Thursday, September 6, 2012

From a family member of a fallen soldier


I was browsing the “Thank A Soldier” page today and saw a very nasty email from someone clearly nothing better to do saying how useless the page was and people wasting their time. I wanted to share my story about how this page has helped me.
I was browsing the “Thank A Soldier” page today and saw a very nasty email from someone clearly nothing better to do saying how useless the page was and people wasting their time. I wanted to share my story about how this page has helped me.

About four years ago my first cousin was killed in Afghanistan I will never forget the day I got a call from my mother to tell me the news. I was visiting Toronto at the time for school and felt all alone as I had no family or friends to comfort me or talk to.

I was browsing around facebook for “Military Support Groups” and came across a page started by Dave Murphy the founder of “Thank A Soldier” called “Tim Hortons For Our Troops” at that time it was a page started in April for sending coffee to Canadian Forces in Afghanistan. (Note : our page didn’t become for all coalition forces until about a year in)

I met up with my family in Trenton, Ontario where his body would be taken to the coroner’s office in Toronto down a stretch of highway now known as “The Highway Of Heroes” every overpass we went under from Trenton to Toronto (A 35 minute drive and easily over 50 bridges) was filled with people with flags and waving at our procession. This blew me away and a few days later when I went back on the support Facebook page people were posting photos and telling their stories.


Skip ahead about two years and my family didn’t want to talk about it anymore, I felt like I had no one to talk with so I sent Dave M. A message asking if he could post on his page a request for anyone who would be willing to talk to a family member of a fallen soldier. The next day I had over 150 emails in my inbox and one of them was from the sister of a soldier who was killed the same day my cousin was.

All this from ONE person sharing Dave’s request on the TAS page.

We began talking on Facebook and then on the phone pretty much every night for about a year, she lived in Montreal and I was now residing in Ottawa, Ontario. We decided to meet in person and the weekend we shared together was one of the most comforting and memorable I have ever had.

She’s getting married next spring and guess who was asked to be in her wedding party......... yes that’s right me

If it were not for “Thank A Soldier” I never would have never met my new best friend, been able to grieve my loss and gain so much comfort.

THANK YOU TEAM TAS

Sandra Gardiner - Ottawa, Ontario

If you would like to share "Your Story" please email submissions@thankasoldier.net

3 comments:

  1. Hey buddy, I want to say Thank you to all the support programs that exist for our troops. I am recently retired from the military U.S. Army. I retired after being injured severely in Afghanistan and lost friends very close my brethern. As a soldier we do not overlook any thank you big or small, and it means the world to have support. We don't fight for politicians or government we protect what we hold dear, family and friends. This is an awesome story and I am glad you found support. PTSD is aweful and soldiers aren't the only ones who experience it. Family and friends traumatized by events could carry it as well. Break the silence of PTSD. Thank you ALL for supporting the Troops. God bless the Troops!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such a beautiful letter! So sorry for your loss, but very glad that you continued to reach out for the support and healing you needed...to me this page is a god send!

    ReplyDelete