« Assault Craft Unit 5, Beachmaster Unit 1 Conduct Successful Beach Landings | Main | Essex, Australian Forecasters Work Together to Improve Meteorological Teamwork »

Effort To Give Every Injured Marine A Letter Showing America Cares.

ST. LOUIS MO ( KTVI-FOX2Now.com ) - There is an effort underway by moms of St. Louis area Marines to make sure no injured Marine is left without a letter showing them America cares.


News Video:

Teresa Woodard
4:03 PM CDT, July 19, 2009

"They really love the kids letters, the kids cards," says Connie Ploudre, smiling as she watches five year old Joey Patterson craft a card.

At first Joey couldn't figure out what to write. First came his name, then a drawing of a house, and to top if off, he placed a sticker of a star. To some Marine, somewhere, Joey's card could change everything.

"They write us back and say, 'That made me get through a day'," says Ploudre. "And each day is a day for them, they don't have the ability to think a month or two, because they just don't know."

Ploudre works through Operation PAL, which stands for prayers and letters. Marines injured in Iraq and Afghanistan will see the drawing from Joey and read notes from other Americans, thanks to Ploudre and other Marine moms like Judee Wilson. They set up a booth at the annual Woodson Terrace Days festival to solicit words from strangers.

"We try to go through and read every single one of them," says Ploudre. "It touches the heart so much."

Sunday morning's grim news from the war zone of the Taliban video of a captured American soldier was like a dagger through the heart of every military family, including the Ploudres and Wilsons.

"America should not forget that we have a man being captured, that's being held," says Ploudre. "He needs to know we're behind him, thinking of him, he won't know it till he comes in."

Ploudre's son is a not-yet-deployed marine and she knows it is when, not if. Wilson's son Matthew is in Iraq, but safe. So the notes they collect are thankfully not for their boys, but they are for someone's son. Someone who needs to hear a thank you.

"The encouragement," explains Ploudre when asked why she does it. "They need to know the US and and small towns..like Woodson Terrace, is behind them 100%, and we just want them to get better."

More information can be found at http://www.operationpal.com/ and http://www.marineparents.com/.