I am happy to present this letter written by someone who is often described as a Hero of the Heart in responses that we get back from foreign deployed military personnel. Cindy Linke is the solid rock and inspiration of the all volunteer effort that I promote in public although too often I receive the accolades that really are due to this amazing woman I am so fortunate to call my friend.
The reason I speak out is simply because Cindy cannot perform every function needed as our group has grown and received many more requests for the exportation of Malibu's greatest commodity - our support, gratitude and ever present love for the men and women who maintain our security and protect our freedoms. It's no small product either, packed into each sentence you can find traces of history passed from one generation to another.
In others you read of dreams of a youngster or the hopes of another that the recipient can be back home with their own family soon, pure and raw empathy that rocks you to the core for the way it reflects back to how Malibu parents, schools and service organizations are doing such phenonmenal work in leading through actions of their own. Then there are the letters from Veterans of past foreign engagements, reaching across the years and erasing political/racial/religious barriers to address brothers and sisters in uniform.
We so appreciate the support from Malibu's veterans and hearing what Mail Call meant to them when they were far from home and loved ones. With the advancement in technology providing unprecedented access, we hear that often the letters that are sent from strangers is the only actual physical mail that they receive. We get responses that one card is carried on their physical person every day of the tour, one thing to turn to for encouragement and a lift of spirits.
Thank you all for being that 'one thing' to someone, from all of us that have a hand in this ginormous group effort hoping to make one tiny difference for someone we may never meet. To those that haven't met her in person, I have the pleasure and honor of presenting Cindy Linke's letter to everyone.
I want to send you an enormous, well-deserved Valentine for turning out for the Packing Party at the Point Dume Clubhouse two weeks ago. Over 100 volunteers showed up to spend many productive hours assembling goodies and writing letters for our beloved troops. Although from all ages and walks of life there was a spirit of unity, good will, and purpose expressed at the event. I think you could say it was America at work.
Everyone there labored hard to show their appreciation for our deserving soldiers, and seemed to be having fun while doing it. The entire community came together and I wish to thank the Fire Dept., the City Council, and all the businesses, clubs, schools, and neighbors that made our efforts such a success. (And I want to thank those that could not attend for their generous donations.) Together we packed over 2500 packages. Remarkably, there was a hand-written letter of encouragement and support in EACH ONE, written by school children, members of the community, and fast "pen-pushers" at the writing tables that day.
These reminders of home and messages of love are now winging their way to the battle fields of Afghanistan and to the decks of the John Paul Jones, our adopted ship. They are sure to lift the spirits of young soldiers and sailors. One thing Malibu has proven - it has a great big heart.
Cindy Linke, Coordinator Operation Interdependence
P.S. Thank you, Malibu Patch for printing the article about the Packing Party.