Sending Chocolate Chip Cookies to Iraq

I got an email from my soldier last night.

In December I “adopted” a soldier in Iraq. His name is Tien and I got his contact info from a policewoman I met who has a brother in Iraq. She’s organized an entire outreach effort to link up people here with soldiers there. When you “adopt” a soldier, you basically keep in touch with him or her and send care packages every month or so.

So I’ve been sending packages to Tien and he’s been sending me emails. I don’t know much about him. From his pictures, he could be about 20 years old (young enough to be my son!!) His parents live in VA. He likes motorcycles. He’s looking forward to taking a long, relaxing vacation. In all of our correspondence he has not once asked me for anything, even though I’ve asked him repeatedly to tell me what I can send him.

I think about Tien a lot and send prayers his way every day. Being in touch with him has made the war much more real to me.

And in his last email, he told me what magazines he likes and asked me to send him some baked chocolate chip cookies. Well, the cookies are cooling on the rack as I write this and the magazines are already packed in the box.

Why did I adopt Tien in the first place? I am not “pro war.” I thought a lot about this and wondered if participating in this program meant that I am supporting the war. I decided no, I am supporting a troop. And that feels good. I was completely thrilled to get his email last night and to send him some things he’s asked for. Hopefully these cookies and magazines will help make his day a little brighter too.


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