Words For Warriors Project

A few days ago I mentioned that I was involved in a new project that was testing some of my weaker personality traits. I explained how I was using some of the lessons I’ve learned in the gym over the years to make a successful go of it despite said weaknesses and that it was generally working out quite well. What I did was create a military veteran support project of my own. I incorporated it, so it’s an official entity and yours truly is the President!

The mission of the Words For Warriors Project is to collect letters of encouragement/support/appreciation from people (both with and without a military background) to our veterans. The letters are put into a book and then distributed free of charge through VA hospitals/clinics and veteran’s organizations.

I’m very excited to say that the first edition of Words For Warriors has been published and the distribution has begun.

This is what the book looks like.

This is what the book looks like.

 

The day the books arrived at my door from the printer

The day the books arrived at my door from the printer

 

A couple of pages

A couple of inside pages

 

So far, I’ve placed 6 books at my local VA outpatient clinic, 2 in a VA clinic in Colorado Springs where I was visiting, 5 at a VA outpatient clinic in Golden CO and sent four to USA Hockey (they are our Paralympic hockey team and have four veterans on the team).  I have one being placed in a VA in Maine and one in West Virginia. There are a few on the way to an Air Force base where at least one will find a home at a local Fisher House. One is at Pathway Home in Yountville, California.

I’m also incredibly pleased to say that I’ve been able to give a few copies to a company called Wounded Wear for their use and send a personal copy to the President of the company, Jason Redman (whose words in his recent book The Trident partially inspired me in this undertaking). That’s right, I cold called (via email) his company (one of those weak personality areas I’ve learned to push against….I hate to approach people I don’t know) and he was kind enough to write back.

I’ve also been able to send out copies to many veteran friends and acquaintances which makes me very happy, indeed! One of the people I sent the book to is a Marine. I met him on bodybuilding.com in my early days there when he was still on active duty. One day I posted a photo of myself wearing a Navy SEAL shirt that I got when I went on vacation in San Diego. He sent me a little sad face icon and a note saying he didn’t really like that shirt. Later, I posted a photo wearing a Marine Corps shirt to make up for it and that started the ball rolling. That little yellow sad face was the origin of the 50+ military tribute and patriotic photos I’ve posted there over the years. It was a great pleasure to be able to send him a copy.

I am happy to say that the feedback from the book has been quite positive and it’s the best feeling in the whole world! Facing some of my personal weaknesses and pushing through despite them has paid enormous dividends. It’s not too much to say that I’m living a richer life because of it.

Dropping off copies of Words For Warriors the past few days...

Dropping off copies of Words For Warriors over the past few days…

The first edition is out but I’m not done yet. I’m still asking people who want a unique way to show our veterans some support to write letters and send photos of themselves. I will definitely be doing a second edition and hopefully many more. Currently, the project is entirely funded by me and my cookie jar. I am scheming ways to get additional funds but whether I do or not, I will continue to distribute books. Outside money just means more books out to our veterans…faster.

Do you want to be in the next edition of Words For Warriors?

If you would like to be in my next book, I invite you to send a letter along to words4warriors1@gmail.com. Please understand this isn’t a writing contest. It’s not about fancy language or perfect grammar. A few simple words from the heart is all that is necessary. its something meaningful you can do and it doesn’t cost a penny, just a few minutes of your time.

If you visit the Words For Warriors website at http://www.words4warriors.com  you can read more about my inspiration for this undertaking, read letters from other people, get project updates and see more examples of pages from the first edition of the book.

Don’t be shy…join the party! Send a letter today!

….and workout! Yes, I went all off topic AGAIN but I’ll be back to regular programming next time.

17 responses

  1. Kudos and applause for your wonderful project.

    1. Thank you so much! If this project speaks to you, please consider adding a letter of your own. I scraped together the money for another printing so I’m still collecting letters to put into the book. I always tell people it’s not a writing assignment or an exercise in perfect grammar (although I know those wouldn’t be sticking points for you), rather just a few honest words from the heart. If you decide to contribute you can send your letter to words4warriors1@gmail.com. I really appreciate your nice note!

  2. What a magnificent project and for no one better than our own returning warriors. We need to pick up the slack to help then because “others” have slacked off horribly. I always think about a single soul out there in the desert or flying in an attack chopper alone. Does he/she feel the country isn’t fully behind him? Can I be of further assistance?

    1. Just helping me get the word out is fantastic. This is an ongoing project so I’m always looking for letters/photos to put into the book. I’m very excited about a new letter I was just promised this morning. I can’t say more because I don’t want to jinx it and I’ve learned not to count my chickens before they hatch but I’m as happy as can be! Thanks for letting people know about the project!

  3. Reblogged this on Masako and Spam Musubi and commented:
    A truly MAGNIFICENT and NOBLE effort by one single lady for the welfare of our returning warriors! (Note: you can see a picture of me and my son in the book.)

    1. Thank you SO much for reflagging this! I have been posting updates on the Words For Warriors Project website so people will be able to see where the books are being distributed. I’m happy to report that they are now in 13 states, many VA hospitals and clinics and a couple of Fisher Houses (with more to come). I just managed to scrape together enough money for another printing so I’m still collecting letters/photos from anyone who wants to contribute. It’s definitely not too late. The books have been received very well and I’ve seen a few men moved to tears.

      I also have to say thank you again for your wonderful letter. This is a collaborative project in every sense of the word and I’m so happy you saw the worth in it.

  4. Great work Lynn. Appreciate all your hard work.

    1. I’m so happy with this project. I’m just passionate about it. I’m so glad that other people saw the worth in it and wanted to help make the book come true. Please know that I’m not finished and if the project speaks to you, I invite you to take a minute and write a letter for the next edition. It would be welcome! Hope you’re having a fantastic day so far!

  5. Thank you Lynn

    1. This undertaking is an extreme pleasure for me…thank YOU!

  6. As a military spouse I just wanted to say thank you, this is awesome and a great post in military appreciation month!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving that nice note. I’m very pleased to say that there are many letters in the book that include recognition for the families of our military members. Much respect!

  7. Well my beautiful spider monkey, what an amazing project! I am so proud! All of the support you give my brothers and sisters is incredible! I could never thank you enough! Is there anything that you need to assist you in this incredible project? You should start a 501c and get some donations from Wounded Warrior Project and other sources. I adore you!

    1. Lishie! I have the tax-exempt status underway. Just waiting for approval from the govt. Can’t wait until that day… I’m enjoying this project so much. I can’t think when I’ve had more fun working hard. It’s a life’s pleasure for me. I have been able to distribute the book many places and am looking for a few additional spots. If you have any insight into good organizations that might like to use the books to put in gift baskets at fundraisers/use them for part of door prizes or who sponsor small events and might want to distribute them to the veterans who participate, please let me know. I’m trying to be very careful and get recommendations from trusted friends. I know there are organizations out there doing great things but also that there are many that take a huge chunk of the money they raise to pay administrative costs. I want to support the grass-roots, smaller endeavors. Any direction you can give me would be very appreciated.

  8. This is awesome. Do food too. I know over there I was thinking if I eat one more MRE I’m going to scream!

    1. Oh, I can certainly imagine getting quite sick of MRE’s. Sure hope you’re doing well and that you’re enjoying your time in the gym! I’m working on getting some muscle to stick. Little chicken legs need some help!

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