Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A KISS TO AMERICA'S BRAVE HEARTS By Catherine Lanigan and Rula Sinara

January 2015
RULA: Happy February everyone! Here at the Heartwarming blog, we’re not letting yesterday’s Ground Hog’s Day verdict of six more weeks of winter get us down. Nope, this month brings us Valentine’s Day. It’s all about love, romance and staying warm with loved ones on cold winter days. And if you didn’t catch the news this past Thursday, check the link at the end of this post. The Heartwarming authors are hosting a mega-Valentine’s giveaway. But today, is about letting those who are far from home this month know that they’re loved and appreciated. 

CATHERINE: For me, this is a very special month. My father died on Valentine’s Day. It was his favorite holiday of the year. He used to say, “Where, but in America, would there be a holiday just for love?” I like to think he hung on till Valentine’s Day just so we would remember that he loved us. Of course, Valentine’s Day is celebrated all over the world, but he was a very, very patriotic man and here’s why---

My father was also a decorated WWII Army Captain. His story of heroism should be made into a movie, quite honestly, but that’s for another day. My father and those of his generation believed that when their war was over, they’d annihilated evil. Sadly, that is far from true.

One of my co-workers has an only son who serves in the military. This brave young man and all of our brave American troops risk their lives so that we can live in liberty back at home. Their sacrifice makes our lives and those of our children safe. Each time I see my co-worker break down in tears because she saw on the news that ISIS has declared they will behead all American troops, I realize how little it is that I do to help them. We can all pray for them and that is a very positive thing. But what about making sure we know how much we love them?

This Valentine’s Day, I baked my Valentine cookies in tribute to our men and women in uniform. This is our “kiss and hug” to our soldiers who do so much for us.

Catherine's homemade cookies
During the Vietnam War, our college had “pen pals” and I wrote to several guys overseas for years. One died. Two came back. Though I wrote to them at least twice a month, once they returned home, I never heard from them again. That is as it should be. But I never forgot them, nor did I forget what they wrote to me about their lives in the rice paddies and jungles---the heat, the insects, the awful food, the boredom, the fear, the terror, the anguish of losing their friends in battle, and the continual counting down the days until they came home.

Ourmilitary.Mil website has a plethora of organizations that support the military. I especially liked soldiersangels.org. They have an Angel Bakers Team who bake cookies and cakes and send them overseas. If you have a chance, take a look and see if there isn’t something there that appeals to you.

Rula and I hope that at least some of the troops around the world, stationed far from loved ones, might see this post and know that they’re being thought of. You could leave a Valentine’s wish or ‘long distance hug’ for them in the comments because you never know…it could be read and make a difference. Feel free to share some of your ideas or ways/websites that you know of to contact our soldiers and let them know we care.

RULA: Yes, and we have a GIVEAWAY! One winner, from the comments here today, will receive a copy of Catherine's latest book (pictured above), A Fine Year For Love...the perfect title and story for Valentine's month...and a pair of 15 x 15 canvas totes, each with the cover of one of my books: The Promise of Rain (Jan 2014) and the second book in the series, After the Silence (releasing March 1, 2015)...a story about a Marine who struggles to make his family whole again after his wife dies the day he returns home from duty…and a medical resident from Africa who discovers the healing power of love.


And don’t forget, The Harlequin Heartwarming authors are putting together a mega-Valentine’s Day giveaway too! Check out the announcement and details HERE! But first leave a message to a loved one in the comments below :). Wishing you all an abundance of love.



14 comments:

  1. Happy Valentine's Day to my husband Greg!
    rita dot navarre at yahoo dot com

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    1. And Happy Valentine's from us to both of you! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Thank you for the touching post, Rula and Catherine.

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    1. Thanks, Kate,
      Our soldiers have a very special place in my heart, as you can tell. Happy Valentine's Day!

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  3. Thank you, Catherine and Rula. Big hug to all our brave military men and women! So very grateful for their service and for the sacrifices they make for us every day. The Wounded Warrior program is a great one, too.

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    1. Thanks for reading, Carol. And yes, we can't hug our soldiers enough!

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  4. heart-to-heart thank you to our troops and their families. I understand the sacrifice is bigger than the rest of us can comprehend, and we love you all for it. Wish we could wrap our arms around all of you. And thanks, Rula and Catherine for the information on websites where we can offer our help.

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    1. Muriel, Thanks for reading. Truly their sacrifice is untold. They deserve all our prayers.

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  5. Great post! Like the others, I am so very, very thankful for our men and women in the armed services. And I'm so proud of a friend's son who has a nonprofit that gives refurbished iPads to our Wounded Warriors.

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    1. Patricia this is wonderful to know about the iPads. I wonder if there's a place for refurbished cell phones. Anyone? I have a couple to donate.

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  6. Thank you for the beautiful post! Happy Valentine's Day to my husband of forty years this year and Happy Anniversary on Valentine's Day to my daughter and son-in-law.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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  7. In the spirit of Valentine's month, Catherine and I have decided to pick 2 winners!

    Congrats to Rita and Melanie!! Check your email 'cause you'll be hearing from us soon!

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