When I think about all that Military Missions means to me and the good that is accomplished by our organization, it’s not about the number of packages we send out and it’s not about the donations we bring in each year. It’s about the relationships built, the lives touched, and the heart and soul behind everyone’s participation.
Most of what we do would be described as tedious, but everyone who helps has a smile on their face and enjoys the purpose for their seemingly mundane task. Some of our volunteers can come in and work in the office. Others can’t work their schedules around our office hours so they will do what they can from home.
Have you ever written out a few hundred customs forms? It’s not a fun task, but somebody’s got to do it. Unless you are the one addressing these forms, no one really gives much thought to the work involved in getting them ready. For those of us who have done it, what comes to mind first is the reminder of the writer’s cramp we get and the constant wonder about why we even need to fill the forms out since the boxes probably don’t go through Customs anyway. There is certainly no spotlight for those who sit down and fill out all those little boxes on the forms, but it must be done and our volunteers are happy to have an opportunity to give back to our troops.
What makes a stack of customs forms personal? For me it’s the fact that the wife of a sailor wants to help, but she is physically unable to come in and work at our office so she takes the forms home and writes them out, one by one. She wants to be a part of the Military Missions family and say thank you to those who serve.
It’s about the sister of the deployed Marine who sits down at night to write addresses on 200 forms despite the fact that she is already volunteering in the office two days a week and trying to go to school full time. She is giving back, and she is also finding a positive way to survive deployment until her brother is safely home from war.
It’s about the name being written on that customs form. That name belongs to an American hero. It belongs to someone who is willing to stand in the gap so you and I can be free. It belongs to someone who is a child, a spouse, a sibling, a parent, a friend, and a neighbor to countless people back home.
Each one who comes in the door of Military Missions Inc. has a story and a reason they want to give back to our troops and veterans. We all go through the motions of what appears to be a multitude of tedious tasks, but we all know that we are making a difference in the life of someone who needs to know we appreciate what he or she is doing.
We wish there was a way to package up the sentiments and share them with everyone involved. Because we can’t do that we invite you to check out our blog and our photo albums where we will try to capture the heart and soul behind the snack bars, the foot powder and the customs forms.