Grateful for a Gift to 'Any Soldier'

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Grateful for a Gift to 'Any Soldier'

It was Christmas of 1990, and I was a soldier deployed to Saudi Arabia and less than a month away from the start of the first Persian Gulf War. Back home, my father was unemployed, and my mother would die three months later of cancer.

But I didn't know about their turmoil because when I arrived in October, the mail from home simply stopped. Other soldiers got letters and packages from anyone and everyone while I just got bills. What was going on? When I sent letters home, they went unanswered. I expected to spend a depressing Christmas day, watching everyone else get mail.

Then a 40-foot truck arrived, filled with packages. A soldier dressed as Santa Claus brought them around to everyone, including me. The packages were addressed to "Any Soldier" and were from people all over the United States who took the time to pay attention to a lonely soldier like me.

Because of them, it was one of the best Christmases I've had.

-- Linda Adams, Arlington

ยท For more information about how to send packages to service members in Iraq and Afghanistan, visit

© 2006 The Washington Post Company