By Sara Rhodes
There was a knock on our front door and to my surprise Keith, our mail carrier, was there with mail in hand. He hesitantly asked me if I might know how he could help Helena, his peer; get some of the small American flags. It seems that during the time Helena was delivering mail to us some of the streets were lined with the small flags and since her husband is an active duty solider it stuck with her.
Keith chose the right house to ask the question, as the mother of an active duty Navy officer and marketing maven, I kicked into gear and turned the simple request for flags into a community event.
Helena’s husband, Ryan was returning from his 3rd or 4th deployment the following week and she wanted to line her street with small American flags to help welcome him home. I thought it would be a wonderful show of support to a serviceman if we sponsored the flags and took a picture of “all of us” to place on a card as a show of support from our community. An email was sent to those in our address book with the request to “spread the word” to gather for the picture. On Saturday at 9:30 a.m., 38 Landings residents gathered for a picture holding American Flags and the card that we created with written messages of support. Not only did our residents gather for a picture but donations were made to provide some extra support for the family; the total contributions amounted to $140.00 which allowed the family some additional fun!!
We received the following thank you note from Helena:
“Thank you, words really cannot say the extreme gratitude my family and I have for your community! Though it was raining when my husband finally came home, he did get a glimpse of all that I had done. He was extremely happy once the rain stopped and he saw the signs, balloons and flags. The moment when Ryan came off the plane and the kids ran to him with hugs & kisses was a moment that I will never forget. Not only was it beautiful but a weight had lifted that day that I had been carrying for 10 months… and it feels so good to have my husband home and our family back together. We appreciate the kindness that you have shown in helping me make my husband’s homecoming that much more special. Thank you!! The Bakers- Ryan, Helena, Paige, Hayden”
This is one of the many reasons that I am grateful for the community that we live in. The love and support that we showed for this family is representative of the support we show for each other. Thanks for your support of our men and women that protect our freedoms! Thanks for being neighbors that care for each other and others.
God Bless America and God Bless our Troops!