help that you're offering these brave men and women.
I'm thirteen years old and I came across your organiz- ation in search of a "Soldier Pen Pal." I didn't find the correspondence that I was initially looking for, but I found something that brought me a much greater joy and sense of satisfaction.
My biggest dream is to bring laughter to hurting hearts, and thanks to God and your organization, I believe I've been able to do that. I began writing these letters in hope of making a difference in someone else's life, but as it turned out, God's done a work in mine.
Thank you and God bless you always!
Address for Cards
Marine's Name & Co.
P.O. Box 1115
Operation PAL™ provides support - through prayers and letters from the general public - to Marines and Corpsmen who have been injured or become ill while serving in combat zones.
Operation PAL™ encourages support of our wounded warriors in communities throughout the United States.
We're so glad you joined us for this issue of Operation PAL™ News, and we're grateful for your involvement in this important outreach program.
Have you ever been sick for a few weeks or had a broken arm or leg? You likely were frustrated with your situation and felt like it would be forever until you were better again. You also probably had friends or family caring for you and hoping you felt better soon. Support from people who care makes all the difference while you're recovering. And even when you are all better, it still feels good when they ask how you are doing.
Our Marines and Corpsmen are healing slowly and surely, but they need encouragement on a regular basis because unlike a broken arm, their injuries can take years to heal and are life-altering. As you will read today, our PAL David has to learn to cope with having no depth perception, limited peripheral vision and limbs that don't work the way they used to, among other things. The longer these recoveries are, the more frustrating they can become, epsecially for someone who thinks he is alone in his struggles. You are a big part of our recovery teams. Your encouragement and and support are felt over the miles.
Thank you so much for keeping these wounded warriors supplied with cards and letters, tangible evidence that you care.
LCpl. David 3/7 Kilo Co.
OpPAL™ David and his sister Hallie
LCpl. David encountered an IED (Improvised Explosive Device), also known as a roadside bomb, in Afghanistan late June, 2010, and his injuries were extensive. He had major breaks in both hands and arms, lost fingers, needed surgery on his ear, had leg injuries, and had to have his left eye removed. He's had countless surgeries over these last nine months and very rigorous physical therapy. All the while he's kept positive and held on to his sense of humor.
David about to go snowboarding
After many trips back and forth between hospitals and the rehab center, all the surgeries and fittings for his "bionic hand", David was released to his family home as of January 2011. He is now going into the MedBoards which means he's being medically discharged from the Marine Corps. This process may take the better part of a year, and during this time he will be continuing physical therapy locally to adjust to his new prosthetic left eye and new
Medals David was awarded at the Wounded Warrior Trials for swimming and track
hand. Speaking of his hand, he was so excited about it that he commented "this hand is so freaking cool." Mom is so glad that he was given this opportunity; he's one of four people to receive one.
Mom says your words of encouragement help tremendously with their ups and downs. She says: "I would also like to put in that David is still reading cards from Operation PAL™.....he is so thankful to have the people around him that have been. We are too. I would like to thank everyone for the Prayers, with out you, I cant imagine that we would be where we are today with David. So glad to have him home. This guy is going to do amazing things I know."
David loves to hear from you, so send him a 'hello' to:
LCpl. David 3/7 Kilo
c/o Operation PAL™
PO Box 1115
Columbia, Missouri 65205
PAL Cpl. John Makes the News
Photo courtesy of the Lake County News-Sun
In January, the Lake County News-Sun, an Illinois newspaper, featured our very own PAL Cpl. John Peck (3/1 Weapons Co.) in one of their news stories. The story covers John's long but brave road to recovery after encountering an IED explosion while serving in Afghanistan.
Cpl. John has been in Operation PAL™ since July 2010 and has experienced many ups and downs. He lost his arms and his legs and is struggling with the loss of independence, but he is hopeful and excited about the possibility of receiving arm transplants.
The story by the News-Sun depicts John's personal struggles as well as his optimism about the future, and it's truly a must-read. We must remember to keep these young Marines in our thoughts and prayers as they bravely embark on paths they didn't anticipate going down.
Cpl. John would love to read your cards and letters during his continued recovery. Send them to:
Cpl. John 3/1
c/o Operation PAL™
PO Box 1115
Thank you so very much for remembering our wounded and ill warriors when you write and pray. Your kindness is most appreciated.