Got Your Back Network has been blessed by being allowed the opportunity to give comfort and brighter days to the military families who have suffered the greatest loss. We've also been blessed by the kind words of the people we've met.
Letters From Got Your Back Network Families
It was a pleasure to meet you and all the people involved in the Got Your Back Foundation at last night's game. Andy told me you are responsible for coordinating the event last night. Many thanks to you for taking the time and effort to do something so special for our families. Losing my husband, especially the way we lost him, is something we have to live with every day. There are times when it is tempting to give in to the sadness, but people like you remind me that my husband and our families are not alone, and that is a gift with no price tag.
My kids were laughing and chattering all the way home about the fun they had - except for Jeremy, who fell asleep with a smile on his face. As a mom, you know the joy of seeing your children happy. Thank you for providing an opportunity for me to take the time out to just be with my kids, and to see them be the happy little boys that they want to be. My husband loved those boys, and was looking forward to experiencing their lives with them. I know he would be grateful to all of you, for doing those things with them now, in his place.
On a whim, I thought I would see if you were on facebook. At first, I was skeptical; however, I do hope that this reaches you because I have a story I'd like to share with you.
I've been on this journey (of widowhood) for a while, almost 7 years. I've seen a lot in that time and, for a few years, had the honor and privilege to be an advocate for surviving spouses and their children. I cannot find the words to express my gratitude to you for what you are doing for the children who have lost a parent in our armed forces - both through Snowball and through got-your-back. Too often, the loss of a parent or a spouse is the pink elephant in the room - no one wants to touch it; so, there it remains, untouched, unacknowledged.
The morning you introduced yourself to the crowd, I was sitting next to a family of four - three girls and their mom. They were discussing the week, their time at Universal and Disneyland. They shared how they were blown away with the high class hotel and fabulous meals and how they felt so pampered. The mom had just shared with me that they were unable to attend the year before because they could not afford it. The youngest of the three was 13 or so. She said, "Mom, this feels like we have won the lottery." Without skipping a beat, the mom replied, "Honey, this is better than winning the lottery."
I was so touched by what I heard, and quite frankly, stirred. My son and I share many, many blessings. Daniel will, sadly, never get to know his father. To watch him mourn the loss of his dad hurts in a way that cannot be explained. One of the hardest parts for me over this past week was looking out among the sea of families and recognizing that they each were having to walk that same road, many with far fewer resources.
There was a lot of healing, a lot of lives touched in a way that hadn't been touched and needed it; and so many positive connections made that will surely continue to do good. You intrigued me onstage. I read about got-your-back and was compelled to write and say "Thank you." What a breath of fresh air.
Thanks for taking the time to pose with me. You had asked me to send you the pic,so voila....here it is. Not so hot of me,but one can't expect much in the pouring rain and extreme cold.
We didn't get much time to speak, but a heartfelt thanks for coming out and spending your time with the families. Everytime I turned around you were taking a picture and had someone's child on your head. I have never seen such patience. I know having a male presence can mean the world to some of these kids.
I hope 2009 brings you peace and health.
I wanted to thank you for your involvement in Snowball Express!! The Bachelor was the only show I could watch in English while stationed in Germany with my husband and we became instant fans! There are no words to express how grateful we are to you for giving your time and name to this wonderful cause. You put a smile on our faces!
It has been a long journey for my five-year-old son Benjamin and I. After we lost our beloved daddy and husband, CPT Michael Jon Pelkey it seemed as if we would never smile again.
Not long after his death, I contacted your organization in hopes that my son could meet other children who had experienced similar loss. Honestly, I did not expect to hear back.
Much to my surprise, I received notification that my son and I would be attending the first annual Snowball Express!! I also learned that it was not just a trip to Disneyland. It was an invitation into a family of caring people who welcomed us with open arms. The friendship, laughter, and love has changed our lives. We are smiling again and when we need to cry, there are people there to listen.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
Stefanie and Benjamin Pelkey