Day 267: Highway of heroes

In 2007, the stretch of Highway 401 between Toronto and Trenton, Ontario, was officially named Highway of Heroes, in honour of Canadian Forces personnel killed in Afghanistan.
In 2007, the stretch of Highway 401 between Toronto and Trenton, Ontario, was officially named Highway of Heroes, in honour of Canadian Forces personnel killed in Afghanistan.

You might notice in my blogroll there’s a link to write to Canadian peacekeepers in Afghanistan.

A friend suggested the idea (thanks, Heather!) and although it feels a little strange to write to someone you don’t know, once you get started you realize you do know them.

Know they must be very scared, lonely, missing their family, their home. So when I heard the sad news that Trooper Marc Diab, 22, with the Royal Canadian Dragoons, was killed by a roadside bomb north of Kandahar City last week, I decided it was time to write again.

So that’s what I did today – just dropped a line to thank Mr. or Ms. Peacekeeper for their brave work and the sacrifices they’re making on behalf of all of us.

And just when I wondered if these letters really make any kind of difference, I came across this story on the website:

From Russia to Africa With Love
posted by sirlancalot

I’m in Africa right now on a peacekeeping mission with the Army. This is my 5th deployment and I volunteered for every one of them (sort of). Anyway, this story is not about me or the army or even Africa for that matter. It’s about the way people can become karma aides even when they are in need of it themselves.

I subscribed to this online program for soldiers, where we put our addresses on the website and random people write to us and send care packages and thank you letters.

I got one the other day that was a letter from a lady living in Pennsylvania. She was thanking us for all we do and telling us how much she prays for the troops. This lady is originally from Russia, married an American soldier and moved to Pennsylvania. She explained all of this in her letter.

I was moved by the compassion and the thoughtfulness of her words. The letter went on to explain that she lives with her husband’s family. I was knocked over when she told us her husband died a month ago and he was heavily into supporting the troops through this program when he retired from the military.

She said his family became her family and they didn’t want her to go back to Russia. She wrote that she will continue what her husband started because it was her way of honoring him and his memory.

I wrote her back a poem and told her that her words were more than thanks enough to us. I thanked her instead and that was from Africa, with love.

Funny how people who are in need of good karma still manage to give some away.

P.S. A beautiful tribute to soldiers’ families (the flags may be American ones, but the sentiments are universal). Enjoy!


2 thoughts on “Day 267: Highway of heroes

  1. I gave a down on his luck guy that was fishing through a garbage bintop ashtray at 7-11 for a butt, half a pack of cigarettes. Does that count as a good deed? (No lecturing on cigarette smoking pls.)

  2. oooo, tough call, Michael. Let me just say that your heart’s in the right place and that’s what really counts. (Now about those cancer sticks….) 🙂

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