A couple of months ago I was contacted by Cathy Frederic of Plano, Texas about a trip she was planning to Germany. Her Dad had been stationed here in the 60s and her sister was born at Landstuhl hospital.
"Knowing the important role that Landstuhl plays now in supporting our wounded soldiers I couldn't go to visit without bringing a gift and a Thank You for the soldiers. I didn't want to bring a small gift either so I started asking friends and workmates if they wanted to help. And they did want to help," Cathy explains.
"I got immediate positive responses, so I asked more people. I wanted to give everyone the opportunity to help."
So many wanted to help that Cathy was able to purchase 500 phone cards and collect 200 letters and cards of encouragement.
Many individuals contributed to this effort but there are some groups that stood out in their level of concern and commitment, according to Cathy.
The most outstanding sources of support were:
- The Vietnamese Initiative at Texas Instruments Dallas, Texas
- Spring Creek Women's Initiative at Texas Instruments Dallas, Texas
- Stephen Ministry at Grace Outreach Center Plano, Texas
- Children's Church at Grace Outreach Center Plano, Texas
There are many Diversity Initiatives at TI. Cathy, for example, is a member of two, TI WIN, the Texas Instruments Women's Initiative Network and CVI, the Christian Values Initiative.
But the most impressive response that Cathy received from anyone about the project was from the members of the Vietnamese Initiative, which she describes as "swift and decisive". They took it on as their own project and in 2 week's time had raised over $600 to contribute.
According to one of their members, "Many of us came to US as refugees between 1975 and 1987. We understand very well the values of freedom and democracy which we risked our lives to seek. We really appreciate US soldiers who leave behind their beloved families and a dream country to fight for freedom and democracy around the world. We value their sacrifice."
Cathy said it made her stop and wonder if someday we'll have Iraqi friends who value, appreciate, and love America as these new citizens do.
On behalf of the patients at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Soldiers' Angels would like to thank Cathy for her leadership, and each and every donor for their generosity. Your display of patriotism and compassion is an inspiration to us all, and has touched me deeply.
Our nation is truly blessed in its fighting men and women and those who support them.
I know what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving.