A Thank You Card from Iraq

by Henry L. on January 13, 2009

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I have this greeting card.  It’s hard to throw away.  I want to show it to someone, cherish it, keep it. It means something to me; something hard to say. I was pleased to receive it. In fact I was even proud. It is a thank you card. The thank you is from a Chaplain and a Sergeant to me personally. They are in the Army. They are in Iraq. I am sitting in my office outside New York City just across the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey. They have written to me to say thanks.

Personalized thank you card from COP Speicher

They are the ones owed a thanks. They are thanking me for donating holiday cards. The card is somehow different than the emails of thanks I have also received. It’s a piece of paper. IT was there, in their hands. The Chaplain and the Sergeant wrote it, signed it, and addressed it to me. In a sense it is a piece of them in a strange way. The few times I have gone to either throw away the card or give it to someone else to archive I have stopped. I can’t part with it. And a big part of that hesitation is the envelope.

The envelope is also hand addressed. The return address is COB Speicher. I am a bit of a news junkie. I remember who Scott Speicher was. Sadly, I presume he is dead. Lost in the first Gulf War he was listed as Killed-in-Action but then later revised to Missing-in-Action – his flight suit was found; his initials were suspiciously carved in a prison wall.  Iraqi records later found a listing of him as a captive. His parents and relatives endlessly hoping for a simple return address on a hand-scribed envelope from a far away place during a dark and uncertain time in the history of the world.

Envelope from COB Speicher

Where do we go from here? How will the world move forward and be at peace while protecting and providing rights to individuals? It is easy to be pessimistic. The reality is that we will all perish some day. It is what we do between now and that day that really matters. I wish the Chaplain and the Sergeant well. I wish for them a safe return. I wish for a bright future for my children and all of the children of this world.

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