A Million Thanks - How to say Thank You to the Men and Women serving our Country

The Problem

When I was a freshman in high school I wanted to do something to help the men and women who volunteer to serve our country in the military because I saw a news report that said our service members suffer alot of depression, especially those stationed overseas. The report also cited an increase in suicides in soldiers serving in Iraq. I knew there had to be a way to improve their self-worth. I also had read that getting mail from home was uplifting for our military. This was even true I found for soldiers who fought in the Civil War.

Plan of Action

I knew I would need a lot of help, so I went to my high school Principal, Gregg Pinick to see if A Million Thanks could be a school project. He said yes, so I began to promote our kick off assembly. That day several television stations showed up and the story made Associated Press. From there, Americans all over the U.S. read about A Million Thanks and how they could send their thank you letter, card or email to us and we would forward them to our military. As our military serving overseas read about us in the Armed Forces Press, they began sending their addresses to us so they could receive letters from home. Entire platoons and Chaplains units signed up as well. Amazingly, I reached my goal of sending one million thank you letters in only 7 months. Americans from all over the U.S. and even people in foreign countries continue to send thank you letters to us to forward to our military service members. Over 4.5 million have been sent to military stationed all over the world. With 2.6 active military serving our country, we have symbolically thanked each one of them. I do this because our men and women who serve our country need to know that we back home appreciate the work they do and all the sacrifices they make so our country can continue with the freedoms we all enjoy. I have received hundreds of emails and letters back from our military service members who say over and over that even one thank you letter from someone they don't know lifts their morale for months. Many say they cry when they read the words "thank you" because it means so much to them. I have received many thank you gifts from soldiers who were sent a box of thank you letters from us. The gifts range from Amercian flags flown over bases in my honor, to unit t-shirts, even combat shirts and patches worn by soldiers during battles. Though I never want anything in return, the gifts show me how powerful A Million Thanks is and the huge impact those two words, "thank you" have made to a soldier. I am now finishing setting up the next part of my organization which is called Wounded Soldiers Wish. It is a 501c3 non-profit charity which will grant wishes of soldiers wounded in the War on Terrorism.

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