A True Patriot
"Mrs. V" as shes known, has been hand writing letters to U.S. soldiers from Ridgefield serving overseas for 42 years. This 82-year old 8th generation Ridgefielder was inspired to start her letter writing campaign one day while walking out of her local church. She explains, "I saw this nice plaque, a beautiful bronze plaque, in memory of two of the boys that had been killed at war. In fact, I went to school with one of them - and I thought - you know, why can't we do something about it before they are gone?"
That's when she got the idea to send hand written notes, detailing all the "goings on" at home, so that the troops from Ridgefield would feel included in the town's activities. Church plays, the changing of the colors of trees, even what the local fishermen were catching, no one has missed a thing thanks to Mrs. V.
Doris knows first hand just how much a letter from home can mean to someone serving overseas. Her husband George was in the Navy, as well as her father-in-law. Doris and George have been married for 62 years, and still live in the home that they built with their own hands. (George says Doris was even up on the roof pounding nails with a hammer and did a great job!) They have two sons, Tad and Dale, and have two grandchildren.
The couple that met at a square dance, and went fishing on their second date, have a lifelong commitment to their family and community that has given back to them many times over. Earlier this year, one veteran who spent two tours of duty in Iraq with the U.S. Air Force organized a special surprise event for Mrs. V to honor her hard work. One retired Army major who remembers a letter Doris wrote him while serving in Kuwait in 1991 told the crowd "The letters we got from her were a lifeline back to the world we came from.. They were like a cool drink of water."
Many troops are so happy to hear from her, they not only write her back from the field, but stay in touch with her after they are discharged.
Troops write her back It's something that keeps her smiling from ear to ear. Doris has an entire room in her house dedicated to her letter writing, and keeps every memento, letter, and flag she has received over the years. She calls it her "Memory Room"
It was an incredible honor to meet Doris and George and spend time learning more about their lives and the amazing work they have done through the years to support our troops. Doris tells me that she hopes her story will inspire others to pick up a pen and paper and write to our men and women serving overseas. There is a website I found while blogging about another patriotic woman (see link below) called http://www.anysoldier.com/ which is a good place to start if you are interested. With Memorial Day coming up... it seems like a good time to dust off that stack of stationary sitting in the office!