Sgt. Alvarez with Maggie
(Readers: I wrote this story based on an event nine years ago, glad to update it a bit).
Eighty words bridged seven thousand miles.
“Write to a soldier and cheer them up,” said Mrs. Larsen, while coordinating a holiday writing campaign for her fourth grade class. My daughter, Maggie, carefully focused on the task. Her vocabulary simple, the paragraphs consisted of short-syllable action words. She wrote about her hobbies, family, school, and pets. Her letter was boxed with sixty others and mailed, destination unknown. “You may not hear back,” I told her, “but we’re proud you tried.”
In 1971 my dad, an Air Force doctor, received orders to Vietnam. My family wept. Writing him letters made me feel better. (more…)