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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Soldier On

With the presidential election next week, violence continues to mount in Afghanistan, and our soldiers are being caught in the crossfires. Just this week, 29-year-old Capt. Matt Freeman of Richmond Hill, Ga., was killed. He was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and engaged to be married. After Mom spent the day with the 48th at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, she developed an entirely different appreciation and awareness of the men and women soldiers' sacrifices. And like many of us, she now has family there with her own cousin Joel Kimsey serving in Afghanistan.

The Middle Georgia Association of Realtors has adopted the 48th Brigade of the Georgia National Guard and will be mailing hundreds of care packages this fall to the 2000+ soliders of the 48th who are serving in Afghanistan. This Saturday, August 15, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., the association will hold a "Soliders' Closet" sale at the old Lipson Fabrics space in the Riverside Plaza Shopping Center. Professional clothing will be sold at the sale, and the proceeds will fund the cost of mailing these care packages.
You can help them with this noble effort in the following ways:

*Donate clothing: Lipson's Fabrics space will be open from Tuesday through Thursday, 3-6 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to receive your donation.

*Attend the sale on Saturday and make a purchase.

*Make a monetary donation to the cause by making your check payable to: The Middle Georgia Association of REALTORS(r), Soldiers Closet, c/o Denny O. Jones, Fickling and Company, 2960 Riverside Drive, Suite 200, Macon, Ga., 31204

And just to give you an idea of the bravery, heart and soul of our brothers and sisters serving in Afghanistan . . . Mom's Leadership Macon class advisor Carla Vento shared this letter with Mom. It was from her cousin Second Lieutenant Malachi Bennett, who is in charge of the 3rd platoon (infantry), to his father:

Man, it would have been nice to hear Tom Watson won, but I'll take a GT grad instead. I bet the Joe Cocker concert was great; I think about the Alan Jackson concert every now and then. It is good sometimes to get away mentally and think about the good times. Among many other things I'm learning over here, life is precious. Not enough time to get upset about things that just really don't matter. I sometimes laugh at the problems I thought I had in the past, they just don't compare. War is a terrible thing; the things we go through I hope no one ever has too, but at the same time that's why we do it, so the next generation doesn't. I wouldn't trade where I'm at now for anything. It is an honor to serve with these men and we're proud to fight over here so our families don't have to back home. Pops, I love you and I hope everything is going well. I know you guys are worried, but take the time to enjoy this life and the liberties we have. If you don't there would be no reason for us to be here. Malachi

Tonight, when you hit the hay in a comfy bed, under a real roof, built under a freedom-loving sky, let's all take a moment to send our prayers to this area of strife in our global community, where brave men and women like cousins Malachi and Joel are over there doing the best they can, under unfathomable circumstances, so we can go on living like we do.

Peace and love,

Candy Lou

P.S. Pictured is one of Mom's pics from Media Day in Indiana with the 48th. Even though it was a simulation, this solider is currently doing this for real these days, every day, in Afghanistan.

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