Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone! 🙂
Have you ever been suddenly struck by a thought that you knew you needed to act on right away? That happened to me recently.
I was browsing one of my favorite LinkedIn groups this other day, and I saw this post that simply said:
We are proud to be a part of Authors Supporting Our Troops 2014. I’m packing up signed copies of my books… to be shipped to our troops in Kuwait and Afghanistan.
Unfortunately, the author didn’t post a link where others could find more information. But the idea appealed to me. Both my sister and brother-in-law are former military and actually met while in Kuwait (after they’d both gone back as contractors). So I wanted to learn more.
I knew from my own loved ones how important it was to have diversions (movies, books, magazines, good ole American junk food, etc.) and other things that made you momentarily feel like you were back at home.
A quick Google search yielded a Facebook event page and a blog post shedding more light on things.
The event started in January and will continue through April 15th. Its organizer, Armand Rosamilia, is collecting fellow authors’ books to send to our troops stationed in Kuwait and Afghanistan.
He was inspired to host this year’s event when he found out that his hero, Joe McKinney, who was last year’s event coordinator, no longer had a contact to send the books to. Since packages must be addressed to a specific recipient and Armand’s “Special Gal” had a dear friend who was being sent to Kuwait in April, Armand decided to pick up where Joe left off. (You can learn more about the origins of this event here.)
He has made the special request that all books be signed by the author, believing that “the troops will love the read and also knowing the actual author sent the books or the actual publisher.”
It’s such a simple way for authors to give back, and yet will deliver a sense of “home” to those who receive and share them.
If you’re not an author, you can still support the effort by making a donation to help defray the cost of shipping the books. (Contact Armand directly if you’re interested in donating.) And anyone is welcome to buy a t-shirt to commemorate their involvement.
At the time of this writing, 485 people are participating in this event, and over 1,100 autographed books have already been sent to Armand to support our troops. That’s an awful lot of authors deciding to give back. But there’s always room for more!
I added my name among them, as have a few of my friends. I know it was hard for my sister when she was stationed in Kuwait. She didn’t want to worry us here at home, so often didn’t share the details of what was going on in her life. It’s only recently, years later, that she’s started to share some of it with me.
If being inspired, challenged or entertained by any of my books helps a soldier who is far from home escape for a little while, it’s the least that I can do. After all, they’ve sacrificed so much more for us and for our freedoms.
Won’t you join me in supporting this effort? Pledge your books, buy a t-shirt, or donate some money to defray the shipping costs. Every little bit counts!
And leave a comment below to show your support. For every comment left this week, I’ll donate one of my autographed books to the effort (up to 10 copies of each of my printed books).