Dear Military Service Member,

This essay can now be found in the 2012 edition of The Talking Stick. It received an honorable mention designation. I'm happy to have it there!


  1. A stunning and beautiful letter Emily. And what a perfect writing project for your students. Where were all the good writing teachers when I was learning to write. You are inspirational.

    Let me take the time to wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas and a beautiful year to come. I look forward to all your writings.

  2. Thank you, Bill. And Merry Christmas to you and your family, as well. Hope you get outside! :)

  3. Wow. That's all I can say right now except... I've got to read it again. What a letter.

  4. Thanks for reading, SPT. Happy holidays to you and your loved ones!

  5. What a truly moving letter. And what a truly wonderful project for your students. Well done on both counts.

  6. Beautiful, beautiful writing, Emily. I've read it through twice now and it reads more and more like a song, a wondrous and keenly felt cadence celebrating all that it means to be who we are. You have a marvellous gift which I sincerely hope is being heard wide and far. An inspiration, a joy. Wishing you a lovely holiday season and an enriching coming year...

  7. Thank you, Audrey and Julian. The best part of this process was seeing the desire in my students to write their own thanks. I plan on doing it every Christmas.

    Happy holidays to you both!

  8. Thank you for thinking of us. I know that it means a lot to any service member deployed to get letters for Christmas no matter where they come from. I'll share this on my Facebook so my friends from the service can see it too even though it's February. Hopefully they'll enjoy it as much as i have.

  9. Jeremy, thank you so much for leaving a comment. I am thrilled--THRILLED--that this letter reached you. I suppose you were one of the exact people I wrote it for after all. Isn't it amazing how that happens?

    It is still a brown, warm winter here in Minnesota, although yesterday I woke up to such beautiful hoar frost I had to put on those winter boots and go for a walk. How about you? I still have the desire to imagine your surroundings.

    Sending heaps and heaps of appreciation for all you do.

  10. Emily: Regarding your Dec. 21 post: Your writing is superb. I like your style; it's genuine, meaningful, and uniquely refreshing to read. I was in the Army '68-'71, and I appreciaate your apprciation for all who serve. The part " a way, you are walking that path for me" is how I currently feel about our people serving in Iraq, and Afganistan.
    Keep creating your best stuff!

    May I recommend Tim O'Brien, esp. The Things They Carried.


    Richard Havenga

    P.S. I just started my blog today, at age 64!

  11. Thanks so much for the note, Richard. It's wonderful to find this letter reaching folks through online paths... you were who I wrote it for!

    And I love Tim O'Brien's work. I actually saw him speak a few years ago. If you liked TTTC, I bet you'd also dig "In The Lake of The Woods." Pretty intense read, but wow.

    Heading over to your blog now!

  12. This is so beautiful! As a Military Mother this means so much to me!!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts